IEMA, IESMA to Highlight Importance of Weather Alert Radios

Weather Radios Save Lives event to mark anniversary of Springfield tornado

What: Weather Radio Giveaway Event
Sponsored by Illinois Emergency Service Management Association (IESMA)

When: Tuesday, March 12 
12:00pm – 6:00pm 

Where: Ace Hardware 
1600 Wabash Avenue, Springfield

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois ranks fifth in the United States for the most tornadoes per square mile. Lightning is to blame for 106 deaths in Illinois since 1960. Fourteen people died as a result of driving across flooded roads in 2015, 11 of whom perished during the major flood in late December. During Severe Weather Preparedness Month, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is joining forces with county emergency managers, the National Weather Service and Illinois Emergency Services Management Association (IESMA) to promote severe weather preparedness. 

“Personal preparedness is the key to saving lives,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Acting IEMA Director. “One of the best ways to keep you and your family safe is by staying up to date on changing weather patterns. NOAA all-hazard weather alert radios provide life-saving notices of approaching severe weather and other hazards 24-hours a day.” 

On Tuesday, March 12, IEMA is partnering with the Illinois Emergency Services Management Association (IESMA) to give away a select number of weather radios to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. This giveaway will coincide with the anniversary of the 2006 tornadoes that tore a path of destruction through central Illinois and devastated parts of the Capital City. NOAA weather radios are equipped with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology which allows you to program your radio to receive alerts for your county or area. Emergency management professionals will be on-hand Tuesday to program each radio so they can be used immediately. 

“Mother Nature does not discriminate when it comes to severe weather,” said Dawn Cook, president of the Illinois Emergency Services Management Association. “Storms can strike in the middle of the day or dead of the night. They take place during the work-day, weekend, holidays and birthdays. That’s why arming the public with the necessary tools to make informed decisions is an essential part of severe weather preparedness.”

For more information about what to do before, during and after a storm, please visit 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 ( and Twitter page (