Civic News & Info
Americans Show Alarming Complacency in Emergencies: News Survey and Experts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Luke Cushman   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:38

Americans Remain Complacent as Devastating Disasters Strike


New Study Finds Many Americans Largely Unaware of Local Emergency Communications


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Embargoed) – June 19, 2012 – Despite a record-breaking year of federally declared disasters in 2011, including floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires, many Americans still lack basic awareness of their local emergency communications systems.  At the BE Safe America Congressional Briefing presented by Safe America Foundation at the U.S. Capitol, Federal Signal Corporation today announced the findings of the 2012 Public Safety Survey, which takes a hard look at how knowledgeable and prepared Americans are for emergencies.  While the survey found that more than 56 percent of Americans believe they are aware of the steps they need to take should disaster strike, the results uncover a shocking lack of knowledge—and even indifference—surrounding emergency alerts and notifications.


“Not only is it necessary to create a  thorough preparedness and response plan for an emergency or disaster, it’s critical that people are as educated as possible about the emergency communications systems in place within their communities—which can prove lifesaving,” said Len Pagano, president and CEO, Safe America Foundation.  “We were surprised to see just how many people remain unaware of the alerting systems in their area, and even more disconcerting, how many are apathetic in their response to emergency scenarios and communications.”


Conducted for the third consecutive year by Zogby International, the survey found that 71 percent of Americans are unsure if they have a personal alerting and notification system (ANS) in their area, which includes a combination of options for calls, text and email message notifications.  Yet, respondents said they would be more motivated to take action in an emergency by ANS alerts than any other communication, ahead of traditional warning sirens, radio and TV public services announcements and even word-of-mouth communication from friends and family.


The survey also showed that the public is largely unaware of their local warning sirens.  More than half (57 percent) of those surveyed do not know when sirens in their area are tested, and 70 percent are unaware of the sounds and sirens associated with various warnings.  In fact, more than one in four respondents did not know if their community has a warning siren system at all.


“With all of the options available to keep the public informed of nearby disasters or emergencies, we were alarmed to see how many people aren’t aware of the existing notification systems in their communities,” said Joe Wilson, president of the Industrial Systems Division, Safety and Security Group at Federal Signal.  “In times of crisis, people need to act fast—or risk waiting until it’s too late.  Now more than ever, it is essential that we educate communities on the emergency communications options available to them, and to drive the sense of urgency surrounding swift response to emergency alerts.”


Even severe weather conditions do not motivate Americans to take action.  Less than one half (47 percent) of survey respondents would take action based on a potential severe weather warning and one-third (33 percent) of respondents would require actual property damage or injury in order to care strongly about public safety awareness.  Further, one in four respondents (28 percent) would require confirmation of severe weather, such as an actual tornado sighting, flood waters or a visible fire in order to take immediate action.  A shocking 1 in 12 people said that nothing would cause them to care.


“We were shocked to see that the public could be so complacent when it comes to awareness and response to emergency communication,” said Wilson.  “The fact that people could receive a warning that wouldn’t motivate them to action is extremely concerning, particularly with 99 FEMA major disaster declarations issued last year alone.”


Survey findings show that the public continues to rely on community officials to ensure public safety.  In fact, results found that more than half of respondents (58 percent) trust local and regional government to ensure sufficient public safety standards, communication and planning in their area.  Yet, only 29 percent feel that their community officials currently are investing in, or giving government attention to, their public safety.  In terms of potential contributing factors, more than one-third feel that the economy has had a negative impact on the level of investment in their community.


“Preparedness starts with awareness,” said Wilson. “As emergency managers strive to support their community with effective programming and planning, it’s imperative that the public stay informed of what communications systems local officials and emergency managers currently have in place—and more importantly, that communities are prepared to respond efficiently and effectively.”


For more information on the 2012 Federal Signal Public Safety Survey, visit


About the Survey

Zogby International was commissioned by Federal Signal to conduct an online nationwide survey of 2,059 adults. All surveys were completed June 1 through June 4, 2012. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate.


About Federal Signal

Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE:FSS) enhances the safety, security and well-being of communities and workplaces around the world. Founded in 1901, Federal Signal is a leading global designer and manufacturer of products and total solutions that serve municipal, governmental, industrial and institutional customers. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., with manufacturing facilities worldwide, the Company operates four groups: Safety and Security Systems, Environmental Solutions, Federal Signal Technologies, and Fire Rescue. For more information on Federal Signal, visit:


About the Safe America Foundation & BE Safe America

The Safe America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit licensed by the state of Georgia. Chartered in 1994, the Marietta, Georgia based foundation partners with corporate, governmental, public and private sector organizations, and other nonprofits to improve the safety awareness and preparedness of Americans nationwide. The BE Safe America Program is the nation’s first coast-to-coast “drill” involving more than two million Americans in grassroots emergency drills this September – October.  Included is the “Text First. Talk Second” Campaign, being endorsed by First Spouses across the country and headed by Puerto Rico First Lady Luce Vela.  For more information please contact Matthew Thome at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or via cell at 847-431-7825.

Governor Quinn Statement on President Obama’s Bold Action on Immigration PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 18 June 2012 13:39

CHICAGO ­– June 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today applauded President Obama for his action to end the deportation of young, law-abiding immigrants and allow them the opportunity to join our democracy:

“Hard-working immigrants who make positive contributions to their communities and our country deserve the chance to succeed. President Obama’s action today means that hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants will have the chance to build a brighter future for themselves.

“I fought for and signed the Illinois DREAM Act to ensure that all Illinois children have the opportunity to get a good education. Today’s announcement means that immigrants can pursue their education and their careers without fear of being removed from the only home they have ever known.”

“President Obama’s leadership on this issue will make our nation stronger now and in the future.”



Governor Quinn Signs Law to Support Public Safety Officers Raising Donations for Charity PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Friday, 15 June 2012 12:14
Illinois Becomes 6th State in Nation to Adopt Law

LOMBARD - June 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law that makes it easier for public safety officers to raise money for charity. The new law ensures that counties or municipalities allow police officers and firefighters to collect charitable donations from motorists as they work along the roadside. The Governor signed the law at the Associated Firefighters of Illinois’ (AFFI) 39th Biennial Convention in Lombard, making Illinois the sixth state in the nation to enact such a law.

”The men and women who protect us are known for serving their communities in and out of uniform,” Governor Quinn said. ”It is fitting that we salute the AFFI with a new law that will allow them to continue supporting organizations that improve the quality of life for the people of Illinois.”

Senate Bill 3518, sponsored by Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago) and Rep. Donald L. Moffitt (R-Galesburg), was an initiative of the Associated Firefighters of Illinois. A number of communities have begun passing bans prohibiting firefighters and police officers from collecting charitable donations along roadways, citing safety concerns. Under the law signed today, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other public safety officials cannot be denied permits from municipalities or counties to collect donations in their communities and along roads, provided certain requirements are met.

For more than 50 years, the International Association of Firefighters and their members have “filled the boot” to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). During the annual national campaign, participating firefighters visit retail locations and stand along roadways to collect donations from passersby and motorists. Donations go toward finding a cure for muscular dystrophy and neuromuscular diseases, including ALS (known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

“Illinois firefighters have supported important organizations like the MDA for decades by filling their boots with donations that save lives,” Sen. Mulroe said. “I would like to thank Governor Quinn for signing this law that will help them continue their work on behalf of individuals who have muscular dystrophy.”

“I would like to thank Governor Quinn for signing this into law so quickly,” said Rep. Moffitt. “The men and women who put their lives on the line to serve their communities have a long history of giving back, and this law will enable them to continue their outstanding efforts for this very worthy cause to fight muscular dystrophy and other neurological disorders.”

“The Associated Firefighters of Illinois and the Muscular Dystrophy Association truly appreciate the work and support of Sen. Mulroe, Rep. Moffitt and Governor Quinn. Their efforts will allow all firefighters in the state of Illinois to ‘fill the boot’ in their respective communities,” said Chuck Sullivan, legislative representative for the AFFI. “The legislation will strengthen our 58 year partnerships, and for that we are very thankful.”

Funding to MDA also helps individuals and families affected by muscular dystrophy receive medical care at the seven MDA clinics throughout Illinois. And as summer gets underway, money raised by the AFFI will enable children and adults living with muscular dystrophy to attend summer camp. This new law will help firefighters continue to serve their communities by supporting organizations such as the MDA.

Illinois would be the 6th state in the nation to pass a law such as this one, following Florida, Nebraska, Texas, California, and North Carolina. The law takes effect immediately.


Scott County Board of Supervisors Tentative Agenda PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Chris Berge   
Friday, 15 June 2012 09:42

Governor Quinn Proclaims Larry “The Flag Man” Eckhardt Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Friday, 15 June 2012 08:08

WHEREAS, throughout our nation’s history, America’s men and women in uniform have demonstrated bravery and courage in the face of danger; and,

WHEREAS, our veterans answered the call to duty with honor, decency and selflessness; and,

WHEREAS, as we recall the service of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, we are reminded that the defense of freedom comes with great loss and sacrifice; and,

WHEREAS, it is our obligation to ensure the sacrifice of these heroes is never forgotten.  Our veterans represent the best of America, and they deserve everything we can give them; and,

WHEREAS, Larry Eckhardt of Little York, Illinois has met and surpassed the obligation of honoring the fallen by placing American flags along the funeral procession route of servicemembers who have died in the line of duty; and,

WHEREAS, Larry “The Flag Man” Eckhardt began this project in 2006 with 150 flags, and has since coordinated the planting of flags along funeral routes of more than 50 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen; and,

WHEREAS, Larry “The Flag Man” Eckhardt, a veteran himself, has inspired countless individuals and groups to aid in honoring these heroes.  Hundreds of volunteers have lent their support including Boy Scout Troops, American Legion and VFW Posts; and,

WHEREAS, it is important that we recognize not only true patriots of freedom, liberty and democracy who serve overseas, but the people who support and honor them back home; and,

THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim June 14, 2012 as LARRY “THE FLAG MAN” ECKHARDT DAY in Illinois, and encourage all Americans to recognize and honor the sacrifice of our veterans.


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