If you believe that you have been exposed to a biological or chemical agent, or if you believe an intentional biological threat will occur or is occurring, please contact your local police or other law enforcement agency and/or your local health department.
The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department is charged with providing the citizens of Ford and Iroquois counties with a plan that will ensure public health response to any overt threat whether natural or man-made. Emergency preparedness includes identifying the crisis at hand as well as providing education and media information as appropriate to the public.
Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Emergency/Disaster Plan
The plan for preparedness and response to an overt threat or a suspected biologic weapons incident is a part of the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department’s overall Emergency and Disaster Plan (All Hazards Plan) which addresses crisis and consequence management for all emergencies. The primary oversight for assuring that the plan and its components are complete and current belongs to the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department. The responsibility and authority for assuring that the plan is implemented, when necessary, belongs to the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department. In the event of a biologic weapons emergency, the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department would, most likely, be delegated the responsibility for coordinating the response. However, the basic procedures, chain of command and responsibilities of the county, as outlined in the Emergency and Disaster Plan, would not be altered. A plan for the distribution of strategic national stockpile medication dispensing has also been completed. The purpose is to establish policies, procedures and guidelines for the dispensing of mass medications and/or vaccinations to the residents of Ford and Iroquois counties and to anyone who may be traveling through the two counties in the event of a bioterrorist attack, disease out break, or other natural or man-made disaster. The overall responsibility for the plan is with the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department. In order to respond to an actual event in initiating this Plan, coordination and support of multiple agencies and community partners will be necessary.
The Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Planning Grant Program objectives are to:
- Support the Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs)
- Enhance hazardous chemical emergency plans
- Determine flow patterns of hazardous materials
- Conduct emergency response drills and exercises of the hazardous chemical plans
- Assess local response capabilities
- Hazard analysis
- Community awareness and public education
Ford-Iroquois Local Emergency Response Plan:
It is through this plan of action that the State of Illinois Rapid Electronic Notification (SIREN) capabilities are utilized. The SIREN system allows all community entities in both counties to be notified simultaneously of any alerts that may arise. The level of notification depends on the agency/individual’s level of heightened response. The system is only deactivated through responses made by the agency/individual that receives the alert. SIREN cuts the alert response time dramatically; therefore, insuring the emergency situation is addressed in a very short time period.