(TNS) - Will County, Ill, residents who want to be better prepared for emergencies can now download a free smart phone app — "Ready Will County."
"This is a very powerful app," said Tom Murray, deputy director of the Will County Emergency Management Agency, who explained its features at a recent meeting of the county board's Public Health and Safety Committee.
"It's a way for residents to be better prepared, to know what to put in an emergency kit, know who to contact, how to endure an emergency, and what they should be doing."
The app, which went live in June, provides information on how to prepare for and what to do if there is a tornado, terrorism attack, a public health emergency, or other disaster.
It guides users to make their own personal emergency plan and create a list of contacts to let people know whether they are OK or in need of help.
Other features of the app include:
•A list of nearby hospitals, cooling centers, police and fire stations, veterinarians and even polling places.
•Evacuation routes and emergency shelters.
•Detailed checklist of items for an emergency kit, which can be tailored to individual needs.
•Weather alerts, the latest news and notifications of an imminent threat.
•Information on what to do after a flood, tornado, or other incident, such as how to clean a home after a flood, safely clear debris after a tornado, and how to properly dispose of debris.
•How to set up an alarm on your phone so people can find you.
Murray said residents who have gone through Community Emergency Response Team training can download a preparedness guide.
The app can run offline, but users would not receive notifications, he said.
"This is excellent," said committee member Don Gould, R- Shorewood.
Committee chairwoman Judy Ogalla, R-Monee, agreed.
"This is really great," she said, adding that she would like to host workshops to let people know more about this app.
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