With widespread severe weather predicted for most of Illinois Wednesday night through Thursday night, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today encouraged people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if storm warnings are issued.
“This major storm system 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. “We want everyone to stay aware, be prepared to seek shelter if a storm warning is issued, and to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown” if they encounter a flooded road.”
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.
Some storms are expected Wednesday and Thursday during the evening and overnight hours, an especially dangerous time since most people are asleep at those times. That’s why it’s important to be able to receive severe weather warnings day or night. 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 the tornado app by the American Red Cross.
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.
For more information about severe weather preparedness, visit www.Ready.Illinois.gov.