Hurricane Katrina

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As officials warn coastal residents to get out of Hurricane Matthew's path Illinois elections officials are putting out a notice of their own.

The Illinois National Guard hasn't been activated to help, at least not yet. Nor has the Illinois Emergency Management Agency received a request for aide.

IEMA's spokeswoman says the state is part of a pact in which Illinois could be called on to help. She says if it happens at all, it will likely be after any potential damage; Illinois sent about 2500 employees out following Hurricane Katrina.

The value of Illinois' emergency preparedness efforts was apparent just hours after Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana. One of the first medical teams to arrive in Baton Rouge, where thousands had fled, was from Illinois. And this state's squad was specially trained to respond to the disaster it confronted in August and September. 

In the weeks that followed Hurricane Katrina, the Chicago area's largest Christian evangelical churches amassed an astonishing amount of manpower, cash and goods.

The 20,000-member Willow Creek Community Church raised $800,000. The South Barrington church also bused 25 volunteers to Waveland, Miss., to help rebuild the Gulf Coast city of 7,000. 

And every four days, the church deployed another volunteer shift of 25.