SPRINGFIELD – As March 6th through 10th is Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois, Assistant House Minority Leader Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) is promoting preparation and being ready for when severe weather strikes in the 79th District.
“The 79th District includes Chicago southland, farmland, and big towns like Kankakee and Bourbonnais, but all need to be prepared for severe weather to our keep families safe,” said Leader Haas. “I encourage every 79th District constituent and family to take time this week and month and make a plan, so come storms, tornadoes, winter weather, or flooding, you are able to take action and gain valuable time to get to safety.”
The National Weather Service promotes preparedness to save lives. First, families can stay informed by monitoring a weather alert radio, local radio and TV broadcasts, NWS webpages, or apps on their phones and computers. NWS recommends not relying on just one method, especially storm sirens which are not designed to be heard indoors by everyone. Constituents can also have an emergency plan for their homes, businesses, schools, and travels. Additionally, it is recommended to learn how to use a fire extinguisher, administer CPR, and turn off electricity, gas, and water supplies in a home. Having an emergency supply kit can help cope with disasters as well.
According to the University of Illinois State Climatologist, the prime Illinois tornado period begins in April and ends in June, and an average of 54 tornadoes occur in Illinois per year. The 1925 Tri-State tornado and the 1917 Mattoon tornado were two of the worst in American history, both in Illinois. However, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that floods are the most common natural disaster in Illinois—over 90% of declared disasters. In the colder months, northern Illinois sees an average of 12 days with an inch or more of snow. The National Weather Service recorded 21.2 inches of snow in the late January 2011 Chicagoland snowstorm.
Individuals can find more information from the NWS, including expanded recommendations on how to be prepared, at weather.gov/ilx/severe-prep.