SPRINGFIELD – While it may seem like winter will never end, spring-like weather is just around the corner. Unfortunately, the warmer temperatures of springtime will bring an increase in severe weather, such as tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding.
With those hazards in mind, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) are joining forces to observe Severe Weather Preparedness Week Feb. 27 – March 5.
“It’s been a long, hard winter in Illinois and everyone is looking forward to warmer weather,” said IEMA Acting Director Jonathon Monken. “During Severe Weather Preparedness Week, we want to remind people of the hazards associated with severe weather and provide them with information that will help them be better prepared for the unexpected.”
Illinois is no stranger to severe weather. While 48 tornadoes were reported in Illinois during 2010, more than 120 tornado touchdowns were reported in the state in 2006. Flooding is also common in Illinois and nationally it is the number one severe weather killer. Lightning from severe thunderstorms can also be deadly, with most lightning deaths occurring under or near trees and in open fields.
IEMA and NWS have developed a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide, which includes definitions of important weather terms, including watches, warnings and advisories; recommended actions before, during and after severe weather; and a list of items needed for a family emergency supply kit. The guide is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov or by calling (217) 785-9888.