MCESDA Disaster Digest2020-12-04T17:51:55+00:00

MCESDA Disaster Digest

Week 2- Proper Disposal of Hazardous Materials

Proper Disposal of Hazardous Materials

When using hazardous materials, there comes a point in time where you inevitably need to dispose of the product. Today we will be telling you the best ways to dispose of various things that are considered to be hazardous waste that come at no cost to you. 

  • Car-based hazardous waste: You can bring used motor oil to local automobile parts and repair establishments such as AutoZone and Jiffy Lube. Make sure to not mix the oil with other liquids, as once this takes place it is no longer recyclable. When transporting the oil, use a container made of polyethylene, the original container it came in, or another plastic container deemed suitable for this purpose. Car batteries can be brought to AutoZone or the Tri-County Regional Collection Facility  for recycling. 

  • Dry Cell Batteries: These batteries include AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, lantern, rechargeable, and button batteries. These can all be taken to the McDonough County Health Department for proper disposal.

  • Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Can be brought to the McDonough County Health Department or your local hardware store. 

  • Unwanted or expired medications: If it is an Rx prescription or over the counter medication, you can bring them to the McDonough County Health Department. The Macomb Police Department also accepts prescription drugs for destruction 24/7 in the police department lobby.

  • Lithium and non-alkaline batteries: These batteries can be found in cameras, watches, e-cigarettes, laptops, and various other appliances. These items can be brought to  the Tri-County Regional Collection Facility in Macomb, Batteries Plus Bulbs in Peoria, or the Interstate Batteries Center in Quincy. 

  • Paint: Tri-County Collection Facility accepts interior and exterior latex paints, alkyd enamel and oil-based paints; porch, floor, and deck paints, oil and latex primers and undercoats, as well as interior and exterior varnishes and urethane. 

    • For a full list of Tri-County Collection Facility locations for McDonough and surrounding counties, visit this link


By |April 8th, 2024|

#SafePlaceSelfie April 3, 2024

With our theme all through March being severe weather preparedness, there is no better way to be prepared than to know safe places to shelter wherever you may go! This is why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is encouraging you to find your safe place on April 3, 2024, and take a selfie of yourself or you and your group with the hashtag #SafePlaceSelfie!  Here are some things to keep in mind when finding your safe place:

  1. Think about what hazards you face in certain locations, and where you spend a lot of your time. The hazard guide below can help to brainstorm some ideas of where a safe place could be from certain hazards.
  2. Be creative, get other family members involved in the process. If you have young children, you can make the process of getting to the safe place a game to keep things fun yet informational! This helps to practice your plan in a low-stress environment.
  3. Challenge others in your circle. When you post your #SafePlaceSelfie, tag your friends or family members and encourage them to also participate! The NOAA is encouraging participants for this challenge across a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter).

Not only does this event help to raise awareness among those who see these posts, but they also can help to encourage all of us to identify a few safe places within our community, our jobs, and our homes! 

We hope to see plenty of #SafePlaceSelfies on April 3! 

By |April 3rd, 2024|

Measles on the Rise Nationwide – How to Stay Safe and Healthy

Measles is a serious, highly contagious viral respiratory disease that is spread both through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes as well as through direct contact with infected nose or throat secretions. This disease has been on the rise throughout the nation throughout the past two months, with a large concentration of cases occurring in mid-to-late March. A dense concentration of the 64 reported cases for this year can be found in Chicago, with 26 current reported cases (40.6% of nationwide reported cases). If you think that you or a family member has been exposed to or has contracted measles, call your healthcare provider as soon as possible. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy, consider the following information:

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Rash that starts on the face and neck that is made up of large, flat blotches (Approximately 14 days after exposure)
  • High fever (Approximately 10 days after exposure)
  • Dry cough (persistent)
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background inside of the mouth or inner cheeks – also called Koplik spots

What do incubation and spreading periods look like?

  • An infected individual can spread the virus for a little over a week, approximately 8 days. Individuals are infectious for four days before the rash appears.
  • The infection occurs in stages over 2-3 weeks:
    • Infection and incubation: 10-14 days. No signs or symptoms during this time.
    • Nonspecific signs and symptoms: mild to moderate fever, often accompanied by persistent cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, and sore throat. This lasts 2-3 days.
    • Acute illness and rash: The face breaks out first with spots and bumps in tight clusters giving the skin a blotchy red appearance. Over the next few days, the rash will spread down the body and the fever will rise sharply (up to 105 F)
    • Recovery: The rash lasts about a week, gradually fading from the face and progressing down the body. The cough and peeling/darkening of skin where the rashes were present may last up to 10 days.

How to prevent contraction/outbreak:

  • Get vaccinated. The MMR vaccine’s two doses are 97% effective in preventing measles for life. It is recommended that children get vaccinated for the first time between 12 and 15 months of age, and the second time between 4 and 6 years of age – before entering school.
    • Vaccination has allowed the US to virtually eliminate the disease in the past- but due to a drop in vaccination rates we have seen a significant increase in measles cases. 
  • Isolate if you know that you have been exposed or infected. If you are infected, isolate for a minimum of 8 days to avoid transmission of the virus to others. 
  • Avoid sharing utensils, water bottles, or other items that may have been contaminated by saliva or respiratory secretions.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. 


Stay safe, and stay healthy McDonough County!


Additional resources:

Illinois Department of Public Health

Mayo Clinic

Centers for Disease Control

Preventing the Spread in Childcare and School Settings

McDonough County Health Department – Get Vaccinated

By |April 3rd, 2024|

Hazardous Materials Safety Month

April is hazardous materials safety month here in Illinois, so all month long we will be making posts regarding what you should know about hazardous materials and how you can stay safe. A hazardous material is any item or agent (biological, chemical, radiological, or physical) that has the ability to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment.

To kick off the month, let’s cover some fast facts about hazardous materials.

  • There are over 8,600 active Tier II chemical facilities throughout Illinois.
    • A Tier II chemical facility is one that stores or handles more than 10,000 pounds of hazardous chemicals at any one time. 
  • Some common household goods are considered to be hazardous materials/hazardous waste.
    • These include cleaning sprays, aerosol sprays, pesticides, antiseptics, disinfectants, and more. For a more comprehensive list, visit this link.
  • Hazardous materials must be disposed of differently than regular waste to minimize the risk of water or soil contamination.
    • Some examples of proper disposal can include dropping off motor oil at automotive shops, recycling alkaline and rechargeable batteries, and disposing of prescription drugs properly. We will go more into hazmat disposal in a later post!



By |April 1st, 2024|

Week 1 – Guidelines on Use and Storage of Hazardous Materials

Use and Storage of Home Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials in the home can take many forms, from pesticides to cleaning supplies. We want you to know how to keep safe when using and storing them. An average of 1,700 fires every year are caused by spontaneous combustion or chemical reaction, and so it is important to know how to keep you and your family safe when interacting with hazardous materials. 

  • When using chemicals in the home, follow the instructions on the label for both use and storage. 
  • Only fill portable gasoline containers outdoors and in an airy area, placing the container on sturdy ground when filling. 
  • Wear protective gear when using household chemicals like gloves or goggles. 
  • Do not mix products, especially those that you do not know the interactions to. You can create deadly gasses or cause a fire if they react negatively together. 
  • Store products in their original packaging and out of the reach of children or pets. 
  • Never store materials that are flammable in the sun or near a heat source. This can cause combustion. 

By |April 1st, 2024|

Total Solar Eclipse April 8, 2024

We are expecting a total solar eclipse the afternoon of April 8, 2024, so what should you know about it?

  • From McDonough County, the sun will be approximately 90% covered and will reach peak coverage at about 2:02PM. The eclipse will start at approximately 12:45PM and end at 3:17PM, leaving about two and a half hours to see it!
  • Some cities in Illinois that will be able to view 100% totality include Mount Vernon, Carbondale, Marion, as well as many others in the southernmost tip of Illinois. To check the solar eclipse path and where to best see it, visit this link!
  • Do not look directly at the eclipse without eye protection. View the sun through eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer. These items can cost as little as $2. 
  • Do not stop in or near roadways, whether you are on foot or in your vehicle. Stopping to look at the eclipse when on a roadway, or looking at it while still driving, can cause accidents, traffic pileups, and injuries. If you want to stop to see the eclipse, make sure you are pulled completely off the roadway or have pulled into a parking lot. 
  • The next solar eclipse that will be visible in the contiguous United States will be August of 2045.

Stay safe McDonough County, and enjoy this rare experience!

By |March 20th, 2024|
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