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Emergency Preparedness
Information contributed by the Skokie Health Department, Fire Department and Police Department.

One of the primary goals of the Village of Skokie is to provide a safe and secure Village.  To meet this goal, the Village has an Emergency Management Plan; Officers in police, fire and emergency medical response who are available at all times; HazMat trained professionals on staff; and reciprocal agreements with other agencies to provide additional services during emergencies.

The Village's emergency response team is called into action during snow emergencies and prolonged power outages. The team is also prepared to respond to other types of emergencies. Members of the team have received extensive training in emergency management from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the American Red Cross and various other professional organizations.

During a Village-wide emergency such as severe weather or other hazardous situations, the Village of Skokie will sound the warning sirens.

Emergency Telephone Notification System
The Village has developed an emergency telephone notification system to contact residents and businesses quickly in the case of an emergency.  Through the CodeRED system, the Village can send out automated telephone messages quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency.  The brief message will provide information on the emergency situation and any important instructions.

For more information and to add additional numbers, please click here.

What to do in an Emergency
Perhaps the most basic thing to remember is to keep calm. This may mean the difference between life and death. In disasters, people often are killed or injured because they acted thoughtlessly. Take time to think, and then take the appropriate action. Usually, this will be action you have planned in advance, or the action you are instructed to take by local authorities.

  • Whenever a major storm or other potential disaster threatens, keep your radio or television turned on to hear weather reports and forecasts, as well as other information and advice that may be broadcast by local authorities.
  • Use your telephone only to report important events (such as fires, flash floods or tornado sightings) to local police. If you tie up the telephone lines, you may prevent emergency calls from being completed.
  • A knowledge of first aid and emergency medical care can save lives and reduce suffering. Both adults and teenagers can acquire these valuable skills by taking general first aid courses. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training is offered by the Skokie Fire Department.
  • In a fire or other emergency, you may need to evacuate your house, condominium, or apartment on a moment's notice. You should be ready to get out fast.
  • Develop an escape plan by drawing a floor plan of your residence, showing the location of doors, windows, stairways and large furniture. Indicate the location of emergency supplies, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, collapsible ladders, first aid kits and utility shut off points. Next, draw a broken line charting at least two escape routes from each room. Finally, mark a place outside the home where household members should meet if an evacuation is necessary. Be sure to include important points outside, such as garages, patios, stairways, elevators, driveways and porches. Put together escape plans for each floor of your home. Practice emergency evacuation drills with all household members at least two times each year.
  • Maintain your car in good operating condition with an ample supply of gasoline in case you have to leave your home.
  • Know how and where to shut off gas, water and electricity to your household. Keep necessary tools or wrenches handy.
  • Keep important papers in a safety deposit box at a bank. House deed, insurance policies, birth certificates, and lists and photos of your possessions for insurance purposes will be essential after the disaster.

Communicating During an Emergency
During emergencies the importance of communications systems becomes clear. The Village has an extensive network of communication avenues to employ during an emergency. Depending on the emergency some of the communication systems may temporarily be unavailable. To address this concern the Village has developed multiple communication avenues.  The following available tools are available for emergency communications:

  • During a municipal emergency, residents are encouraged to visit The site is frequently updated and serves as a valuable reference guide during municipal emergencies.
  • 1660 AM Skokie:  Tune to the Village of Skokie's municipal advisory radio station for up-to-the-minute reports, alerts and relevant instructions.  In non-emergency situations, the station will broadcast emergency preparedness and Village of Skokie information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • SkokieNews: Subscribers to this electronic newsletter will receive updated during an emergency. Subscribe here.
  • SkokieVision Cable: The municipal cable station provides both video and text information relating to the emergency and, when necessary, instructions on where to obtain further information.
  • Emergency Override: During a municipal emergency the Police Department can override programming on Comcast cable channels and place a written crawl on all RCN channels. The override is used to distribute a brief message during an emergency. It is typically used to signal the start and conclusion of alternate-side parking during snow emergencies.
  • Telephone Messaging: The Village's high-speed telephone dialing system is designed to deliver a recorded emergency telephone message to Skokie residences and businesses. The system is flexible enough to target only certain households or it will dial the entire community over a several-day period.
  • Outdoor Warning System: Warning systems are strategically placed throughout the community. The warning sirens are used most commonly to signal the start of the snow emergency alternate-side parking program but can be used to alert the residents of a tornado or other emergency situation. After a warning siren sounds please visit www. Skokie .org or tune into SkokieVision cable for details on the emergency.  For more information on sirens, please see below.
  • Radio, Broadcast and Print Releases: During an emergency the Village keeps radio, broadcast and print media regularly informed through press releases. The releases are also available at

Outdoor Emergency Sirens
The Village's warning siren system is used to advise residents to take specific actions.  These actions include preparation for dangerous conditions and the announcement of snow removal phases.  There are three distinguishable tones which follow the Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines.

Siren Testing
Sirens are tested in Skokie on the first Tuesday of each month for one minute at 10 a.m.  A steady tone is used for testing.

Attention or Alert
This signals weather and other emergencies.  Example conditions include tornado warnings for winds over 70 miles per hour or in the event of a hazardous materials incident.  The siren tone is steady, lasting approximately three minutes.  In the event of a warning signal siren, please seek shelter and tune in to 1660AM Skokie, or local radio or television stations.

Alternate-Side Parking Notice
This signal alerts residents of Alternate-Side Parking snow removal, and will sound after two inches or more of snow accumulation.  The siren tone is a slow high-to-low wail tone for approximately one and a half minutes.  In the event of Alternate-Side Parking, all residents must park on the even side of the street on even-numbered days and the odd side of the street on odd-numbered dates.  Click here for more information.  Alternate-Side Parking procedures run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Attack Warning
An attack warning is for a national emergency and will only sound when a serious national emergency is detected.  The siren tone is rapid, high to low wail for approximately three minutes.  In the instance of an attack warning, residents should seek shelter and tune in to 1660AM Skokie, or local radio or television stations.

Skokie Medical Reserve Corps

The Skokie Health Department has developed the Skokie Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), a group of volunteer health professionals, to enhance emergency preparedness and response capabilities.  For more information, please click here.

Click here for  the Skokie MRC application. 

For additional information or to sign up for an informational orientation or training, please contact Claudia Braden, RN, at the Skokie Health Department at 847/933-8252 or by e-mail at