March is the Severe Weather Preparedness Month
Preparing for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and floods will not only benefit you during the spring and summer months, but all year round. In fact, almost half of all tornadoes reported in Illinois the past three years (2012-14) have occurred in fall or winter! We typically see the “peak” of severe weather season from April through June; however recent weather events have proven that we need to be “Weather Ready” in Illinois the entire year.
Illinois Tornado Facts
- Illinois ranks fifth in the United States for the most tornadoes per square mile.
- The majority of Illinois tornadoes have occurred between April 1 and June 30 and between the hours of 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. However, tornadoes have occurred every month of the year at all hours of the day.
- Nearly 30 percent of all tornadoes in Illinois occur after dark.
- There is an average of 47 tornadoes each year in Illinois.
- There were 48 tornadoes reported in Illinois during 2014, which resulted in two injuries and nearly $5 million in damage to homes and crops.
In Illinois, since 1950:
- 76 percent of tornadoes have been weak with wind less than 110 mph, 22 percent of tornadoes have been strong with wind between 110-167 mph, 2 percent of tornadoes have been violent with wind greater than 167 mph.
- Two violent tornadoes occurred on November 17, 2013; one in Washington and one in New Minden.
- The chances of being affected by a tornado may seem small, but if you are in a threatened area, act QUICKLY when the threat is confirmed. See our Staying Informed pages on how to keep informed about severe weather.
Are you Prepared?
McHenry County Emergency Management Agency would like to remind you that now is the perfect time to review your Family’s Emergency Plan and check the supplies in your Emergency Kit or to take some time and create these life-saving tools. We all know first-hand the impact severe weather can have, whether it is flooding, winter weather or heat advisory. No matter what the disaster is, there are simple preparedness steps that anyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones in a time of need. To assist the community with this effort the Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (IL-IN-WI RCPT) has launched Gear Up, Get Ready campaign to encourage households to take key steps in family preparedness. This mission encompasses 19 counties and communities in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
By taking a few simple steps ahead of time, you and your family can be ready when disaster strikes:
- Make a Family Emergency Plan decide how you will reconnect with each other, list important information and phone numbers and discuss the plan with all members and post it in your home where visitors can view it.
- Gather supplies for an Emergency Kit and put them in one place to meet your family’s needs for three days. You may already have three days of food already within your home. Top five items include, water, non-perishable food, battery powered radio, flashlight & extra batteries and a first aid kit. Be sure to meet the specific needs of your family and pets.
211 Service Launched in McHenry County
The 211 service streamlines access to health and human services for McHenry County residents. When an individual needs information or referral services for which they have little or no prior knowledge or experience, dialing 211 is a simple option. Once the individual dials 211, they will be connected to a call center where they will speak to a professional information and referral specialist who will refer or connect the caller to the appropriate agency.