Emergency Management

The Arlington Heights Emergency Management Agency oversees emergency/disaster planning and works closely with other local, state and federal authorities to be informed and prepared concerning matters of homeland security. In a disaster situation, the Village can access county and state resources and may be eligible for federal assistance. Emergency Management, as it exists today, emphasizes the need for a coordinated effort between all agencies as well as volunteer organizations and private businesses in the community, working together toward a common goal. That goal is to make Arlington Heights as prepared as possible to deal with the effects of natural, man made or technological emergencies or disasters. EMA are locally funded and work under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through their state government.

About the EMA Coordinator

The EMA Coordinator for the Village of Arlington Heights is Fire Chief Andrew Larson.  Chief Larson is responsible for maintaining the Village's Emergency Operations Plan which would be relied on by all Village departments in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. In the event of such an emergency, Village resources would be coordinated with county, state and federal agencies to provide the most efficient response possible. The Arlington Heights Emergency Management Agency maintains a comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that addresses how the Village would respond to a variety of different disaster scenarios. The EOP assigns responsibilities to each of the various departments within the Village and outlines mutual aid agreements with various local, county and state agencies. The EOP is reviewed quarterly and updated and submitted for county and state certification every two years.

Outdoor Warning Siren System & Severe Weather Sirens

Since 1968 the Village has maintained an Outdoor Warning Siren System to warn residents of approaching tornadoes. As the Village has grown so has the siren system which now stands at 12 siren units strategically located throughout the Village. These sirens are activated when there is a confirmed sighting of a tornado within ten miles of the Village. The proper action is to seek shelter in a substantial structure away from windows. Monitor radio or television if available to obtain information regarding the emergency as it becomes available. Do not call 911 to seek additional information about the nature of the warning. Doing so may overload the emergency telephone lines and access may not be available to those in need with a true emergency. The warning sirens are tested on the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. to insure that they are working properly.

Tornado Warning
Siren tone for a Tornado Warning is for a continuous 3 to 5 minutes.  The outdoor tornado warning siren system will be activated and sounded if there is a tornado in the area. This means you should take cover! The Village does not sounds an “all clear” signal because secondary funnel systems or a microburst may follow during turbulent weather. Tune into radio or television to get information. Please note that the National Weather Service, not the Village will give an “all clear” notification.

Lightning Alert
Siren sounds for a Lightning Alert are a short 15 second blast.  Lightning alert systems are located at three golf course facilities operated by the park district. They are Arlington Lake Golf Club, Nickol Knoll Golf Club and Sunset Meadows Driving Range. Some area schools also have the lightning alert system. The “all clear” is given as 3 short blasts.

Ready Campaign

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has produced a new program called the Ready Campaign. This program is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies. It asks that families take steps needed to prepare for emergencies including making up an emergency supply kit, a family emergency and communication plan, and be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses. Individuals interested in more information about family or business preparedness can visit READY.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY.

For additional information on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness visit these websites...