Dear Resident,

Whether you are a life-long Resident of Mokena or you have just moved to the area, you have no doubt decided to live here for the many advantages offered by our community.  The small town atmosphere, excellent schools, proximity to your place of employment, and overall quality of life make Mokena a nice place to live.

Despite the advantages of living in Mokena, it would be imprudent for us to think we are immune from the effects of a disaster striking our Community. One only needs to watch the news to see that disasters of all kinds strike Communities across the United States nearly every day. If a disaster were to strike, Mokena's emergency crews would respond to preserve life and protect property. However, it is the actions that individuals and families take to prepare themselves to survive a disaster that make the difference. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

This handbook was initially developed and circulated in 1994 to provide Mokena's residents with basic information to help in preparing before a disaster happens. Since the handbook received such favorable comments from Residents at that time, we felt an additional distribution of this modified version would be equally useful to Mokena Residents.

Should you have any questions regarding ESDA please call the Village Hall at (708) 479-3900.


Joe Werner
Village President


Originally created during the 1950's as the Mokena Civil Defense Agency, Mokena Emergency Services & Disaster Agency (ESDA) is an all volunteer department of the Village. It is charged with spearheading the efforts of the Village in disaster prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery, and for providing a wide variety of unique and supplemental emergency services.

Mokena ESDA volunteers perform a number of functions, including:

     * Emergency planning and preparation
     * Emergency communications
     * Development and maintenance of the Village's warning siren system
     * Severe weather monitoring
     * Search and rescue
     * Traffic direction
     * Emergency lighting and power
     ... and many other responsibilities!

Perhaps you have seen ESDA personnel directing traffic at an emergency scene or providing assistance at
Community events. Regardless of the time of day, ESDA personnel are on call to assist at a moment's notice. When they are not actually performing their duties, ESDA volunteers are attending training and maintaining equipment in a state of readiness.

Membership in Mokena ESDA is open to eligible individuals over age 21. If you think you might be interested in becoming a part of ESDA, give our agency a call at (708) 479-3922


In Mokena, the number to call for police, fire, or medical emergencies is:



     When you call, be sure to:

     * Give your name, telephone number, and the location of the emergency.
     * Describe the emergency and what type of help is needed.
     * Follow the instruction given by the dispatcher.
     * Stay on the line until the dispatcher says you may hang up. In some instances, the dispatcher may ask you to remain on the line until emergency responders arrive.
     * If possible, watch for the emergency crews and help them to locate you. Wait for them outside, flash your outside lights on and off as they approach.


Remember, 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. For non-emergency situations use the following numbers:

                                  Police: (708) 479-3911
                                  Fire & Ambulance: (708) 479-2121


The Village of Mokena has installed several outdoor warning sirens throughout the Village for use during impending emergencies. They are the quickest, most effective means for helping to warn of emergency situations affecting a
large part of the Village. However, they are of little value to you if you do not know what the siren signals mean and do not know how to respond.

Mokena utilizes two different signals for emergency situations:

3 MINUTE STEADY BLAST - This is used as an attention signal, most often to warn of an approaching funnel cloud or tornado. However, it may also be used for other emergencies, such as a chemical spill.

3 MINUTE UP-AND-DOWN BLAST - In accordance with Federal guidelines, this signal is used strictly in case of a national emergency. It has no other meaning and will be used for no other purpose.

To ensure that the sirens are working properly, the siren system is tested on the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m.

When you hear a siren signal you should be prepared to respond immediately. The warning time given, by the sirens may provide several minutes advance warning, or only a few seconds! DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 TO FIND OUT WHY THE SIRENS ARE SOUNDING. Doing so wastes valuable time and overloads the emergency lines. Call 9-1-1 only if there is an emergency where you are.

Upon hearing either of these signals, you should do the following:

          PROCEED TO YOUR BASEMENT OR AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST LEVEL OF YOUR HOME.  This is your best shelter for many types of emergencies,           including a tornado.

          TURN ON YOUR RADIO AND LISTEN FOR OFFICIAL INFORMATION. During severe storms, you can find information provided by the National Weather Service on nearly every radio station in our area. For local emergencies such as a chemical accident, Village officials will release emergency instructions and information on WJOL 1340 AM and WLLI, 96.7 FM. Listen to and follow the instructions given on the radio.

There is no "All Clear" signal issued after an emergency situation. Listen to your radio to determine when it is safe to resume your regular activities.

Besides sirens, there are other ways that you may receive warnings and emergency instructions. This may include cable television, telephone notification, and mobile public address.  Be alert for warnings from these sources and be
prepared to respond.


There is much that you can do beforehand to improve your safety and comfort when a disaster strikes.
Use the following checklist to help your prepare:

1. Create an emergency plan for you and your family.  Your plan should include:

     * Discussing what types of disasters can happen and what to do in each case.
     * Picking two places for your family to meet:

          A. Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire.

          B. Outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home. Showing
          responsible family members how and when to shut off gas, water, and

     * Posting emergency telephone numbers. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1.
     * Taking an approved first aid and CPR classes
     * Determining the best escape routes from your home. Plan at least two ways out of each
     * Finding the best place in your home in case of a tornado.
     * Practicing and maintaining your plan. Quiz your children and conduct a fire evacuation drill every six months.
      * Test your smoke detectors monthly, and change the batteries at least twice a year.

     2. Assemble a disaster supplies kit, including:

 A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil.

 A blanket or sleeping bag and one change of clothing per person.

 A first aid kit including your prescription medications and an extra pair of glasses.

 Emergency equipment including a battery powered radio, flashlight, spare batteries, a wrench for turning off utilities, a shovel, and work gloves.

 An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash, or traveler's checks.

 Sanitation supplies.

 Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.

 Copies of important documents and personal records., Be sure to store them in a waterproof container.

     3. Prepare your home for disaster:

     * Conduct a "hazard hunt" to find items which may be dangerous (flammables, electrical hazards, loose objects, etc.).

     * Check to make sure your have proper insurance coverage.

     * Install smoke detectors on each level of your home-.

     * Make a home inventory for insurance purposes. If you have a video camera, you can even make a "video inventory" of each room. Be sure to record serial numbers where applicable.


Whether it is a tornado, fire, accident, or chemical spill, your quick and responsible actions can make the difference
between life and death for you and your family.

* Account for your family members and, check for injuries. Give first al 'd and get help for seriously injured people.
* Check for fires, downed wires, and other hazards. Keep yourself and others away from all hazards.
* Use flashlights. Do not light matches or turn on electrical switches if you suspect a gas leak.
* Check on your neighbors.
* Confine or secure your pets.
* Evacuate if told to do so. Follow designated routes and obey traffic, officers.
* Stay tuned to the radio for news, weather information and official instructions. (Mokena's official emergency radio stations are WJOL, 1340 AM and WLLI, 96.7 FM.)
* Secure your home. Lock the doors and windows. Turnoff utilities that are hazards.  Secure objects that may cause injury or damage such. as
broken boards and nails.

* Use the telephone unless for an emergency. Leave phone lines open for emergency calls.
* Touch downed power lines. When in doubt, assume that power lines are live.
* Spread rumors. Rely on information from official sources.
* Go sightseeing. Cooperate with local officials and stay away from disaster areas.

Of all the potential disasters we face, a tornado can be the most devastating, and can strike with the least warning.
You must be ready to act in seconds to protect yourself and your family.

TORNADO WATCH: A tornado watch means that weather conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes.
This should be a signal to you to keep an eye on the sky and pay attention to weather reports. You should also move your cars inside your garage to avoid storm damage. Keep your car and house keys with you and, account for
family members at home.

TORNADO WARNING: This means that a tornado or funnel cloud has been sighted or detected by radar in the area. A tornado warning may also be accompanied by the sounding of the warning sirens. These are your signals to seek
immediate shelter and turn on your radio.

What is your best shelter? Whether at home, work, or school, your best available shelter is in a basement under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table. If no basement is available, then go to a small interior room on the lowest floor.
Avoid large windows, outside walls, and large, free-span rooms such as auditoriums and gymnasiums.

If you are outside, seek shelter indoors if time permits. I not, go to a ditch or culvert and lie down. Watch for flash flooding! Do not seek shelter under trees, which may be struck by lightning.

If you are in a car, abandon it immediately and seek better shelter. Tornadoes have been clocked at forward speeds of 70 miles per hour, so don't try to outrun it!


If you are the victim of a disaster, you will find it important for you and your family to begin the process of recovery as soon as possible:

     * Board up broken windows and holes in the walls or roof.

     * Clean and dry furniture and carpeting as soon as possible.

     * Notify your insurance agent. Follow your agent's directions for filing a claim.

     * Don't be rushed into signing repair contracts. Be sure you deal only with reputable contractors.
     Check with the Community Development Department to find out if a contractor is licensed with the Village of Mokena. Consult with your insurance agent before you sign anything. If you suspect that you are the victim of an unscrupulous contractor, notify the Police Department.

* Keep all receipts for living expenses, temporary repair costs, and clean-up costs so you can seek insurance reimbursements. In some cases, individual recovery assistance may be made available from the State or Federal governments, as well as a number of private relief organizations. In addition, there will be many questions that you may have. Village officials will provide additional information to address your concerns during the recovery period. Information may be disseminated through radio, television, newspapers, and printed notices. One or more disaster assistance centers may also be established to help make it easier to obtain information and help.


               If you would like more information about what to do before during,
                    and after a disaster, please feel free to call or write us:

                                   Village of Mokena
                          Emergency Services & Disaster Agency
                          11004 Carpenter Street Mokena, Il. 60448
                              Administration: (708) 479-3922

       For additional information on fire safety, contact your appropriate fire protection district:

                             Mokena Fire Protection District
                                19853 South Wolf Road
                                   Mokena, Il. 60448
                              Administration: (708) 479-5371

                                Frankfort Fire Protection
                               333 West Nebraska Street
                                  Frankfort, Il. 60423
                                  Administration: (815)

                            New Lenox Fire Protection District
                           201 Church Street Post Office Box 226
                                 New Lenox, Il. 60451
                              Administration: (815) 485-7121

9 -1-1

Mokena Emergency Services & Disaster Agency

Disaster Handbook (Published 1994) (Edited 2007)

November 5, 2009