IEMA Encourages People to Stay Aware, Be
Prepared for Severe Storms, Flash Flooding
‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ are words to live by in flash floods
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[April 29, 2017]
– With severe weather and flash flooding predicted for large
portions of Illinois tonight through this weekend, the Illinois
Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today encouraged people to stay
aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if weather
warnings are issued.
“Heavy rainfall expected through Sunday night could cause flash
flooding in several areas of the state,” said IEMA Director James K.
Joseph. “When a roadway is covered with floodwaters, it’s impossible
to determine how deep the water is and whether a portion of the road
has washed away. That’s why it’s so important that people remember
to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ when they encounter a flooded
Joseph said 11 people lost their lives on flooded roadways that
resulted from several days of heavy rainfall in late 2015. In all,
14 flood-related fatalities were recorded in 2015, the most since
records have been kept, according to the National Weather Service.
A threat of large hail, damaging winds and a possibility for a
tornado also exists for central and southern Illinois, particularly
south of I-70, through the weekend as well.
People should have multiple ways to receive
notifications and updated information about severe weather warnings,
such as through a weather alert radio, Wireless Emergency Alerts,
weather alert apps, TV and radio broadcasts, the Internet, outdoor
warning sirens and more.
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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. The tone alarm provides a
24/7 alert to approaching hazards, even during overnight hours when many people
Wireless Emergency Alerts (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 location, even if you’re traveling outside
your home county or state. Other smartphone alerting apps also are available,
including the tornado app by the American Red Cross.
If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately,
preferably in a basement underneath the stairs or a sturdy piece of furniture.
If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway or a small interior room
without windows, get under sturdy furniture and use pillows or cushions to
protect your head and neck.
For more information about severe weather preparedness, visit
[Illinois Emergency Management