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Plainfield Emergency Preparedness Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions | Weather | Education | Resources | How Can I Help? | Contact Information | Submit a Question

General Questions

Who is responsible for Emergency Preparedness within the Village of Plainfield?

The entire Village is responsible for ensuring for their readiness and preparation for any emergency or disaster that may impact the Village of Plainfield. In conjunction with all Village departments Plainfield EMA has taken on the responsibility for facilitating this cooperation and interaction; ensuring the proper training, equipment, and resources are available to both the public safety sector and the citizens of the community.

What are my local radio and television stations for Emergency Broadcasts?

Typically all the Chicago based television and radio stations would broadcast any emergency event that is impacting a large part or all of the greater Chicago area. If the incident is more localized in nature Joliet based radio stations such as WJOL and others would be the stations we would contact to relay traffic and emergency information.

What can I do to prepare myself and my family?

The best things that you can do to prepare yourself are: Get an Emergency Kit, Make an Emergency Plan, and Be Informed.


Why can't I hear the warning sirens inside my house or office?

Many times people say they did not hear a siren in their house or inside a building they may be in. The primary purpose of a warning siren is to alert those people that may be working outdoors or away from a building, and may not have immediate access to other warning devices such as a television or radio. Although sirens may be heard within a respective structure or building (depending on the construction of the building, distance from the siren, and wind direction) the belief is those people inside a building will primarily receive their warning and updates through the use of a radio, television, or other weather alerting devices.

When are the warning sirens tested?

Warning sirens are always tested at 10:00 am on the first Tuesday of each month (unless the possibility of threatening weather is already present).

What do I do when I hear the warning sirens?

DO NOT go outside and look to the sky for threatening weather
DO NOT call 911 to see why the sirens are activated

When the warning sirens are activated, people should immediately turn either their radio/television or weather alerting radio to the designated emergency broadcast channel. If possible take the radio with you and seek shelter in a basement or other secure are of the building you are in. Listen to the instructions on the radio. Only call 911 if you have emergency information to pass along to emergency responders, such as the sighting, direction/movement or any damage/injuries associated with a tornado or funnel cloud, or other similar information.

Will there be an "All Clear" signal sounded?

No. You should listen to the radio/television to get this information.

Where is the safest place to be in my home or office during a tornado?

The safest place to be is in the basement. If your home or office doesn't have a basement, use an interior room.

What if I am driving down the road and hear the sirens?

If you can, take shelter in the nearest sturdy building. If you are driving and see a tornado, DO NOT try to outrun it. Exit your vehicle and take cover in the lowest part of the surrounding area, like a ditch. DO NOT park under an overpass during a tornado.

I live a mile away from the river. During a heavy rain, can the river overflow and flood my neighborhood?

Yes, the river can rise and overflow it's banks. You should take precautions to protect your valuables. In cases of extreme flooding, the Village agencies will provide assistance with sandbagging.

Will the Village pump out my basement?

In some cases, yes. Plainfield EMA utilizes 3-inch pumps which will only be effective if there is 6 to 12 inches of standing water.


How can I learn more about the weather in our area?

The Plainfield EMA sponsors a Severe Weather Seminar which qualifies you to be a Weather Spotter. The training is usually held in late February or early March at one of the high schools in town. Previous guest speakers have been WGN's Tom Skilling, FOX's Rick DiMaio, speakers from the National Weather Service and also College of DuPage. Watch for information on the next weather seminar.

Are there any Emergency Preparedness seminars offered to local groups or clubs?

The Plainfield EMA is happy to speak on Emergency Preparedness topics to local Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Homeowner's Associations, clubs, etc. Send email to info @ for more information or to schedule a speaking engagement.

What about other classes?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a variety of online independent study classes dealing with Emergency Preparedness on their training website at

What do the Police and Fire Departments actually do?

They do too many great things to list here. There is a great way to experience what these individuals do on a day-to-day basis. Plainfield offers a Citizen's Police and Fire Academy. During this free program, participants can learn about crime scene processing, first aid, vehicle extrication, traffic stops, and many other Police and Fire Department topics. Contact Officer Mark Siegel at 815-267-7207 for more information about the Citizen's Police and Fire Academy.


What is Search and Rescue?

Search and Rescue deals with persons that are lost or missing and known to be injured and/or in distress.

Plainfield has a Search and Rescue team?

Yes, we do. Our team consists of all volunteers who have specific training and expertise in Ground Search and Rescue. Our team works hand and hand with the Will County EMA Search and Rescue Team, and even has a mutual aid agreement with them; this is to say that anytime either of us gets a call the other will respond immediately. All of the Plainfield EMA Search and Rescue Team members start by being certified by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency in basic ground search and rescue. They must then pass the 60-hour ground search and rescue technician course offered by the Will County Emergency Management Agency, and continue to train with the Will County Emergency Management Agency's Search and Rescue division to keep their Certification current. Our personnel are trained in navigation, GPS, theory, lost person behavior, and communications. Members of the team can also take specialized training to become crew leaders, rope rescue specialists, swift water rescue specialists, field training officers, K-9 handlers, and search managers.

What if we need more help?

The Plainfield EMA is a member of the Will County Mutual Aid Association. We can request mutual aid (assistance) from any other member of that association if needed. We can also be requested to assist any member of the Mutual Aid Association.

How can I help?

I would like to help with the Village's Emergency Preparedness efforts, what can I do?

If you are interested in directly affecting the Village's Preparedness, you can submit an application to join the Plainfield Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). PEMA is a volunteer agency committed to assisting the Village before, during, and after any emergencies. Volunteers are required to commit 12 hours per month to training and meetings. PEMA meets on every Wednesday night. For more information on PEMA, visit

I cannot commit that amount of time, but I would still like to get more training to be able help out, can I?

Absolutely. We also offer training for our citizens as well through our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. CERT allows citizens to get the basic training they need to be able to help their friends, family, and neighbors if a disaster would directly impact their neighborhood. In the case of a big disaster, it could be hours before professional emergency responders arrive, so the CERT program gives the average citizen skills in Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety, Disaster Medical Operations, Light Search and Rescue, and Disaster Psychology. This way, when professional emergency responders do get there, the scene is somewhat under control and the responders will have a good point of contact to get an assessment of the scene. For more information on CERT, visit

If something happens, can I just show up to help?

"Spontaneous" volunteers are helpful in the cases of a large emergency or large coordinated effort. We have utilized spontaneous volunteers in recent events such as the Lisa Stebic searches. If the event is scheduled ahead of time, requests for volunteers will be put through local media outlets such as local papers and radio stations.

Contact Information

Who do I call if there's an emergency?

Dial 9-1-1 for any emergency.

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