CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – In preparation for Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District remind everyone to check to see if they are properly prepared.
Officially, March 1-5 is recognized as Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois.
In 2020, multiple storms did over $5.2M in damages across Champaign County.
Now is the time to prepare - before severe weather is predicted.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the following precautions can be taken to prepare for severe weather:
1. STAY INFORMED. This can be done by monitoring a weather alert radio, local radio and TV broadcasts, NWS web pages, or various applications on computers and smartphones.
DON'T just rely on one method - especially storm sirens - which are NOT designed to be heard indoors by everyone.
Have multiple ways to receive information such as:
- Weather Alert Radio (offline until the system has been repairedhttps://www.weather.gov/ilx/cmi-outage)
- Portable radio with battery backup
- Wireless emergency alerts on most smart phones - cell phone apps such as FEMA and Red Cross will send you warnings for your area but make sure to enable alerts
- Local TV and radio stations - more - Severe Weather Preparedness Week Page 2
2. HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN. Do this for your home, business, schools, and when you are traveling. Designate places to go to seek safe shelter from a tornado or severe thunderstorm.
Pick two places to meet in case you are separated from your family or co-workers. While traveling or when away from home, know the names of the locations you are visiting - especially county and city names.
3. PREPARE YOURSELF & YOUR HOME FOR AN EMERGENCY.
- Learn how to use a fire extinguisher, how to administer CPR, and how to turn off the electricity, gas, and water supplies in your home.
- Inspect your home for potential hazards such as weakened trees or limbs, cracked windows, or worn roofing.
- When you build a new structure - or renovate an existing one - there are ways to prevent wind damage to roofs, upper floors, and garages. Rafters, trusses, walls, and doors can all be reinforced.
4. HAVE AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT. Some storms produce power outages that will last for several days.
Having the following items will help you cope with the disaster:
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Extra clothing and blankets
- An extra set of keys and cash
- Medications and a first aid kit
- Personal hygiene items
- Pet supplies
- A weather alert radio or portable AM/FM radio The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA)
- NWS developed a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide which provides information about tornadoes, severe storms, lightning, and flooding along with recommended actions to take before, during, and after each of these weather events.