Winthrop Harbor EMA


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About the Winthrop Harbor EMA

The Winthrop Harbor EMA is a volunteer entity of the Village of Winthrop Harbor, dedicated to the prevention and alleviation of injury and damage from any natural or man-made disaster. WHEMA assists the Village in the case of disasters, natural or otherwise, to help provide safety and provisions to the residents of Winthrop Harbor. In addition, WHEMA helps to staff various Village events for traffic control and public safety.

Winthrop Harbor WHEMA is charged with coordination of the village's response to emergency management through all five phases: Prevention; Preparedness; Response; Recovery; and Mitigation.

Prevention actions are those activities taken to avoid an incident or to intervene to stop an incident from occurring. This phase involves gathering intelligence and data about potential problems and developing solutions to keep a disaster situation from even occurring.

Preparedness is one of the two areas that emergency management is most known for. Preparedness actions are those activities that are done in advance of a disaster to better handle the disaster when it occurs. Preparedness involves the development of plans, training of responders, exercises, and identifying outside resources to tap in the event of an emergency.

Response is the other well known area of emergency management. Response activities are those actions taken following a disaster or potential for a disaster to save lives and reduce damage from the event. This includes providing emergency assistance to victims, restoring critical infrastructures, and ensuring the continuity of critical services. Response activities include such things as activating warning systems, conducting search and rescue operations, activating emergency operations centers and/ or the incident command system, and activation of mutual aid agreements. Quite simply, it is the direction of personnel, equipment, supplies, other resources, and information to facilitate the rapid recovery from an event.

Recovery involves those activities that begin right after the emergency occurs. These operations are designed to bring the community back to its pre-disaster conditions. This includes infrastructure repair, damage assessment, debris removal, evacuation, and sheltering, among others.

Mitigation actions are those activities that are designed to postpone, dissipate, or lessen the effects of a hazard. This includes proper ordinances and codes as well as public education campaigns to the citizens of the community on how to prepare for and recover from a disaster.

WHEMA Functions

  • Developing emergency plans and procedures outlining the responsibilities of village government as well as coordination between village, county, state, and federal agencies.
  • Developing and conducting emergency management training and education programs for Village personnel and residents.
  • Coordinating with private relief agencies such as the American Red Cross to ensure the provision of relief supplies.
  • Assessment of potential hazards and notification of Village officials.
  • Support of the Incident Command System at a scene of an emergency or disaster.
  • Assisting in the development of media information regarding incidents.
  • Provision and coordination of emergency lighting and/or electric generation at incident sites.
  • Assisting the Police, Fire/EMS and Public Works Departments as needed at incident sites.
  • Managing the Village's emergency supplies inventory.
  • Assisting in disaster recovery operations.
  • Traffic Control for major Village events, accidents/incidents, and emergencies
  • Other duties as needed to help cope with natural and man-made emergencies that occur in the Winthrop Harbor community.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Winthrop Harbor EMA accepts applications from men and women age 18 and older who are interested in helping their community in a volunteer capacity. WHEMA members enjoy the gratification of public service, plus the benefits of quality training in many areas related to emergency preparedness and management.

If you are interested in volunteering with the program, click here for more information and the member application.

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