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March is Severe Weather Preparedness Month

As March unfolds, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security sound the alarm, recognizing it as Severe Weather Preparedness Month. March represents the critical need for readiness, IEMA-OHS urges families across the state to brace themselves against the looming threat of severe weather.


IEMA-OHS Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau stresses the unpredictability of severe weather, urging Illinoisans to prepare for potential disasters, ranging from flash flooding to tornadoes. Recent weather events, including 11 tornadoes and hail, describe the urgency of readiness.


Ed Shimon, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, explains the life-saving importance of preparedness plans, saying that swift action is needed in life-threatening situations, as demonstrated by the EF3 tornadoes that struck Robinson and Lewiston last year.


In 2023, Illinois grappled with two significant Presidential Disaster Declarations, tallying over $462 million in damages due to severe weather and flooding. Nationally, flooding emerges as the most prevalent natural hazard, with just an inch of water capable of causing $25,000 in home damage, as per FEMA.


The Illinois Department of Insurance and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources advocate for flood insurance as a safeguard for homeowners, renters, and businesses. Flood insurance coverage, obtainable through the National Flood Insurance Program, comes with a 30-day waiting period, necessitating immediate action for protection against spring/summer flooding.


Beyond flood preparedness, IEMA-OHS advises families to establish a comprehensive Family Communications Plan, safeguard important documents, conduct home inventories, and ensure property and possessions are adequately insured. An emergency kit and "go bag" are recommended to sustain families for at least three days during power outages or evacuations.


With the looming threat of severe weather, Illinoisans are urged to equip themselves with essential supplies, maintain readiness plans, and stay informed. For more tips and preparedness resources, visit ready.illinois.gov/plan/emergencykit.


As the state braces for potential disasters, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency reaffirms its commitment to readiness, urging citizens to heed the call for preparedness and safety.

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