Governor Rauner Urges People to Stay Alert to Continuing Severe Weather Threat Tonight

People Should Have Multiple Ways to Receive Tornado Warnings

SPRINGFIELD – With the severe weather threat continuing across much of Illinois into the overnight hours, Governor Rauner this evening urged people to ensure they have multiple ways to receive tornado warnings when they’re asleep.

While we’ve already seen tornado and storm damage in LaSalle County and other areas of the state, we can’t let our guard down because severe weather and tornadoes are still possible tonight, said Governor Rauner. We need everyone to stay aware of their local weather and be prepared to seek shelter immediately if a storm warning is issued.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radios can be programmed to issue a tone alarm and provide information about a warning that has been issued for your county.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are available on most smartphones. Check your phone’s notification settings under ‘Government Alerts’ to ensure ‘Emergency Alerts’ is turned on. With a WEA-enabled phone, you will receive tornado and flash flood warnings issued for your current location, even if you’re traveling. Other smartphone alerting apps also are available, including the tornado app by the American Red Cross.

While many communities have outdoor warning sirens that can alert people outdoors of an approaching hazard, these should not be counted on to alert you when you’re inside a building or asleep.

If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately. The best shelter is in a basement or cellar. If an underground shelter is not available, find an interior room or hallway on the lowest level, such as a closet, small interior hallways and bathrooms without windows.

Earlier this evening Governor Rauner activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield to ensure state personnel and equipment are ready to be quickly deployed if needed to help local emergency responders with public safety issues following tornado touchdowns in the LaSalle County area. The SEOC stay open as long as necessary to support local response and recovery efforts.

For updates on the current situation, visit the Ready Illinois website at  www.ready.illinois.gov.