Everything you need to know about being prepared at READY.ILLINOIS.GOV
BEFORE AN EMERGENCY - It is critical that everyone is prepared for an emergency. Remember, sometimes emergencies are so immense that responders cannot immediately assist you or your family. It is your responsibility to prepare yourself.
DURING AN EMERGENCY - When an emergency occurs, things may be hectic. Remember, it is in the best interest of you and your family to be prepared for any emergency. When an emergency does occur.
AFTER AN EMERGENCY - When a disaster or emergency is over, you need to review what has occurred.
- Check on the status of your family's physical health and the safety of your home.
- If you have property damage, contact your insurance company and your local emergency management or local law enforcement agency to ensure your damage is included in a possible state or federal disaster declaration.
Preparing for a Major Winter Storm (For a Complete Guide- Click Here)
A major winter storm can be lethal. Preparing for cold weather conditions and responding to them effectively can reduce the dangers caused by winter storms. Blizzards are severe winter storms that pack a combination of blowing snow and wind resulting in very low visibilities. While heavy snowfalls and severe cold often accompany blizzards, they are not required. Sometimes strong winds pick up snow that has already fallen, creating a blizzard. From 1986 to 2004, the over a thousand deaths have been attributed to winter weather in the United States.
Winter Weather Preparedness Tips:
- Winterize your Home
- Keep Pipes from Freezing
- Have Adequate Food, Water and Medicine for each person
- Develop an Emergency Communication Plan
BEFORE the storm: Be familiar with winter storm warning messages, service your snow removal equipment and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways and kitty litter to generate temporary traction, make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
WINTERIZE your home: Insulate walls and attic, caulk and weather-strip doors and windows, install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside, have safe emergency heating equipment available.
KEEP PIPES FROM FREEZING: Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers, cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture, let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing, know how to shut off water valves.
HAVE DISASTER SUPPLIES ON HAND, in case the power goes out: Flashlight and extra batteries, portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries, first aid kit, fire extinguisher (A-B-C type), extra blankets and sleeping bags.
HAVE ADEQUATE FOOD, WATER and MEDICINE FOR EACH PERSON: One-week supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking in case the power is shut off), one gallon of water for each person per day (don’t forget pets), manual can opener, essential prescription medications.
DEVELOP AN EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION PLAN: In case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together, ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact,” after a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person, make sure that all family members know how to respond after a severe winter storm, teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
DURING the storm: Stay indoors and dress warmly, conserve fuel, listen to the radio or television to get the latest information. If you must go outdoors: Dress warmly, wear loose-fitting, layered, light-weight clothing. Layers can be removed to prevent perspiration and chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers generate warmth when they touch each other, cover your mouth, avoid overexertion, watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.