Emergency Services Disaster Agency

The Rockford Fire Department is the Emergency Service Disaster Agency (ESDA) for the City of Rockford and is responsible for mobilizing public resources in the event of a major disaster or emergency in the city. The City of Rockford ESDA works closely with the Winnebago County ESDA to ensure that maximum resources are available to effectively mitigate, respond to, and recover from any major disaster that may occur within the City of Rockford, Winnebago County, or northern Illinois.

Getting Ready

An emergency often happens without warning, leaving little or no time for you and your family to plan what to do next. Therefore, it is important for you and your family to learn about the things you can do to become better prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster; such as making an Emergency Plan and putting together an Emergency Preparedness Kit.

Making an Emergency Plan

Talk with your family about why and how you need to prepare for disaster emergencies:

  • Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen and what to do in each case.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
    • Keep important documents and records in a secure location.
    • Get an Emergency Kit ready (view the checklist that follows).
  • Teach children how and when to dial 911.
  • Purchase an NOAA Weather Radio that automatically alerts when a severe weather watch or warning is issued.
  • Find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, children's school or child care center, and other places where your family spends time away from home.
    • Make sure your child's school or child care center has your current emergency contact number.
  • Pick two places to meet if something happens: one that is right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire; and a second one outside of your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
  • Ask a friend or relative to be your emergency contact person. Make sure everyone has this person's address and phone number; list them on the emergency contact page of this booklet and by each phone. If your family members get separated, they should call this person to tell them where they can be reached.
  • Think about the special safety needs of small children, elderly or disabled relatives or neighbors, and pets.

Putting Together an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Preparing an Emergency Kit ahead of time can save you time in case you must leave home quickly or go without power or water for a while. Put your Kit together with items you may need after a disaster, and if you can, try to keep enough supplies on hand to meet your needs for at least three days. Store them in sturdy, waterproof, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffel bags, or clear-covered trash cans.

Things you might try to include or have on hand are:

  • A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) for drinking and cooking - store in clean plastic soda bottles (milk containers will break down and leak).
  • Food that won't spoil or need much cooking (e.g., canned fruits and vegetables, cereals, peanut butter, crackers or cookies and dry mixes like instant oatmeal or soups, rice or noodles). Use or replace them every 6 months if possible.
  • One change of sturdy clothes and shoes, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
  • Small household tools or items such as a battery-powered radio, flashlight with extra batteries, utility knife, bowls and cups, silverware, can opener, lighter or matches, dishtowel, etc.
  • An extra set of car and house keys, personal identification, credit cards, cash, or traveler's checks. Keep important family papers (e.g., birth certificates, passports, special medical information, etc.) in a waterproof container or plastic bag.
  • Sanitation supplies such as toilet paper, hand wipes, diapers, tampons or sanitary pads, and plastic trash bags.
  • Special items for young children, elderly or disabled family members, and pets (e.g., special foods, medications, aid devices, carriers, etc.).
  • A basic first aid kit that includes your prescription medications, bandages in assorted sizes, safety pins, cleanser/soap, latex gloves, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers, sewing needle, thread, alcohol wipes, burn cream, oral thermometer, nonaspirin pain reliever, antacid, cotton balls or swabs.
  • A battery-operated radio.

Responding to an Emergency

If an emergency or disaster happens, there are a few things that you should do right away:

  • Stay Calm: Try not to panic, take time to understand what has happened and think about what you can do to stay safe or avoid worse injury.
  • Check the Scene: Pay attention to your surroundings to see whether you are safe where you are, and whether anyone around you needs help; if you think you are in danger, get to a safer place as soon as you can.
  • Give and get help: If you or others are hurt or still in danger, call 911; explain what has happened, where you are, what injuries people have, and whether the danger still exists.
  • Listen for official emergency announcements: Local radio and television stations will give emergency updates and instructions. This is your best source of information.
  • Get prepared to evacuate if told to by local authorities: If told to leave your home or work, do so right away, follow exact evacuation routes, and go to the specified shelter or safe area. If you can, bring your Emergency Kit with you, and get in touch with your family's designated emergency contact person as soon as you can to let them know how and where you are.

Emergency Contact Information

  • Emergency (Police, Fire, Medical, Rescue): 911
  • Non-Emergency Police and Fire: 815-966-2900
  • Poison Control: 800-222-1222
  • City of Rockford: 779-348-7300
  • Commonwealth Edison: 800-334-7661
  • NICOR Gas: 800-642-6748
  • OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center: 815-226-2000
  • Mercy Health - Rockton Campus: 815-971-5000
  • Mercy Health - Riverside Campus: 815-971-7000
  • Swedish American Hospital: 815-968-4400

Radio & Television Information

These broadcast outlets may be your first source of information in an emergency:

  • Channel 13-WREX-TV (Insight Cable Channel 3)
  • Channel 17-WTVO-TV (Insight Cable Channel 4)
  • Channel 23-WIFR-TV (Insight Cable Channel 5)
  • Channel 39 -WQRF-TV (Insight Cable Channel 6)
  • Weather Channel (Insight Cable Channel 13)
  • WNTA Radio-AM 1330
  • WROK Radio-AM 1440