For Immediate Release:
Monday, January 6, 2014
Press Line: (312) 814-3158
Brooke Anderson Brooke.Anderson@illinois.gov
Grant Klinzman Grant.Klinzman@illinois.gov
Continuity of Government Operations Plan to Ensure Continued Delivery of Essential Services During Winter Storm
CHICAGO - Due to the severe winter storm and dangerously low temperatures and wind chills that have followed, causing hazardous conditions across Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn today implemented the State's Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government Plans (COOP/COG). The inter-agency plans will ensure continued delivery of critical state response services during the severe winter weather conditions while ensuring the safety of the state's workforce. State government employees - except those serving in critical government functions - are instructed to stay home on Monday, Jan. 6.
"As we continue to monitor weather conditions and work nonstop to respond to this winter storm, we will ensure that critical state services continue," said Governor Quinn. "To protect the safety of our employees and the people they serve, I am directing state employees whose duties are not critical to state services to stay home and off the roads on Monday."
The COOP/COG ensures that employees responsible for continuity of operations observe the hours needed to guarantee continued delivery and availability of essential public health and safety state services, including: Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) Veterans' Homes, Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) central health centers and centers for the developmentally disabled, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) youth centers, Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) correctional institutions, as well as the Illinois State Police (ISP), Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS).
The Governor also today made a disaster declaration due to the severe winter weather and activated the Illinois National Guard to provide aid.
Information on continued essential state services and service locations for the public, as well as situation updates for state employees, will be available online at www.Ready.Illinois.gov starting on Monday. Employees without Internet access may call 866-848-2125 (Springfield) and 866-848-2135 (Chicago) for this information. Regular state operations will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
The Governor also cautions motorists against venturing out unless travel is absolutely necessary. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is fully staffed and equipped to plow and salt roadways as necessary, but drivers should use extreme caution for the duration of the storm and the low temperatures and wind chills that have followed. Drivers can acquire up-to-date roadway conditions information at www.gettingaroundillinois.com .
On Sunday night, Governor Quinn activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield to coordinate the state's response to the storm. Representatives from critical safety agencies are staffing the SEOC 24 hours a day throughout the duration of the storm and dangerously low temperatures.
More information about Winter Storm Preparedness is available from www.Ready.Illinois.gov.