PRESS RELEASE: DEVASTATING TORNADO OUTBREAK SERVES AS REMINDER OF IMPORTANCE OF PREPAREDNESS

National Weather Service
 
333 W Univeristy Dr
Romeoville, IL 60446
Phone (815) 834-0600 x763
Fax (815) 834-0645
Press Release
Contact: Gino Izzi
Phone: (815) 834-0600 x763
Email: Gino.Izzi@noaa.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1 P.M. CDT, April 28, 2011
DEVASTATING TORNADO OUTBREAK SERVES AS REMINDER OF IMPORTANCE OF PREPAREDNESS
ROMEOVILLE, IL, April 28, 2011: It has been more than 20 years since the Chicago area has seen a violent tornado, however, the vivid images of death and destruction coming in from the southeast U.S. should serve as a reminder to Chicagoans of devastating effects of a direct hit from a violent tornado. The last violent tornado to strike the area was August 28, 1990, when an EF-5 tornado leveled portions of Plainfield and the southwest suburbs of Chicago. The long period of time that has elapsed since this tornado has led to many Chicagoans developing a sense of complacency, however, the recent rash of violent tornadoes striking major metropolitan areas should serve as a wake-up call and result in a greater sense of urgency to ensure preparedness for a tornado.
 
The images of homes completely destroyed and cars tossed around like toys is a testament to the power of tornadoes and reinforces the urgency of having a plan in place ahead of time of what to do when a tornado is coming. Given the Chicago area’s historic vulnerability to violent tornadoes, such as the ones
 that left hundreds dead Wednesday, it is imperative that everyone in the Chicago area not only have a way of receiving warnings but also know what they will do when a warning is issued for their area. NOAA Weather Radios serve as an invaluable tool in receiving warnings and can be programmed to set off an alarm whenever a tornado warning is issued for a particular area. Preparing ahead of time and making sure everyone in your household knows where the safest place to be during a tornado is imperative.
 
While the 2011 severe weather season has gotten off to a slow start in the Chicago area, the slow start to the season does not serve as a predictor as to how busy the rest of the season will be. Typically, La Nina patterns, like the one we are currently in, result in more frequent and more significant tornado outbreaks across the central and eastern United States. As the jet stream begins its seasonal migration northward the threat of tornadoes, and possibly strong to violent tornadoes, will likely be on the increase over the coming weeks in the Chicago area making the need to plan now even more urgent.
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