The Time to Prepare is Now

SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging all Illinoisans to prepare today for winter weather. The Ready Illinois website ( includes critical safety information to help Illinoisans before, during and after any hazard, man-made or natural.

Winter Weather Preparedness tips include:

  • Familiarize yourself with the various weather alert definitions, so you know how to keep your family safe;
  • Winterize your home and take steps to prevent frozen water pipes; 
  • Don’t wait. Communicate. Create and discuss emergency plans for you and your family;
  • Charge your mobile devices before any storm; 
  • Build a home emergency kit with items such as a food, water, medications, NOAA weather radio, flashlight and spare batteries;
  • Stock your vehicle with the emergency items such as a first aid kit, phone charger, blankets, extra clothes, jumper cables, kitty litter or sand, a flashlight and snow scraper in the event you must travel;
  • If you lose power, seek out a warming center in your area until the power can be restored.  A list of warming centers can be found on the Ready Illinois website.
Public safety officials urge residents to stay ahead of the all storms by following the watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a free mobile app that once downloaded allows you to receive emergency alerts and information for up to five different locations. Enabling alerts on your mobile device is an essential preparedness tool that allows you receive important lifesaving information regardless whether you are at home, work or traveling.

When possible, stay off the roads during and immediately after a storm. This allows crews to effectively clear and appropriately treat area roadways. If you must travel during a storm, please remember to share the road. Illinois law requires drivers to change lanes when approaching police or other emergency vehicles.

More tips for staying safe at home and on the road are available in a Winter Weather Preparedness guide developed by IEMA and the National Weather Service. This guide is available, in digital form, on the Ready Illinois website at