UIC showcases emergency plans at Cook County Preparedness Fair

UIC’s Office of Preparedness and Response at the Cook County Preparedness Fair.

When an emergency strikes, are you prepared?

At the Cook County Preparedness Fair Sept. 18, government agencies and nonprofits provided information to the public about handling emergency situations safely. UIC was the only university participant at the fair.

“As a multidisciplinary institution, we have a lot to give in this field,” Julie Grey, emergency management specialist in the UIC Office of Preparedness and Response, said about the university’s involvement. “It’s important for us to share information about who we are and how we care for our community.”

As part of the 2018 Preparedness Campaign, the office presented preparedness information for all hazards and shared details about UIC Ready, an initiative facilitated by the Office of Preparedness and Response and the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services.

“UIC Ready institutionalizes a culture of preparedness to strategically research, develop and designed messaging tailored to our unique campus community,” Grey said. “We advocate national best practices, which means always having a plan in place, knowing where you need to go and who to be in contact with.”

The fair, which is held annually in September for National Preparedness Month, also allows UIC to strengthen relationships that ultimately help keep the campus and surrounding areas safe during minor incidents and emergencies or major disasters.

“We have a dedicated team, and this is our opportunity to showcase our collaborative efforts with the larger city and county communities.”

In July, for example, UIC hosted a weeklong, full-scale emergency response training exercise in a parking lot on campus. The exercise was facilitated in partnership with the Illinois Fire Service Institute, the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, Illinois Task Force 1 and the U.S. Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force.

More than 200 personnel from local, state and federal agencies provided fire, hazardous materials and technical rescue during the disaster preparedness exercise, which simulated damages caused by an earthquake.

“It showed how these partnerships are absolutely necessary to have beforehand,” Grey said.

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