Charleston today became the first city in Illinois to achieve the Ready to Respond Community designation from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). The program recognizes communities that achieve an enhanced level of preparedness through successful completion of rigorous criteria.
The Ready to Respond Community Program emphasizes a “whole community” approach to preparedness that involves elected officials, government entities, volunteer and not-for-profit organizations, private industry and residents. The program is voluntary and open to communities throughout the state.
“The risks, threats and vulnerabilities facing communities in Illinois are constantly changing,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “It’s critical that communities continually work as a collective group to enhance and expand their preparedness efforts. The Ready to Respond Community Program provides structure and guidance to help communities tackle these challenging issues. The end result is a city with enhanced ability to respond and recovery from disasters and residents who are bettered prepared at home.”
The Ready to Respond Community designation is valid for three years, at which time Charleston officials can submit updated documentation in order to renew its status.
“The city of Charleston has always taken great pride in its emergency preparedness, so it was only natural for us to pursue the Ready to Respond Community designation,” said Charleston City Manager Scott Smith. “The designation shows our dedication to protecting the citizens and community we serve. We’re proud to be the first community in Illinois with this designation.”
The Ready to Respond Community program is the latest component of Illinois’ Ready to Respond initiative. To date, five colleges and universities have received the Ready to Respond Campus designation after meeting that program’s requirements.