It's severe weather season here in the Midwest. All families need a plan for what to do in the case of an emergency or natural disaster.

Be Prepared

Preparation for any emergency or disaster is key. First, you need to look at what could affect your family home. Illinois is prone to many weather-induced disasters: tornadoes, floods, ice storms, lightning, etc. You also need to think about house fires and even the possibility of an earthquake.

Make an Emergency Plan

When developing an emergency plan, think about all members of your family including your pets. For each type of emergency or disaster you will need to identify the safe place whether inside or out and where the family will go in the event of that type of emergency.

  • Stay Alert: When there is a chance for bad weather, it is always good to tune in to local radio, television, or online information. However at times, you may be without power. A battery-powered NOAA weather radio may be a good item to keep in your home. Change the batteries in your weather radio twice a year when you change your fire alarm batteries.
  • Supply Kit: Have enough food and water for up to three days for each member of your family along with some basic first aid supplies. Don't forget special needs, i.e. a baby who needs formula or someone on vital medication. Include printed vital records such as names, phone numbers, and information you need following some type of disaster. 
  • Escape routes: You will also need to discuss and practice escape routes with children so they know how to get to that location. Growing up as a child I knew that if there was a fire, we were to meet at the turn around on the driveway and we all headed to the basement with a blanket during possible tornadoes. Discussion and practice will help keep children calm and safe in scary moments.
  • Review the plan: Review your family disaster plans annually and then make the necessary updates as needed.

For more information please visit our Disaster Resources website. You can find information on how to prepare for severe weather; how to put together a disaster preparedness kit; disaster fact sheets; and, even take a quiz to test your family's preparedness.