Winter Weather Preparedness Week

 

November 15 through 21 is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois and Indiana

 

Here are some web resources for winter weather; 

National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville winter weather page – includes terminology, local warning and advisory criteria, local snowfall statistics, and other winter links 

National Weather Service Headquarters Winter Weather page  

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Winter Storm Preparedness Guide  

Indiana Winter Weather Preparedness Newsletter

 

National Weather Service Chicago will issue a series of Public Information Statements from Monday November 16 through Saturday November 21 on a variety of winter topics from state agencies and organizations. These messages will also air on NOAA Weather Radio stations across northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.

 

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Monday
 
…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
 
This week, November 15 through 21, is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois and Indiana. Take time to prepare your family for a cold weather emergency at home or on the road. Throughout the winter months, helpful information will be available from federal, state and local agencies, disaster relief organizations and public safety organizations. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency urges you to use this information to develop a family protection plan for a safe winter.
 
If the need arises because of storms this winter, shelters throughout Illinois will open for your protection. Andrew Velasquez III, Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and his staff say you can help by creating a family protection plan. Have a store of food and drinking water, a battery-powered portable radio for receiving emergency information, a first aid kit, and most importantly, a plan for warmth and safety. For more information contact your local emergency management agency or visit www.state.il.us/iema
 

Tuesday
 
…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
 
Winter storms are dangerous. You can minimize the impact of severe winter weather by being prepared. Check the latest weather forecast before traveling. The National Weather Service issues outlooks, watches, warnings, and advisories for hazardous winter weather.
 
The hazardous weather outlook highlights potentially dangerous winter storms, high winds, and extreme cold, up to seven days in advance.
 
A winter storm watch means severe winter weather is possible in the next day or two. Check supplies of food and fuel.
 
A winter storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are imminent, occurring, or highly likely to begin in the next 12 hours. Avoid travel and stay indoors.
 
A winter weather advisory means weather that causes significant inconvenience, especially to motorists, is imminent, occurring, or highly likely to begin in the next 12 hours. Use caution.
 
The best way to get the latest winter weather information direct from the National Weather Service is by listening to NOAA Weather Radio – All Hazards. Radios are available at many electronics and department stores, through catalogs, and through the internet. They cost around $30 to $80. Weather radio broadcasts are also available at many Illinois interstate highway rest areas.
 
Check the latest local weather conditions on the web at weather.gov/chicago.
For information on local winter weather visit www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/?n=winter
For more information on winter weather visit weather.gov/om/winter.
 

Wednesday
 
…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
 
The American Red Cross urges winter weather safety. The blustery Cold and blowing snow of an Illinois winter is upon us. Do you know how to protect yourself from life-threatening situations that arise with hazardous weather? If not, now is the perfect time to prepare yourself and your family before you're left out in the cold. For free brochures on winter weather precautions, call your local Red Cross chapter today.
 
The cold winters in Illinois are sometimes, quite literally, bone chilling! If you are out in the cold and notice dizziness, numbness, confusion, and impaired vision, you may have hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to the cold can lead to this life-threatening condition which causes your body temperature to fall below normal, affecting how your body functions. To treat hypothermia, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency medical system and move to a warmer place. For more information on cold weather first aid, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross or visit www.redcross.org.
 

Thursday
 
…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
 
Has your car, van, or pickup had a checkup lately? The Illinois State Police remind you that winter is on the way. Now's the time to make sure your car can survive the coming winter weather extremes. Check the tires, brakes, and battery, along with the heating and defrosting system. Change the anti-freeze, if needed, to protect your car's engine and radiator from freezing up in the cold temperatures that will be with us this winter.
 
Here's a winter driving tip from the Illinois state police. When a winter storm arrives, with all its ice, wind, and blinding snow, here's an important question to ask yourself before braving a drive through the winter storm. Ask if the need to make the trip is a matter of life or death. If the answer is no, don't go! Remember, a blizzard or dangerous winter storm can cause the trip itself to become a life threatening situation.
 

Friday
 
…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
 
If you have to travel out of town during a winter storm, be sure to tell your family or friends where you are going, the roads you will be taking, and your time of arrival. Make sure your gas tank is full. Carry a windshield scraper, jumper cables, a shovel, flashlight, a blanket or additional warm clothing and
candy bars or other high energy snack foods.
 
Don't panic if you become stranded on the road during a winter storm. Stay in your vehicle. Don't try to walk to safety. If you have a cell phone, use it to let someone know you are stranded. Attach a cloth to your car's antenna or window to indicate you need help and turn on the dome light and flashers to make your car more noticeable.
 
If you have to drive during a winter storm, you will probably see state snow plows on the highway. If the plow is coming toward you, allow plenty of room for it to pass. If you approach a snowplow from the rear, pass with care and only when you can see the road ahead of the plow. If you can't see because of blowing snow, don't pass.
 

This winter when it's stormy, play it safe. Check out road conditions on the interstate and freeway system before your drive out of town. Call the Illinois Department of Transportation's toll free number, 1-800-452-IDOT for current conditions or visit www.dot.state.il.us. Drive safely this winter.

 
Saturday
 
…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
 
Follow these tips from the Illinois State Fire Marshal and your local fire department to make your winter fire-safe. Have all heating equipment professionally checked and cleaned. Make sure heating units carry the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Always follow all manufacturers’ instructions. Place space heaters at least three feet from walls, furniture and other combustible items. Be sure wiring is sufficient for operating an electric heater. Use extension cords sparingly. Install and maintain smoke detectors.
 

A smoke detector that doesn't have a battery, doesn't work, and won't save your life. A working smoke detector is your first line of defense in the event of a fire. Be sure to clean and maintain your smoke detector. Replace the battery at least once or twice a year and be sure to test your smoke detector regularly. Have a fire-safe winter.

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New This Winter - Bulletized Winter Weather Watches, Warnings, Advisories!

Beginning on December 8, 2009, the National Weather Service office in Chicago/Romeoville will begin using a new bulletized format for winter weather and non-precipitation watches, warnings, and advisories. The experimental bullet format is similar to the current format for tornado, severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings. It is easier for users to read and to quickly gather vital information from during hazardous winter and non-precipitation events. A public information statement from National Weather Service Headquarters can be found here. A product description, including examples and a list of participating NWS offices can be found here.

Here is an example of a winter storm product in the current format and in the bullet format; 

 

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
400 AM CDT FRI JAN 20 2010
 
.A DEVELOPING STORM SYSTEM IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE WILL MOVE NORTHEAST ACROSS SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL ILLINOIS TODAY AND TONIGHT. ALTHOUGH THE SYSTEM WILL INITIALLY BRING A RAIN SNOW MIX...COLD AIR FLOWING INTO THE SYSTEM WILL CHANGE THE MIX TO ALL SNOW DURING THE EVENING. SNOWFALL OF 6 TO 8 INCHES IS EXPECTED ACROSS PARTS OF NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND EXTREME NORTHWEST INDIANA.
 
INZ006-013-014-022-INZ001-201900-
/O.UPG.KLOT.WS.A.0001.100121T0000Z-100121T1200Z/
/O.NEW.KLOT.WS.W.0001.100121T0000Z-100121T1200Z/
LAKE ILLINOIS-DUPAGE-COOK-WILL-LAKE INDIANA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WAUKEGAN...CHICAGO...JOLIET...GARY
400 AM CST FRI JAN 20 2010
 
...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM CST SATURDAY...
 
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM CST
SATURDAY.
 
RAIN WILL DEVELOP THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA...AND MAY INITIALLY BE MIXED WITH SNOW. THE TRANSITION TO SNOW IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR THIS EVENING. SNOW MAY BECOME HEAVY AT TIME THIS EVENING. TOTAL SNOWFALL OF 6 TO 8 INCHES IS EXPECTED BY SATURDAY MORNING BEFORE SNOW DIMINISHES TO FLURRIES.
 
WEST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 15 TO 25 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT...CAUSING BLOWING AND DRIFTING OF SNOW. TRAVEL WILL BECOME VERY DIFFICULT OVERNIGHT AND SATURDAY MORNING.  
 
PREPAREDNESS/PRECAUTIONARY ACTIONS...
A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP A FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.
 
&&
$$
 
 
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
400 AM CDT FRI JAN 20 2010
 
.A DEVELOPING STORM SYSTEM IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE WILL MOVE NORTHEAST ACROSS SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL ILLINOIS TODAY AND TONIGHT. ALTHOUGH THE SYSTEM WILL INITIALLY BRING A RAIN SNOW MIX...COLD AIR FLOWING INTO THE SYSTEM WILL CHANGE THE MIX TO ALL SNOW DURING THE EVENING. SNOWFALL OF 6 TO 8 INCHES IS EXPECTED ACROSS PARTS OF NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND EXTREME NORTHWEST INDIANA.
 
INZ006-013-014-022-INZ001-201900-
/O.UPG.KLOT.WS.A.0001.100121T0000Z-100121T1200Z/
/O.NEW.KLOT.WS.W.0001.100121T0000Z-100121T1200Z/
LAKE ILLINOIS-DUPAGE-COOK-WILL-LAKE INDIANA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WAUKEGAN...CHICAGO...JOLIET...GARY
400 AM CST FRI JAN 20 2010
 
...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM CST SATURDAY...
 
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM CST
SATURDAY.
 
* RAIN WILL BEGIN THIS AFTERNOON AND CHANGE TO SNOW BY EVENING...BECOMING HEAVY
* TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 8 INCHES
* WEST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 15 TO 25 MPH LATE TONIGHT WITH BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW.
 
PREPAREDNESS/PRECAUTIONARY ACTIONS...
A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP A FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.
 
&&
$$

 

 


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