Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announces that due to the severe winter storm and hazardous travel conditions, Cook County is in a state of emergency and County employees under the jurisdiction of the Office of the President – except those performing essential services required to provide for the public health and safety of our residents or are required for the continuity of government functions- are instructed to stay home on Wednesday, February 2, 2011. Regular County operations will resume on Thursday, February 3, 2011. County employees with questions should contact their Department Head or Bureau Chief for more information.
Cook County remains committed to the continuation of essential government functions during this state of emergency. The Cook County Highway Department, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the Department of Facilities Management are among the Departments will assist in the continuation of services. All other non-essential offices will be closed and services shall resume on February 3, 2011.
Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is on stand-by and ready to respond to emergencies within Cook County. DHSEM is also asking that responders be cognizant when outdoors and contact the county’s 9-1-1 center for assistance if a resident within Cook County requires the use of one of 30 warming centers. Cook County municipalities requiring Cook County or Illinois resources throughout the storm can call (312) 603-8180.
President Preckwinkle requests that the separately elected officials of Cook County and the Independent Health and Hospitals System engage in measures to ensure the continuity of all essential services and if feasible, instruct staff that are not required to perform essential services to remain home on Wednesday, February 2, 2011. Health care services will be available as directed by the Independent Health and Hospitals System and the various Cook County Hospitals shall remain open.
President Preckwinkle encourages drivers to stay off the roads where possible and remain home during this winter storm.