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Preparing for an emergency before it happens will not only protect your family, pets, important documents, photos and priceless heirlooms but also ensure a faster recovery. Follow these steps from FEMA:

Store supplies so you can grab them quickly if you need to evacuate.
Know in advance what you will need to take. Take time now to make a list of the things you would need or want to take with you if you had to leave your home quickly.
Comptroller committed to paying most vulnerable

Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger released the following statement Tuesday in response to a Federal Court's denial of a motion to hold the state in contempt of court over payments tied to the Ligas Consent Decree impacting services for people with developmental disabilities:

"I am grateful to the Court for recognizing that our office has done, and will continue to do, everything in its power to ensure that the state's budget shortfall does not impact payment for services for people with developmental disabilities.
Photo by Adam Belles. Creative Commons License 
Fires, tornados, floods, hazardous waste spills and other emergencies can occur with no warning. Do you know how to get in touch with your family if you are not together when an emergency occurs?

Before an emergency happens, have a family discussion to determine who would be your out-of-state point of contact and where you would meet away from your home — both in the neighborhood and within your town.
Schools must have a legitimate reason to demand students provide their social media passwords under a bill signed into law this week by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Chief sponsor Rep. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, said his bill — HB 3527 —  strikes a balance between student privacy and school districts’ legitimate needs to investigate problems such as bullying.

“There are still different ways to get that information,” he said. “What they can’t do is to ask for that password and go off and use that password on their own,” he said.

Read more on the Illinois News Network.
September is National Preparedness Month and the Ready Campaign is encouraging everyone to learn what protective measures to take before, during, and after an emergency and make a plan.

Here are recommendations from FEMA for basic protective measures for all types of hazards:

Budget – FY16
Many providers of mandated state-financed services report they are not being paid despite court orders. In one case, the operation of networks of residential care services for persons with developmental disabilities, a federal judge has ordered that the state pay the networks and the Comptroller has reported that Illinois does not have the money to immediately carry out this order. Approximately 10,000 persons with developmental disabilities are affected.
State Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) has introduced new legislation that would provide an income tax credit for taxpayers who purchase sound-mitigating windows, doors, insulation and other items to alleviate excessive noise from O’Hare’s new runway patterns.

In October of this year, thousands of new households will be blasted with house-rattling, conversation-halting, sleep-depriving jet engine noise they will endure when aircraft begin flying less than a mile over their rooftops. In spite of the new flight patterns for takeoffs and landings at O’Hare, these residents do not qualify for federal grants to assist with soundproofing projects. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), who set the parameters for access to the grant money, excluded this new group of property owners, saying that as long as the airport expansion progresses as planned, their exposure to excessive noise would only last six years. According to the FAA, that is when another new runway is scheduled to be operational. Read more.