January 18 – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency encourages all Illinoisans to prepare for another blast of winter weather.
The National Weather Service forecast calls for a winter storm with accumulating snow to arrive Illinois beginning today, followed by a blast of cold arctic air that will bring single digit wind chills to our state.
“Being unprepared for winter weather is not only inconvenient, it’s dangerous,” said IEMA Chief of Staff Jennifer Ricker. “With more snow and dangerously cold temperatures on tap for much of the state, the time to act is now to ensure you and your family are prepared for everything from a dusting of snow to a major winter storm.”
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency maintains the Ready Illinois website (ready.illinois.gov) which includes critical safety information to help Illinoisans before, during and after any hazard, manmade or natural.
Winter Weather Preparedness tips include:
- Familiarize yourself with the various weather alert definitions, so you know how to keep your family safe;
- Winterize your home and take steps to prevent frozen water pipes;
- Don’t wait. Communicate. Create and discuss emergency plans for you and your family;
- Charge your mobile devices before any storm;
- Build a home emergency kit with items such as a food, water, medications, NOAA weather radio, flashlight and spare batteries;
- Stock your vehicle with the emergency items such as a first aid kit, phone charger, blankets, extra clothes, jumper cables, kitty litter or sand, a flashlight and snow scraper in the event you must travel;
- If you lose power, seek out a warming center in your area until the power can be restored.
A list of warming centers can be found on the Ready Illinois website.
As the winter storm approaches, public safety officials urge residents to stay ahead of the storm by following the watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
When possible, stay off the roads during and immediately after a storm to allow crews to effectively clear and appropriately treat area roadways. Those who must travel during a storm should remember to share the road. Illinois law requires drivers to change lanes when approaching police or other emergency vehicles.
More tips for staying safe at home and on the road are available in a Winter Weather Preparedness guide developed by IEMA and the National Weather Service, available in digital form on the Ready Illinois website.