At Issue: Officials Look At Disaster Preparedness In Wake Of Harvey

CHICAGO (CBS) — As Texas recovers from Hurricane Harvey, local officials are going over their own disaster preparations, while also looking to lend a helping hand.

John Nebl with the DuPage County office of Homeland Security and Security Management watched the chaos in Texas unfold with a cluster of questions.

“What if something of such a nature happens here? What would we be doing right now to respond and assist those folks?”

The American Red Cross is one of the organizations working around the clock assisting many of those affected by Harvey. The Regional Manager of External Relations, Yvette Alexander-Maxie, says people from Illinois and all over the country have volunteered to help. The work, however, is challenging in many different ways.

“We’re with the people who are impacted — we’re hearing their stories. So not only is it the work that can be quite draining, but also that emotional toll,” Maxie said.

Nebl says Harvey should serve as a reminder to people across the country that disaster can strike anytime. His advice locally is simple: Be prepared.

“Is there going to be a hurricane in Chicago? Probably not. But are you near railroad tracks, could there be a hazmat situation where you have to evacuate your home? Make a plan, do the ‘what if’ game. ‘What if we have to leave our house?'”

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