Winter Weather Preparedness Week November 17-23

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November 17 through 23 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

Indiana Winter Weather Press Release

National Weather Service Chicago will issue a series of Public Information Statements this week 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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This week, November 17th through November 23rd, is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois and Indiana.
Take time to prepare yourself and your family for the coming winter months. Throughout this week, helpful information will be available from federal, state, and local agencies, disaster relief organizations, and public safety groups. 
Make sure you have plenty of non-perishable food, drinking water, a battery powered Weather Radio and portable AM/FM radio, flashlights, medication and a first aid kit. Also, have a plan for warmth and safety in case you lose power and heat. Create a kit for each vehicle you have with many of the same items, but include extra clothing, blankets, a tow rope, jumper cables, sand or cat litter and basic tools.
For more information contact your local emergency management agency or visit or



…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
Winter storms can be dangerous. You can minimize the impact of severe winter weather by being prepared. Get the latest weather conditions and forecast for your entire route before traveling – even if it is a short trip. The best way to get the latest winter weather information directly from the National Weather Service is by listening to NOAA Weather Radio or by visiting our website at
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 few days. Check your supplies of food, fuel and medications.
A Winter Storm Warning means severe winter weather conditions are imminent within the next 12 to 24 hours. Avoid traveling and stay inside.

Blizzards are the most dangerous winter storms. Winds of 35 mph or greater produce blowing and drifting snow, reducing visibility to 1/4 mile or less, which can can cause you to become disoriented. Travel may be impossible.

A Winter Weather Advisory is for winter weather that causes a significant inconvenience, especially to motorists. Use extra caution while traveling.



…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
The American Red Cross advises the people of Illinois and Indiana to follow winter weather safety rules.
Do you know how to protect yourself from potentially life threatening situations that arise with hazardous winter weather? If not, now is the perfect time to prepare yourself and your family before you are left out in the cold. For free brochures on winter weather precautions, contact your local Red Cross chapter today.
If you are out in the cold and notice dizziness, numbness, confusion, and impaired vision, you may be developing hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to the cold can lead to this life threatening condition, which causes your body temperature to fall well below normal.
To treat someone with hypothermia, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency medical system, and move them to a warmer place. Give the victim warm liquids rather than hot, and avoid alcohol. Warm the body core first with warm blankets – not the hands and feet. This could drive cold blood quickly to the heart, resulting in heart failure. Contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information on cold weather first aid, or visit


…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
Has your car, van, or pickup truck had a vehicle checkup lately? Now is the time to make sure your automobile can survive the coming winter weather.
Check the tires, battery and brakes, along with the heating and defrosting system. Change the antifreeze, if needed, to protect the engine and radiator from freezing up in the cold temperatures that will be with us this winter.
When a snow storm or ice storm is expected to affect any part of your travel route, here is an important question to ask yourself: Do I really need to make this trip? If the answer is no, then don’t go. Keep in mind that the weather may be okay in your town, but hazardous winter driving conditions could exist only a few miles away.
Remember, a blizzard or dangerous ice storm can cause the trip itself to become a life threatening situation. Nearly 50 people die in the United States each year from winter storms and bitterly cold temperatures, and thousands more are injured or killed in traffic accidents during the winter. For more information visit Illinois State Police or Indiana State Police


…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
It is late autumn again, and another Illinois winter is just around the corner, so make sure your furnace and fireplace are inspected and maintained each year. Change or clean the furnace filters and schedule an inspection by a qualified heating specialist. Have a professional chimney sweep service check the chimney and clean the flue.
Shoveling snow can be extremely hard work, especially for seniors. You should not shovel snow unless you are in good physical condition. Know your limits when shoveling snow. Rest frequently and pace yourself. Use a proper snow shovel and lift with your legs, not your back. If you experience chest or arm pain, stop immediately and go indoors.
Overexertion can cause sore muscles, falls on slippery surfaces, and most importantly, heart attacks. Consider asking for help, from someone you know, with clearing the snow and ice off of the sidewalks, stairs and driveway. For more information visit Illinois Department of Public Health or Indiana State Department of Health.


…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
If you must travel out of town and dangerous winter weather conditions are expected along any part of your route, 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 small shovel, a flashlight, a blanket and additional warm clothing, drinking water, and high calorie non-perishable food.
Don’t panic if you become stranded on the road during a winter storm. Call someone on your cell phone and let them know you are stranded. Do not try to walk to safety; stay in your vehicle. Attach a cloth to your car antenna or window to indicate you need help. Turn on the dome light and flashers to make your vehicle more noticeable.
The Illinois Department of Transportation also reminds you to be on the lookout for snow plows this winter. 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. For more information visit Illinois Department of Transportation or Indiana Department of Transportation.


…This Is Winter Weather Preparedness Week…
Follow these tips from the State Fire Marshal and your local fire department to make your winter fire-safe.
Place space heaters at least three feet away from walls, furniture, and other combustible items. Be sure wiring is sufficient for operating an electrical heater. Use extension cords sparingly, especially around the holiday season.
Install and maintain your smoke detectors. A smoke detector that does not have a battery will not work, and it will not save your life. A working smoke detector is your first line of defense in the event of a fire. Replace the battery at least twice each year, and be sure to test it regularly. This is also a good time to change the backup battery in your NOAA Weather Radio.
If you lose heat, never light a grill or wood burner in your home. If you have a portable generator, make sure you follow all of the safety precautions and be certain that it is properly ventilated outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector, and make sure it also has a fresh battery. For more information visit the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal or Indiana Division of Fire and Building Safety.


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