Tornado & Severe Weather Tips

2009521104489377801Here in the Midwest, we must be alert and prepared for tornado season starting in April and continuing through June.

“According to the National Weather Service, Illinois had 30 tornadoes in 2012, including an EF4 that hit Harrisburg on Feb. 29 and killed eight people. In all, Illinois’ 30 tornadoes caused 111 injuries and nine fatalities.”

IL has had a whirlwind history with tornados, including the first documented case of a tornado being detected by radar in 1953, and “has experienced some of the worst tornadoes in U.S. history. The infamous Tri-State tornado occurred on March 18, 1925, passing through southern Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, leaving 695 dead and 2000 injured.” The year of 2006 currently holds the record for most tornados with 124.

Our neighborhood’s Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce brings us these great tips on how to be prepared:

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency recommends that residents purchase a NOAA all-hazards weather radio.

Along with having a weather radio, the National Weather Service and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency have many tips on how to stay safe in severe weather.

  • Monitor watches and warnings on TV, radio, Internet or through a NOAA all-hazards weather radio. Remember that a tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning means a tornado either has been sighted by someone or has been indicated on the weather radar.
  • If a tornado warning occurs while you are at home, seek shelter in the lowest level of your home or building—like a basement—or in an interior room away from windows. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency adds that if you are in a basement, you should seek shelter under the stairs or under a piece of heavy furniture.
  • If you are at a school, hospital, shopping center or other building when a tornado warning occurs, go to the designated storm shelter or a basement. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency recommends that people avoid areas like auditoriums, cafeterias and gymnasiums.
  • If you are in your car when a tornado warning is issued, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency recommends exiting your vehicle and taking shelter in a nearby building. Seeking shelter in a ditch should be done only as a last resort if there is no other shelter available.
  • During a severe thunderstorm, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency recommends staying away from windows and doors. You also should avoid showering or bathing during a severe thunderstorm due to lightning. If you are driving, the Illinois Emergency Management Agencyrecommends pulling over to the shoulder, away from trees and power lines. You also should avoid touching metal parts of the car if lightning is nearby.

For more severe weather tips, visit the National Weather Service or Illinois Emergency Management Agency sites.