200 S. Hough Street  Barrington, IL 60010 | (847) 304-3400

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SAFETY & EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

The safety of the Barrington community is our highest priority. Feeling safe and secure in our homes and community is fundamental to our ability to work, thrive and enjoy our lives.  The following are resources available to help keep the Barrington community safe.

 

Emergency Notification System

BARRINGTON EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS

Emergency Response Training

National Incident Management System (NIMS) Compliance

Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network

Railroad Hazards

Flooding

Tornadoes

Severe Storms

Home Preparedness: Emergency Kit

Home Preparedness: Make a Family Emergency Plan

Help with Developing Emergency Plans

More Emergency Preparedness Information

Operation Lifesaver

Metra Safety

IDOT Pedestrian Safety

ICC Rail Safety

Crime Free Housing

Bicycle Safety

Emergency Notification System 

The Village of Barrington provides instant communication to our residents via Everbridge service (“reverse 9-1-1”). This service allows you to opt-in to receive notifications via phone calls, text messaging, e-mail, and more based on locations you care about. You can choose to receive notifications about events that may affect your home, workplace, family’s schools and more. This system will be used to notify you about imminent threats to health and safety, as well as informational notifications that affect your locations or work environments. The information that you provide will be used only for the Village of Barrington for notification purposes. We will not give or sell your contact or location information to any vendor or other organization. View our FAQ document for answers to frequently asked questions.

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 Emergency Operations Plan

The Village of Barrington Emergency Operations Plan defines the emergency response roles and responsibilities of various Village personnel in the event that an emergency occurs. The plan addresses a wide variety of potential emergency scenarios such as severe weather, public health emergencies, and hazardous material releases.

The Emergency Management Team regularly reviews the plan and updates it, to reflect the latest in emergency response methodology. To view a copy of the current Emergency Operations Plan, contact the Fire Department directly.

EmeRgency Response Training 

All Village of Barrington “first responder” employees, such as Police, Fire, and certain Public Works personnel, undergo regular emergency response training as part of their employment. In addition to this, the Village, provides training to all of its employees, to prepare them to effectively react to emergencies and to prepare them to assume special roles and responsibilities that may be necessary when emergencies occur.

The Village also regularly conducts training and exercises for employees, such as setting up a mock emergency operations center and conducting exercises such as the simulated distribution of medications.

NIMS Compliance 

NIMS stands for “National Incident Management System”, an initiative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). NIMS is a standardized system for emergency operations and terminology that will eventually be utilized for every unit of government in the United States. The need for a standardized system was dramatically highlight by both the 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina disasters.

FEMA has directed that local jurisdictions become NIMS compliant (adopt certain practices and have personnel attain NIMS certifications). In order to be eligible for federal funding for emergency management. The Village of Barrington is 100% NIMS compliant. More importantly, the Village is recognized as a leader in local government emergency management planning and NIMS compliance. It also should be noted that the State of Illinois is considered to be one of the most emergency-ready states in the country.

Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network

The Village is a member of the Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network which provides public works assistance to communities during emergencies. For more information regarding this organization, visit www.ipwman.org.

Railroad Hazards

Barrington is crisscrossed by both the Union Pacific/Metra and the EJ&E/CN railroads. Here are some railroad safety tips:

Pedestrian Safety:

  • The only safe place to cross is at a designated public crossing with either a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined. Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
  • Flashing red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing, and DO NOT cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it’s safe to do so.
  • Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and trespassers are subject to arrest and fine.
  • It can take a mile or more to stop a train, so a locomotive engineer who suddenly sees someone on the tracks will likely be unable to stop in time. Cross only at designated crossings and obey all warning devices.
  • Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions; loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further.  Stay behind crossing warning devices and signs.
  • Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions and all warning devices are no longer activated.
  • Be aware trains do not follow set schedules. Any Time is Train Time!

Vehicle Safety:

  • The train you see is closer and faster moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by, the gates to go up, and all warning signals to end before you proceed across the tracks. Never race a train to a crossing.
  • Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That’s 18 football fields!
  • Never drive around lowered gates. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 number posted on the blue sign near the crossing signal or the Barrington Police Department at 9-1-1.
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  • Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is often at least three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.
  • If your vehicle ever stalls on a track, get out immediately and move quickly away from the tracks. Call the 1-800 number posted on the blue sign near the crossing signal and the Barrington Police Department at 9-1-1 for assistance.
  • At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction. Wait to drive over the tracks until the warning gates are fully upright and the lights have stopped flashing.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.

In the Event of an Emergency:

  • If you witness a train incident of any sort, the most important thing you can do is call 9-1-1. It is helpful to provide the crossing number which is listed on the blue sign near the crossing.
  • Freight trains can carry various types of hazardous materials, including materials that may be combustible, corrosive, toxic, explosive, or even radioactive. Never approach the scene of a derailment.
  • If you are in your car at the scene of a derailment, immediately drive away, if it is safe to do so. If it is not safe to drive, immediately turn off and exit your vehicle, and walk quickly away from the scene, watching out for other vehicles and hazards as you do so.
  • If you are on foot at the scene of a derailment, immediately walk quickly away, watching out for vehicles and other hazards as you do so.
  • Never walk into or through a cloud or smoke from derailed train cars. These clouds or smoke may contain toxic fumes. Get yourself away from the scene, and always head upwind.
  • If you are in your home when a rail incident occurs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not approach the scene; you will only increase your exposure to danger. When emergency responders arrive, you may be advised to either shelter in place or evacuate, if hazardous materials are present.
  • If you are told to evacuate, return only when told by authorities that it is safe to do so. Please sign up for our Emergency Notification System, Everbridge, to ensure you receive these alerts. Sign-up here

Flooding 

Barrington sometimes experiences localized flooding due to excessive rainfall. This is sometimes worsened by spring snow melt situations. When flooding occurs, follow these safety tips:

For Drivers:

  • If you are driving and come upon an area where water is completely covering the road, don’t attempt to drive through it—you don’t know how deep the water is, and as little as 18 inches of water can lift a car!
  • Be wary of any areas where flood waters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.

At Home:

  • Develop and practice a ‘family escape’ plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
  • Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • Bring outside possessions inside the house or tie them down securely. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other movable objects.
  • If there is time, move essential items and furniture to upper floors in the house. Disconnect electrical appliances that cannot be moved. DO NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Avoid moving water.
  • Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

If You Have to Evacuate:

  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
  • If you are told to shut off water, gas, or electrical services before leaving, do so.
  • If you evacuate, secure your home: lock doors and windows.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

Tornadoes

Advance planning and quick response are the keys to surviving a tornado. Everyone should be aware of the signs of an approaching tornado. Tornado danger signs can include:

  • Still air. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still.
  • An approaching cloud of debris or a funnel cloud. Sometimes an approaching cloud of debris indicates a tornado, even if a funnel cloud is not visible.
  • Thunderstorms. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

In addition to conducting a tornado drill each year in late winter or early spring, your family can prepare for tornadoes by making sure you have the right equipment and supplies on hand. Visit Ready.gov to learn about making a home emergency kit. Finally, if you are caught in a tornado, remember that the best places to be are:

  • The safest place in the home is the interior part of a basement.
  • If you don’t have a basement, go to an inside room, without windows, on the lowest floor. This could be a center hallway, bathroom, or closet.
  • Avoid taking shelter where there are heavy objects on the floor directly above you. Heavy objects, such as refrigerators or pianos, could fall though the floor if the tornado strikes your house.
  • For added protection, get under something sturdy such as a heavy table or workbench. If possible, cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag, or mattress, and protect your head with anything available—even your hands.
  • If outdoors, lie down in a gully or ditch.

Wherever it is, your designated shelter should be well known by each member of the family. If you and your family conducts annual emergency drills (fire, tornado, etc), everyone will remember what to do and where to go when a tornado is approaching–automatically and without panic.

Tornado Sirens

Barrington maintains a system of outdoor warning sirens too alert the public.  In the event that a tornado has been sighted and is approaching the community, the sirens will emit a steady tone.  The sirens will run for five minutes and reactivate every 10 minutes until the threat is over. If you hear this tone during severe weather, seek shelter immediately. Shelter in a substantial building (i.e., not a shed) is preferred.  However, if you are stuck outdoors, seek shelter in a ditch, ravine, or other low lying area.

Please note that the sirens are tested on the first Tuesday of every month at 10:00 a.m.

Severe Storms

Barrington can be affected by severe weather in any season of the year. Severe weather can cause power outages, road closures, and other disruptions. Be prepared to “weather the storm”, by following these guidelines:

If you’re inside when severe weather strikes:

  • Stay away from all windows and exterior doors during the storm.
  • If you can do it safely, draw the window shades or blinds to reduce the risk from flying glass shattered by high winds.
  • Avoid using a corded telephone or other electrical appliances until the storm passes.
  • Turn off air conditioners. In the event of a lightning strike, a power surge could damage the compressor.
  • Delay taking baths or showers until after the storm passes due to the lightning threat.

If you’re outdoors when severe weather strikes:

  • Seek shelter when you first see dark clouds, lightning or hear thunder.
  • Get out of water and avoid metal. They both can carry an electrical current.
  • Get inside a completely enclosed building immediately if one is accessible.
  • Don’t go into a carport, open garage or covered patio.
  • If you can’t find a completely enclosed building, find a hard-topped, all-metal vehicle or squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
  • Avoid leaning against vehicles. Get off bicycles and motorcycles.
  • If you’re in a group of people, spread out.
  • Stay away from tall, isolated objects.
  • If you are driving and come upon an area where water is completely covering the road, don’t attempt to drive through it—you don’t know how deep the water is, and as little as 18 inches of water can lift a car.
  • If you’re boating or swimming, get to shore immediately.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.

 

Emergency Preparedness Information

Note: Much of the following material is adapted from www.ready.gov, the emergency preparedness website of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This site is a great resource to utilize. In addition, at the end of this page, there are other websites you may also wish to check out.

Home Preparedness: Emergency Kit

A great way for your family to be prepared for a wide range of emergencies is to make a Home Emergency Kit. In a widespread disaster or emergency, it is possible that help might not be able to arrive for hours, or possibly even for days, which will leave you to survive on your own in the mean time. Having a Home Emergency Kit can make a huge difference. For a basic Home Emergency Kit, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends as follows:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

FEMA also recommends considering the following additional items

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
  • Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Home Preparedness: Make a Family Emergency Plan

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.

  • Identify an out-of town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
  • Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
  • Subscribe to the Village’s community notification system. This system will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know official Village warnings and other emergency information. Sign up for alerts.

Planning to Stay or Go 

Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning here, to determine if there is an immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available. Visit ready.gov/shelter for further information on staying put or sheltering in place.

Obtaining Emergency Information 

Everyone should find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur where they live, and how they will be notified. In the Village of Barrington, severe weather (winter or summer), tornadoes and localized flooding are currently seen as the most likely disasters for our town. For tornadoes and severe winds, the Village will activate its outdoor emergency sirens. (These sirens are also tested on the first Tuesday of each month, at 10:00 a.m.) To the extent that we are able, we also will utilize our community notification program, website messages, warnings on Village Cable Channel 4, and the community events electronic sign, to broadcast emergency information. Area-wide, the two county emergency management agencies and the National Weather Service also use emergency radio and TV warnings.

Help with Developing Emergency Plans 

You can use the online Family Emergency Planning Tool created by the Ready Campaign in conjunction with the Ad Council, to prepare a printable Comprehensive Family Emergency Plan.

You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.

Personal Preparedness: Having a Travel Emergency Kit in Every Vehicle 

Having a travel emergency kit will help you be prepared not only for “normal” road emergencies, but will help you deal with disaster situations on the road, whether caused by severe weather, impassable roads, the need to evacuate, or any cause. At minimum, a vehicle emergency kit should contain the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Distress sign
  • Telephone change
  • First aid supplies
  • Basic tools
  • Fully charged cell phone

Other recommended items are:

  • Boots
  • Hat
  • Coat
  • Gloves
  • Jumper cables
  • Carpet strips, sand or kitty litter for traction
  • Ice scraper and brush
  • Blanket
  • Chocolate candy

More Emergency Preparedness Information

Additional information on emergency preparedness is available from several sources. Here are some you may wish to check out:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):This site has a wealth of information, on virtually all aspects of emergency preparedness.
  • US Department of Homeland Security: This emergency preparedness website page deals with many aspects of domestic security.
  • American Red Cross: This site is a great source for home preparedness tips, especially making or purchasing emergency kits.
  • Ready.gov: This US government-sponsored site has simple step-by-step methods for getting prepared for emergencies.
  • State of Illinois- Ready Illinois: This site is similar to Ready.gov, but is sponsored by and tailored to Illinois.
  • Operation Lifesaver: A non-profit organization and nationally-recognized leader of rail safety education.
  • Metra Safety: This page is updated by Metra on safety protocols and tips.
  • IDOT Rail Safety: The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) work with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to ensure railroad safety.