Severe Weather Preparedness
March 1-7, 2020 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois.
Being prepared and informed saves lives!
Severe weather is not something we can stop or control. From thunderstorms to lightning, tornadoes to floods, we cannot control when or where they develop or strike. However, there are things we can do to minimize the impact of severe weather.
- Stay informed! Have various means of being alerted of severe weather in your area! Monitor a weather alert radio. Listen to local radio broadcasts. Watch local TV. Follow NWS (National Weather Service) web pages and apps for updates. Sign up for and receive alerts and notifications from various weather apps on your computer and smart phone. The important thing is to NOT rely on just one method! Even though storm sirens are a great alert system, they are not designed to be heard indoors by everyone.
- Have an emergency plan! Whether at home, at work, or at school, or when you travel, there should be an emergency evacuation plan in place. Not only should there be a plan - but you should practice your plan too! Designate places to go to seek safe shelter from a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Pick two places to meet, in case the first is not available or accessible - and meet your family, friends, or co-workers there in case you are separated. If you are traveling, know the names of locations you are visiting - and make sure your children know them too.
- Prepare yourself AND your home for an emergency! Inspect your home for potential hazards (such as weakened tree limbs, worn roofing, cracked windows, improper landscape grading) and address these issues before storms magnify the damage. When you build a new structure or renovate an existing one, there are ways to prevent wind damage to roofs, upper floors, and garages. Rafters, trusses, walls, and doors can all be reinforced. Learn how to react in an emergency: learn how to administer CPR; learn how to use a fire extinguisher; learn how to turn off the electricity, gas, and water supplies in your home.
- Have an emergency supply kit ready and available! Some storms produce power outages that have the potential to last for several days. Have an emergency hit with at least these following items ready so you are better able to cope with the disaster:
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlights & extra batteries
- Extra clothing & blankets
- An extra set of house keys
- Medications & personal hygiene items
- First Aid kit
- Pet supplies (if applicable)
- A weather alert radio or portable AM/FM radio
- A written list of contacts and other information you may need in an emergency, including: personal contacts (family, friends) - phones and addresses, doctors/medical centers, bank account info, credit card account number and provider info, numbers for utility and mortgage accounts and providers, insurance policy info.
- If your computer, tablet, or mobile device are not accessible, or if the internet is not available, you may not have access to stored contacts and information! Be prepared and have a written list of this information available and ready to take with you in the event of an emergency.
- If you have children, try to have an updated photo of them printed out. Should your child or children somehow become separated from you, it will ease your mind a little knowing you have a photo to give to emergency personnel (police, fire, medical personnel, EMTs) should they need to search for your child or children. (The same can be said for elderly relatives who may have dementia - have a photo of them in case they become separated from you).
Everything boils down to two words: BE PREPARED!!!
This is what Preparedness Weeks are all about! Learn about what Severe Weather is prevalent in your area, arm yourself with information how best to survive, and prepare yourself!