Derecho Damage in Spring Valley, IL

(ST. CHARLES, Ill.) — NEWS: Communities are continuing clean-up efforts following the summer’s severe weather events, says Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network. This includes an Aug. 10 storm classified by the National Weather Service as a Derecho (a long-lived line of thunderstorms and intense winds) that produced widespread damage to trees, power lines, buildings, and vehicles from hurricane-force winds and 11 tornadoes.

Five Northern Illinois communities – Lombard, Oglesby, Villa Park, Spring Valley and Grant Park – received recovery assistance through their membership in the Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network (IPWMAN), a statewide organization that offers a standardized mutual aid agreement as a framework for communities to help each other prepare and recover from natural and man-made disasters. In total, 23 other IPWMAN member communities provided aid to those five cities and villages.

Formed in 2009 in response to revised guidelines issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, IPWMAN provides three primary benefits to members.

#1: Access to statewide resources, including equipment, expertise and people power.

IPWMAN’s membership has grown from three members in 2009 to over 400 organizations in 2020 – including counties, cities, towns, villages and townships, as well as a sanitary district and a water district – serving populations that range from fewer than 500 to more than 5 million residents.

#2: Coordinated response.

IPWMAN members receive the first 5 days of disaster support at no cost. Requests for assistance go to an IPWMAN Call Center, available 24/7 and staffed by trained public works duty officers who coordinate requests and assistance to efficiently provide necessary resources.

#3: Training opportunities.

IPWMAN provides training for its members, with opportunities ranging from an annual conference that offers information on a variety of emergency response topics to meeting with others who have worked or will be working with them during emergency responses. Other training provided throughout the year includes participating in disaster simulation exercises with other organizations, offering opportunities to learn about and from those other mutual aid organizations.

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