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SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday encouraged people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if storm warnings are issued.
“Parts of northern and central Illinois could see severe weather tonight, with more severe storms possible during the day and into the evening hours on Wednesday,” IEMA Director James K. Joseph said. “We want everyone to stay aware and be prepared to seek shelter immediately if a storm warning is issued.”
Joseph said it’s critical for people to have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather warnings, such as through a weather alert radio, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), weather alert apps, TV and radio broadcasts, the Internet, outdoor warning sirens and more.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radios can be programmed to issue a tone alarm and provide information about a warning that has been issued for your county.
WEAs are available on most smartphones. Check your phone’s notification settings under Government Alerts to ensure Emergency Alerts is turned on. With a WEA-enabled phone, you will receive tornado and flash flood warnings issued for your current location, even if you’re traveling. Other smartphone alerting apps also are available, including the tornado app by the American Red Cross.
In addition, many communities have outdoor warning sirens, which can alert people outdoors of an approaching hazard. Don’t rely on these sirens to alert you when you’re inside a building or asleep.
Seek shelter immediately if a tornado warning is issued for your area. The best shelter is in a basement or cellar. If an underground shelter is not available, find an interior room or hallway on the lowest level, such as a closet, small interior hallways and bathrooms without windows.
For information about severe weather preparedness, visit Ready.Illinois.gov.