Preparedness Resources

The Illinois Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (IPERLC) was one of 14 Preparedness and Emergency Learning Centers across the nation, which were made possible through a grant by the U.S. DHHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. IPERLC engaged in public health preparedness activities to enhance the readiness of the public health workforce in responding to natural and man-made disasters and events across the state of Illinois. Previously, IPERLC was known as the Illinois Public Health Preparedness Center (IPHPC). Learn more about IPERLC by visiting our IPERLC page.

In addition to the resources and training information already available on our website, this page houses important resources to help you get and be prepared for any emergency.

Public Health System Training in Disaster Recovery

The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) is pleased to present its newest training program, Public Health System Training in Disaster Recovery (PH STriDR) designed for local public health agency workers, which focuses on individual and organizational contributions to disaster recovery.

Through four 90-minute, interactive, face-to-face sessions, this training program introduces: the concept of community disaster recovery; the disaster recovery roles of the local public health agency and the individuals who work within it; and potential personal/family and workplace considerations in the recovery phase. It also provides an opportunity for learners to create a vision of successful disaster recovery in their agency and community.

Health Care Preparedness Toolkit

The Illinois Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (IPERLC) provided support for a preparedness team to be part of the 22nd  MidAmerica Regional Public Health Leadership Institute (MARPHLI) for its year-long public health leadership development program. This team was asked to focus their attention on the impact of ACA on Preparedness, as their project topic.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has improved the state of emergency preparedness amongst individuals and communities by providing health care coverage to populations previously uninsured.  In an effort to maximize the benefits in terms of disaster preparedness, MARPHLI’s Prairie State Preparedness Team  has developed a toolkit to assist emergency planners with the incorporation of ACA and other essential medical information in disaster preparedness. The Health Care Preparedness Toolkit includes a fact sheet, planning guide, training plan, a visual aid, and a pre/post-test. Click here to access the toolkit.

To learn more about MARPHLI, please visit our MARPHLI Page.

Build a Preparedness Kit

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48% of Americans lack emergency supplies for use in the event of a disaster. Here are two resources to help you build a preparedness kit.

Disaster Preparedness

  • Tools for a Disaster Prepared Business: According to FEMA’s Preparedness in America Report, the workplace is one of the most effective environments for educating and encouraging people to take steps to be ready for disasters. In fact, when employers encourage employees to prepare for disasters, employees are 75 percent more likely to take action. The American Red Cross and America’s PrepareAthon! offer free tools and resources to increase disaster preparedness in the workplace.Employers can participate in the Red Cross Ready Rating Program to help their organization successfully withstand disasters and other emergencies.  To join the program and become a Ready Rating member, employers complete a 123-point assessment of the preparedness level of their business. After the assessment, employers must take action to improve preparedness within the office and among employees. As a member, business owners can access an emergency response planner to create a tailored disaster plan and progress reports to track improvements.Employers can also find valuable information in the Prepare Your Organization Playbooks from America’s PrepareAthon!These Playbooks are designed to help community-based organizations implement successful preparedness activities. Find playbooks to prepare your organization for six hazards and start planning today!
  • FEMA: Just in Time Disaster Trainings
    • FEMA: FEMA Training Course : Including People With Disabilities & Others With Access & Functional Needs in Disaster Operations at
    • FEMA: Public Health Operations – Just In Time Disaster Training Library The purpose of this online library is to provide a single, easy-to-search source in which individuals, agencies, and organizations can access Just In Time disaster training materials. The materials found in this library cover disaster-related preparedness, response, and recovery training for a wide variety of areas. The online library is available at:
    • FEMA: Multilingual/Sign Language Disaster Training The library contains a comprehensive selection of Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery videos in many difference languages. To support the deaf and hearing impaired the library also contains a selection videos in sign language.. Visit to link to the library.
  • The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has provided a toolbox that provides an introduction to planning for the critical information needs of vulnerable populations in an emergency. Download the tool here:
  • The Disaster Resistant Communities Group has gathered a collection of special interest preparedness videos aimed at keeping people safe during tornadoes, active shootings, and harsh winter weather. View the collection here:
  • Papers from the March 2012 Disaster Resiliency and Sustainability Workshop Program, hosted by the University of Florida School of Public Administration: College of Health and Public Affairs, can be viewed here:
  • Learn how to best serve a diverse patient population with the Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response provided by the U.S Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Access the course here:
  • Safety Check Feature for Disasters: Facebook developed a platform that helps users let each other know they are safe when disaster strikes. When users are within the vicinity of an area affected by a disaster, they will receive a notification from Facebook asking if they’re safe. Selecting “I’m Safe” will post an update on the user’s Facebook page allowing friends and family to know their status. Twitter also has a platform called Twitter Alerts that posts emergency information from vetted agencies across their social network. Visit and log in to your account to sign up for Facebook Safety Check and for instructions on how to sign up for Twitter Alerts.

Psychological First Aid

  • The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) in collaboration with The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC), and Chicago Healthcare System Coalition (CHSCPR) have launched a psychological first aid training video for health care workers and first responders. View the video here: Psychological First Aid video
  • The University of Minnesota, School of Public Health’s Psychological First Aid (PFA) Tutorial Mobile App and Website are intended to serve as a just-in-time training refresher:
  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has created a resource guide full that includes fact sheets for parents, youth, school staff and community leaders on Coping in Hard Times. Also included is a 6 hour interactive online course on Psychological First Aid, which allows participants to take the role of a provider in a disaster. Access the resource guide:

Protect Yourself Against the Flu

  • Learn how to be protect yourself from the flu with these tips from FEMA.
    • If you don’t have the flu, get a flu shot now; it takes two weeks to develop an immune response against the flu. Vaccinations are still available.
    • Wash hands vigorously for 20 seconds with soap and water.
    • Stay home if you are sick to prevent spreading germs to others.
    • Know common flu symptoms to identify if you or loved ones need to seek medical attention.

West Nile Virus Preparedness

Use these resources to help in preventing the spread of West Nile virus.

Ebola Resources

  • CDC – Now Available: Emergency Department Ebola Preparedness Training Videos

CDC and the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and collaborated with numerous professional organizations to develop an Ebola Preparedness Training for emergency department personnel. Titled “Ebola Preparedness: Emergency Department Guidelines,” the training package consists of four video modules that supplement CDC’s recommended three-step strategy — identify, isolate and inform — for managing possible Ebola patients.

The four video modules are available as a YouTube playlist: Ebola Emergency Department Preparedness

      • Considerations for Preparedness – This module focuses on preparedness considerations for Ebola and how to engage a multi-disciplinary team to prepare your institution.
      • Screening Patients for Ebola Risk Factors and Symptoms – This module provides guidance for developing plans and procedures for screening all patients for relevant travel history, risk factors for Ebola, and signs and symptoms that might be consistent with Ebola.
      • Isolation of a Patient with Ebola Risk Factors and Symptoms – This module provides guidance for developing plans and procedures for safely implementing appropriate isolation precautions for a patient under investigation for Ebola.
      • Evaluate and Briefly Manage Patients: Ebola Assessment Hospitals – This module for Ebola Assessment Hospitals covers the basic concepts for evaluating and briefly managing a patient under investigation for Ebola.


  • CDC Ebola Online Resources

View the CDC Ebola Online Resources page for updated information about the current Ebola outbreak as well as preparedness information for the public and healthcare workers. View the site here:

  • CDC Interim Guidance on Ebola Monitoring

The CDC has released interim guidance for monitoring and movement of people with potential Ebola exposure here:

  • Ebola Communication Network

The Ebola Communication Network (ECN) is a collection of health communication materials designed to help address the spread of the Ebola virus. ECN collects Ebola communication resources from a variety of sources including USAID, UNICEF, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Access the Ebola section videos at

  • CDC, ASTHO Co-author Article on Communication and Community Outreach during an Ebola Response

On January 13, Public Health Reports published an article co-authored by CDC and ASTHO on how state and local health departments can plan for health communications and community mobilization during an Ebola response. The article, “Health Communications and Community Mobilization During an Ebola Response: Partnerships with Community and Faith-Based Organizations,” recognizes the roles federal, state, and local authorities; businesses; schools; charitable foundations; and community and faith-based organizations (CFBOs) have in Ebola prepared¬ness and response.

  • Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Ebola Resources – All the latest information on the current Ebola outbreak from the CDC, WHO, the UN, and others including resources for healthcare volunteers, information on latest cases, journal articles, and links to relevant Twitter feeds:

  • CDC Issues Updated Ebola Guidance

On October 20,2014 CDC hosted a tele-briefing to update the CDC Ebola Response and PPE.  Updated guidance, a fact sheet, and a transcript of the call are all available here:

  • Ebola Emergency Legal Preparedness: Quarantine of Ill Travelers

The Network was recently contacted by a public health agency policy analyst about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The requestor asked for clarification on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is enforcing the 21-day quarantine of ill travelers wishing to return to the United States.

  • Ebola Information for Healthcare Workers

The Emergency Preparedness and Response website provides healthcare workers information on upcoming and archived COCA calls/webinars and conference call recordings. ASPR-hosted conference call recordings and transcripts are available on the  Preparing Your Healthcare System for Ebola web page.

  • OSHA PPE Selection Matrix for Occupational Exposure to Ebola Virus

Based on Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and CDC guidance, OSHA has released the “PPE Selection Matrix for Occupational Exposure to Ebola Virus”, which is intended to help employers select appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for protecting workers who may be exposed to the Ebola virus while working on the job. This document can viewed online at

  • Ebola Threat Toolkit

This Toolkit from An Alliance for Health Reform includes:

    • An overview of preparedness in the US, research on treatment and vaccine development, and funding for Ebola in the US
    • An explanation of legal issues surrounding Ebola containment and treatment
    • Links to reports and news articles explaining and analyzing the issue
    • Contact information for leading experts on the issue

Click here to access the toolkit

  • Ebola Webinars and National Calls for Healthcare Professionals and Healthcare Settings

DHHS has compiled a webpage with links to numerous webinars that have been held recently as a result of the Ebola outbreak. Access them here:

  • MCHC Ebola Resource for Healthcare

The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council’s Ebola Preparedness web page houses up to date information for hospitals to distribute and integrate into preparedness planning. Visit the page here:

  • UIC School of Public Health Webinar: The Ebola Outbreak

UIC School of Public Health hosted a panel presentation on what we do and don’t know about the current ebola outbreak. View the webinar here:

  • Options Available for Hospitals to Increase Ebola-specific PPE Supplies 

A recent increase in demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has caused delays for some products ordered by U.S. hospitals for Ebola preparedness. Across the United States, availability for these products varies by product type and model, manufacturer, distributor, and geographic region. However, CDC advises that there are a number of options available for hospitals needing to increase their PPE supplies despite manufacturer shortages and delays. The role a hospital plays in preparing to identify, isolate, evaluate, and, in some cases, treat patients with possible Ebola virus disease is the most important indicator of how much PPE is needed. See Interim Guidance for U.S. Hospital Preparedness for Patients with Possible or Confirmed Ebola Virus Disease: A Framework for a Tiered Approach for more information on hospital roles. To provide state health departments and hospitals with more information on how to increase PPE supply, CDC has issued the following guidance: Considerations for U.S Healthcare Facilities to Ensure Adequate Supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Ebola Preparedness. This resource summarizes the current U.S. PPE supply situation and provides recommendations for ways healthcare facilities can increase PPE as part of their Ebola preparedness planning efforts.

  • CDC Web-based Training for Putting on and Removing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be used during Management of Patients with Ebola Virus Disease in U.S. Hospitals 

The CDC, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine, Salesforce Foundation, Miami University, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America released a web-based training for putting on and removing personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used during the management of patients with Ebola Virus Disease in U.S. hospitals. Access the training at the link above or here:

Get Mobile!

Today’s technology makes it even easier to stay prepared before, during and after a disaster or emergency event. Download these apps and resources today to ensure you stay prepared.

  • Learn about tech tips for emergency preparedness with this toolkit prepared by FEMA, Citizen Corps, and the Ad Council.
  • Psychological First Aid (PFA) Tutorial App from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health:
  • Download the FEMA App to access disaster preparedness tips, build a personal emergency kit and look for open Disaster Recovery Centers along with open shelters (if you’re a disaster survivor).
  • Local emergency management officials often have notification systems. Opt-In to a distribution for your community. To find out if your community offers such services, contact your local office of Emergency Management.
  • Signup to receive a monthly preparedness tip from FEMA’s text messages program.
  • Red Cross Monster Guard App, created by the American Red Cross, is geared toward children between the ages of 7 and 11. It teaches kids how to prepare for and react to potential emergency situations in a fun and engaging way. Users can play as one of five monster characters and complete up to 15 training sessions including levels like the “Fire Escape Episode” or the “Flood Episode.”
  • The Ready Wrigley mobile application was designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to teach children about what to do in emergency situations. Critical information about emergencies is weaved into the mobile app using age-appropriate language and activities to teach children about preparedness and response. It is targeted for children, ages 2-8.

Bookmark important mobile sites:

Other Preparedness Resources

  • DHHS National Health Security Strategy

Before disaster strikes, people and their communities need to be prepared for the threats to health that come with disasters and emergencies. They need to be ready to protect themselves and remain resilient in the face of these threats. We can all work together to achieve National Health Security. Individuals, families, communities and community-based organizations, the private sector, academia, and all levels of government, all have important roles to play in addressing the diverse challenges we face in catastrophic incidents.

  • FEMA: School Safety Summit – Emergency Operations Plan Resources

The National Preparedness Community has recently compiled a list of websites that provide excellent resources in School Safety and Preparedness with special emphasis on developing School Emergency Operations Plans. To access the links visit

  • CDC Foundation

Established by Congress as an independent, nonprofit organization, the CDC Foundation connects the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with private-sector organizations and individuals to build public health programs that make our world healthier and safer.

  • School Emergency Plans

Medline Plus

Web-based Course on  Crisis Management for School – Based Incidents

This self-paced, Web-based course will educate rural law enforcement personnel as well as school administrators, teachers and staff to effectively respond to an emergency in a K-12 environment. The training will provide representatives of rural law enforcement departments and school systems with a foundation of knowledge and skills that will enable them to progressively establish a school-based emergency response plan and crisis management team through information-sharing and training.

Tracking and Reunification of Children in Disasters: A Lesson and Reference for Health Professionals.For more details visit:

  • Disaster Planning for Homeless Populations

When a disaster strikes, individuals and families living on the street are among the most vulnerable populations. Persons experiencing homelessness have little or no resources to evacuate or shelter in place, stockpile food, and access medications. However, communities and individuals can – and should – plan in advance for emergencies, in order to better help homeless populations if and when a major disaster occurs. Weather-related disasters continue to be a threat: the Northern Atlantic Ocean hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and tornados and wildfires are a growing problem around the country.

  • Legal Preparedness: Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters

This article provides legal suggestions developed by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) Task Force for Mass Critical Care (MCC) to support planning and response efforts for mass casualty incidents involving critically ill or injured patients.

  • Emergency Management Newsletter
    • Confronting the Challenges of Evacuating People with Disabilities
    • Intentions to Action: Tips for Creating a Culture of Preparedness

Subscribe to Emergency Management Magazine, a media platform dedicated to fostering collaboration across the emergency management community by driving prevention, protection, response, and recovery operations. To subscribe visit:

  • Fire Preparedness – The Two-Minute Rule

Imagine being sound asleep in the middle of the night when suddenly your smoke alarms start blaring. Your house is filling with smoke. Do you know what to do? According to the American Red Cross (ARC), fire experts agree that people have about two minutes to escape a burning home.

With this in mind, ARC created the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to reduce the number of fire related deaths and injuries by up to 25 percent over the next five years. You can be a part of this movement by having a fire escape plan that includes the following:

· Make sure all members of the household know how to get out of every room in the house;
· Pick a place outside where everyone can meet and be sure everyone knows where it is;
· Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside;
· Practice your home fire drill until everyone in the house can do it in less than two minutes; and
· Make sure everyone knows how to call ‘911’.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) says people are at greater risk for home fires during the winter months. Now that the season is here, use ARC’s printable worksheet and begin planning; then check out this video from the USFA to learn how to conduct a fire drill with your family today!

  • Power Outage Preparedness

Snowy weather may be visually appealing, but a severe winter storm can knock out power to your home. Because the length of an outage can vary from a few hours to several days, you should plan to get by without utilities for at least three days. With winter in full swing, preparation is necessary to stay safe! Here are some tips to prepare your family for a black out:

· Build an emergency supply kit;
· Make a family communications plan;
· Keep your car’s gas tank at least half full at all times; and
· Know where the manual release lever of your garage door is located and how to operate it.

During a black out, it is important to remember to:

· Use only flashlights or emergency lighting, NEVER use candles due to the risk of fires;
· Keep one light on so that you know when power returns;
· Conserve your cell phone battery and only use it for life threatening situations;
· Put on layers of warm clothing; and do not use your oven as a heating source.

Being prepared is imperative and could make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major emergency. To learn more about how to manage a power outage this winter, visit America’s PrepareAthon!

  • People with disabilities (and others with access and functional needs) and their families should be prepared. Visit’s Emergency Preparedness section, which offers a variety of information about preparing for emergency situations and disasters, as well as responding to and recovering from them.
  • Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic: CDC’s fun zombie graphic novel that teaches the importance of emergency preparedness. Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse?
IPERLC Preparedness Month Informational Booth at the UIC School of Public Health
  • The Rand Corporation has developed a website devoted to Emergency Preparedness. The website includes links to reports, projects, lessons learned, and other important research that may be of interest to the EM community. The website can be accessed at
  • Cyber Preparedness

The Department of Homeland Security has developed Cyber Storm, a biennial exercise series to strengthen cyber preparedness in the public and private sectors.View the reports here :

Cyber Incident Analysis and Response
This course covers various incident analysis tools and techniques that support dynamic vulnerability analysis and elimination, intrusion detection, attack protection and network/resources repair. The trainee will be presented with real-world examples and scenarios to help provide knowledge, understanding, and capacity for effective cyber incident analysis and response.

  • Chronic Disease Preparedness:

Disaster information for people with chronic conditions and disabilities including recommendations and resources on deafness and hearing impairment, diabetes, dialysis care, and more.For more details visit: