Elgin Fire Department reminds residents its Severe Weather Preparedness Week
| March 1, 2012
March 4 through March 10 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois and the Elgin Fire Department along with the National Weather Service is urging residents to create a severe weather safety plan for homes, schools and workplaces.
At 10 a.m. March 2, Illinois also will conduct a statewide tornado drill to prepare residents. The test will be transmitted through the Emergency Alert System and over the Weather Wire as an actual tornado warning.
“Spring brings with it unstable and sometimes violent weather, as witnessed by the recent tornado in Harrisburg on Feb. 29” said Elgin Fire Chief John Fahy. “Tornadoes, lightning, flash floods, damaging winds and destructive hail can do a lot of damage to homes, businesses and schools.”
Knowing what to expect and creating a safety plan can help save lives, according to Fahy and the National Weather Service.
Preparedness saves lives
There is nothing we can do to stop severe thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes or floods from developing. However, there are things that everyone can do to minimize the impacts of severe weather on our lives.
What you can do to be prepared:
1. Stay informed — Monitor a weather alert radio, local radio and TV broadcasts, NWS web pages, or various applications on computers and smart phones.
Don't rely on only one method — especially storm sirens — which are not designed to be heard indoors by everyone.
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 and 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
- Nonperishable 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