Senate Week in Review: July 8 – 12, 2019

McHenry, IL. — The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is recommending Illinoisans be earthquake prepared following the recent earthquakes in California. Elsewhere, the Illinois State Police (ISP) recently stepped up efforts to recruit new Troopers through a “Fast Track” program that offers job opportunities for local police officers. Also in this report, helping veterans, honoring a public servant and keeping cool on hot days. 

Illinois’ Earthquake Zones
The recent 7.1 magnitude earthquake in California and its thousands of aftershocks led IEMA to issue a plea on its Facebook page July 8 for earthquake awareness and preparedness in Illinois:
“The recent earthquakes in southern California serve as a stark reminder that earthquakes can happen anywhere in the world and at any time of day!”  

Southern Illinois is bordered by two seismic zones, the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone on our east and the New Madrid Seismic Zone on our west and south. The agency says more than 3,000 earthquakes have been recorded in the New Madrid Seismic Zone since 1974, most of which were so small as to go unnoticed. The New Madrid Seismic Zone is the more active of the two, according to a Northwestern University study published in 2010. The largest quakes ever recorded in the continental United States occurred along the New Madrid Seismic Zone during the winter of 1811-1812. Three major quakes ranged from 6.8 to 8.8 magnitude. 

IEMA’s earthquake preparedness tips include, assessing your home for safety and being prepared for self-sufficiency for 14 days. More information – including helpful videos – can be found at the agency’s website: Click on the Preparedness tab. 

Involve Your Children in Disaster Planning
Also during the month of July, IEMA is focusing on preparing young people for emergencies. IEMA says preparing them individually, and as part of the family, can instill confidence at a time when panic can easily rise. 

The agency suggests the following tips:

  • Involve children in the development of a family emergency plan;
  • Use real-world events to teach about emergency situations and disasters;
  • Use media coverage of current disasters (floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, power outages), talk to children about how your family would respond if this happened to you; and
  • Discuss where to go, what to do and how you will ensure their safety during an emergency.

For more information about youth preparedness, visit 

State Police Recruitment
The Illinois State Police are looking for ways to increase the number of Troopers and are reinstituting their “Fast Track” program, which offers current certified police officers the opportunity to join the ISP. 

Fast Track is an accelerated 13-week training program for current police officers, as opposed to the typical 26-week class for new cadets. To qualify for Fast Track, applicants must be a current certified police officer, a graduate from an accredited law enforcement academy and have at least two years of experience while employed full-time. 

According to ISP, “Individuals interested in applying for a future Fast Track Cadet Class must complete the online application on the ISP Merit Board’s website…” The website can be found at The Fast Track Cadet Class is expected to begin in the spring of 2020. 

Celebrating Independence Day
It was great to see so many folks at the Independence Day parades in Spring Grove (July 4) and Crystal Lake (July 7), celebrating our nation’s birthday, and keeping the tradition alive. The festivities remind me of the words of John Adams, our second President, who wrote about what he thought Independence Day would be or should be like in the future:

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” — Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776 

McHenry County Patriot Run
A big thanks to all those who participated in this year’s Patriot Run on June 30 to help our local veterans. Proceeds will help provide funding to
TLS Veterans and Veterans Assistance Commission of McHenry County for their great work. I was unable to be there this year, but I greatly appreciate the turnout for our veterans. 

Sue Keener: Dedicated Public Servant
I recently had the pleasure of honoring Ringwood Postmaster Sue Keener after 29 years of loyal service to the community (Pictured: Sue with Emcee Ken Linde at the Rusty Nail in Ringwood ). Happy Retirement Sue! and thank you for your dedication.

Summer Heat Hits Hard
If you need to escape from the high heat and humidity, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) says you can get relief by visiting one of the agency’s 120 state facilities that serve as cooling centers. Four of those locations are within a 20 mile radius:

  • 512 Clay Street in Woodstock
  • 452 N. McLean Blvd, 2nd Floor, in Elgin
  • 700 S. State Street in Elgin; and
  • 2000 N. Lewis Avenue in Waukegan

The IDHS cooling centers are open to the public during regular business hours from 8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday. Additional information about the state’s cooling centers is available by calling the IDHS toll-free hotline (800-843-6154). 


Craig Wilcox

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