In Illinois, nearly 80% of all tornadoes occur from April through June, during the mid afternoon through early evening hours. However, they have occurred in every month of the year, at all hours of the day. In 2007, Illinois had 22 tornadoes, which resulted in 3 injuries, but no fatalities. Since 1950, Illinois has averaged 35 tornadoes each year, but the average over the past 10 years (1998 to 2007) has nearly doubled to 64!
When a tornado threatens, you may have only seconds to save yourself and your family. Have a preparedness plan for your home, school, and workplace. Know where to find the best tornado shelter.
- In a home: Go to the basement and get under a stairwell, or under a heavy piece of furniture. If you don't have a basement, go to a closet, hall, or bathroom on the lowest flor, and stay away from windows. Do not take refuge in a garage or automobile!
- In schools, hospitals, churches, office buildings, and other places where people work or gather: Go to small interior rooms or hallways on the lowest floor of the building. Stay away from windows and exterior doors. Avoid large rooms with free span roofs, such as gymnasiums and cafeterias.
- In high rise buildings: Go to interior hallways, bathrooms, or closets on the lowest floor possible.
- In shopping centers: Avoid large open areas and glass. Seek shelter in bathrooms, small interior spaces, and behind counters. Do not attemp to escape in a vehicle!
- In mobile homes and vehicles: These should be abandoned well before the storm arrives! Seek shelter in a nearby reinforced building. As a last resort, lie flat in a ditch. Never seek shelter under a bridge or highway overpass!