NAPERVILLE, Ill. — With spring approaching, the City of Naperville reminds all residents and businesses to be prepared for severe weather conditions such as flooding, thunderstorms and tornadoes. Illinois Severe Weather Awareness Week is taking place now through March 10, making this week an excellent opportunity for residents and businesses to increase their awareness and have emergency plans in place for severe weather hazards.
Severe weather in the form of tornadoes, deadly lightning, flash floods, damaging winds and destructive hail strike Illinois each spring, summer and fall with incredible force. The City encourages all residents to develop a safety plan for use in their homes, workplaces, schools and vehicles. The City has produced an Emergency Preparedness Guide to assist residents in creating a plan. A copy of this document is available on the City’s website at www.naperville.il.us/emergencyprepguide.aspx. More information on how to prepare for severe weather is available at www.naperville.il.us/severestormweek.aspx. The National Weather Service also has a webpage available to view featuring information about severe weather safety at www.nws.noaa.gov/os/severeweather/index.shtml.
“This is a great time of year to review your family emergency plan and check the contents of your family disaster supply kit,” Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Nelson said. “Taking proactive steps now to be prepared will make our community safer and better prepared to assist one another in the event of a weather-related emergency.”
The City offers the following tips to stay safe during the upcoming storm season:
Always pay attention to severe weather watches and warnings. Monitor weather forecasts before you go on a trip or spend an extended period of time outdoors.
Be aware of multiple ways to receive up-to-date weather information. Have a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather radio, which provides around-the-clock weather information, or an AM/FM radio available. Make sure the radio is battery operable and that you have a fresh supply of batteries on hand.
Before severe weather strikes, review your family emergency plan with your family.
Stock your emergency kit fully and make sure all family members know where it is. Your kit should be stocked to allow you to be self-sufficient for 72 hours following an emergency.
Know what to do if the City’s outdoor warning sirens have been activated.
During a severe weather event, if you are inside a structure, make your way to a pre-designated shelter area such as the safe room, basement, storm cellar or lowest level of the building.
During a severe weather event, if you are in a vehicle, leave the vehicle and find a structure with a safe shelter area as described above. If you cannot find a structure, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding at any time.
The City conducts outdoor warning siren testing the first Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. As a reminder to residents, if the steady tone of the outdoor warning sirens is heard at any other time, it is a signal that an emergency is occurring in the community. The outdoor weather siren is used to alert the public that a tornado has been sighted and is approaching the community. When the steady tone is heard during severe weather, it is imperative to find shelter immediately. Residents should tune in to their preferred local media outlet for weather updates.
Consistent with National Weather Service recommendations, the City does not issue any cancellation tones. This is intended to minimize confusion if another tornado is sighted within the same period. Members of the community should monitor radio and TV reports and use their best judgment to decide when to leave their shelter.
Residents who would like to attend a workshop on how to create an emergency plan and emergency kit are invited to attend emergency preparedness classes taking place the second Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, 305 W. Jackson Ave., Room 206. To reserve space, call (630) 305-7000, ext. 570, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weather enthusiasts are also invited to attend one of the Naperville Office of Emergency Management’s Severe Weather Spotter Talks taking place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St. The talks are free and open to the public. Advance registration is not required; however, a courtesy phone call to (630) 420-6009 is requested to estimate attendance.
For more information on Emergency Preparedness, visit the City’s website at www.naperville.il.us/nema.aspx. For more information on the City of Naperville, visit www.naperville.il.us. Sign up to receive the latest news on the City of Naperville’s projects and initiatives via e-mail at www.naperville.il.us/enews.aspx.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to all first responders who always make a difference before, during and after severe weather events such as the devastation that has recently hit the heartland of this nation. Pay attention and be prepared.
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