The contest will be
highlighted throughout March, which is Severe Weather Preparedness
Month in Illinois.
"2011 was one of the worst years for tornado
deaths in the U.S. in the past 60 years," said IEMA Director
Jonathon Monken. "Fortunately, Illinois didn't experience these
terrible storms, but we never know when or where the next deadly
storm could strike. Weather alert radios are a key tool for alerting
people to approaching danger, day or night, and every home should
The contest is available on the
Ready Illinois website,
the IESMA website, and on many
county and municipal emergency management agency websites. A total
of 100 weather alert radios will be awarded to participants who
register after reading information about the radios and successfully
completing a five-question quiz. The contest runs through March 31.
Winners will be announced in April.
"Through this contest, we hope to make people in Illinois more
aware of the importance of weather alert radios as part of their
personal preparedness kit," said IESMA President Chuck Genesio.
"Much like a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector alerts people
to those dangers, weather alert radios warn people of hazards
outside the home so they have time to seek shelter or take other
actions to stay safe."
IESMA purchased the weather alert radios in 2010 and 2011 as part
of a program to increase emergency preparedness in local schools,
hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities and government
buildings throughout Illinois. Nearly 7,300 weather alert radios
were distributed for placement in these facilities through the
program, which was funded with $172,420 in federal homeland security
grant funds allocated by the Illinois Terrorism Task Force. The 100
radios distributed as part of the current contest will help Illinois
residents better prepare for emergencies.
The National Weather Service and state and local emergency
management officials strongly encourage people to have a National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio All Hazards
with battery backup, a tone-alert feature and Specific Area Message
Encoding technology, known as SAME, which allows the radio to be
programmed to receive alerts for specified counties. When an alert
is issued for that area, the device will sound a warning alarm tone
followed by the broadcast message.
[to top of second column]
Besides weather information, the NWS also broadcasts warnings and
post-event information for all types of hazards, including natural,
environmental and public safety hazards, such as earthquakes,
chemical spills and Amber Alerts.
"Tornadoes do not just occur during the day," said Chris Miller,
warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service
in Lincoln. "In Illinois, 30 percent of all tornadoes occur at
night, when it can be difficult to hear outdoor warning sirens from
inside your home, especially if you are asleep. The best way to be
warned about tornadoes at night is to have a weather alert radio in
your home. It is like having your own personal storm siren."
IEMA and the NWS developed a "Severe Weather Preparedness Guide,"
which provides information about tornadoes, severe storms, lightning
and flooding and recommended actions to take before, during and
after each of these weather events. The guide also includes
definitions of important weather terms, including watches, warnings
and advisories and a list of items needed for a family emergency
supply kit. The guide is available on the Ready Illinois website at
or by calling 217-785-9925.
Emergency Management Agency
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]