Data-driven, Community Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Building

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Cook County, Ill., IL

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About the Program

Category: Risk and Emergency Management (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

In 2021 Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS), launched a community preparedness program in an effort to build systems that serve the emergency preparedness needs of Cook County residents. This program serves community members, organizations, functional needs groups, equity groups and the systems that serve these populations within Cook County's 135 municipalities. The goal is to create a community facing, equity focused, data-driven, preparedness program. This is done by developing a culture of preparedness that builds on the whole community approach. To meet this objective, the preparedness program focuses on both strategic and tactical approaches; approaches spearheaded by best practices and supported through community collaborations, stakeholder engagement and community training. Proposed outcomes include establishing emergency preparedness priorities, assessing community engagement, and leading sustained preparedness activities. This is done through the programs ability to map and track community engagement, resilience building that includes training, providing equipment where necessary, building new and strengthening existing local volunteer teams (i.e.., Citizens Emergency Response Teams (CERT), and interacting and informing through planned outreach events. Since the program’s inception, over thirty-five such events have taken place.

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