July 13, 2015
Dangerous heat also presents hazards
SPRINGFIELD – With widespread severe weather predicted for most of Illinois later today, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if storm warnings are issued. Much of the state is also expecting heat indexes above 100 until early this evening, and IEMA officials urged people to stay safe in the extreme heat.
“While we’ve already seen severe storms in northern Illinois this morning, another storm system expected late afternoon into the evening hours could bring localized flooding from heavy rains, severe thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts and large hail, and even a chance for tornadoes,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “In addition, high temperatures and humidity will cause dangerous heat today, so we encourage people to stay hydrated and cool as much as possible today.”
Joseph said people should have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather warnings, such as through a weather alert radio, Wireless Emergency Alerts, weather alert apps, TV and radio broadcasts, the Internet, outdoor warning sirens and more.
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 location, even if you’re traveling outside your home county or state. Other smartphone alerting apps also are available, including a tornado app by the American Red Cross and a weather alerting app from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In addition, many communities have outdoor warning sirens, which can alert people outdoors of an approaching hazard. Don’t rely on these sirens to alert you when you’re inside a building or asleep.