SPRINGFIELD, IL -- As a record number of tornado outbreaks in December clearly demonstrated, severe weather can happen at any time of the year. To help people better prepare for weather emergencies, IEMA and local emergency management agencies will be promoting Severe Weather Preparedness Month throughout the month of March.
The National Weather Service and state and local emergency management officials strongly encourage people to have a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) All Hazards Weather Radio with battery backup. These radios can be programmed to receive alerts for specified counties to keep you and your family apprised of impending weather and post-event information for all types of hazards including natural (earthquakes), environmental (chemical spills) and public safety hazards (AMBER alerts). When an alert is issued for the programmed area, the device will sound a warning alarm tone followed by the essential information.
“Having a weather alert radio in your home can save your life,” said Acting Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “Much like a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector, these devices can alert you while you are sleeping in order to give you the time you need to get your family to safety.”
In this day and age of families constantly on the go, it is also critical for people to have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather warnings. FEMA offers a FREE mobile app that provides fast and reliable weather alerts from the National Weather Service (NWS). The app can be tailored to offer alerts for up to five different locations nationwide. The mobile app can also help you locate open shelters and disaster resource centers near you in the event of an emergency.
For more information about what to do before, during and after a storm, please visit
www.Ready.Illinois.gov. There you will find a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide, developed by IEMA and NWS, which provides tips on how to prepare for all weather emergencies. Additional tips and information are available on the Ready Illinois Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter page (www.twitter.com/ReadyIllinois).