A Publication of WTVP

While Illinois is not included in the region known as “Tornado Alley,” the state does get its share of deadly tornadoes this time of year. Indeed, 80 percent of Illinois tornadoes occur between the months of April and June, with a total of 212 deaths and 4,254 injuries since 1950. Tornadoes, damaging winds and other severe weather hazards have prompted the National Weather Service to build a “Weather Ready Nation” in an effort to save lives. With the support of state and local emergency management agencies, including Peoria County’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA), the country has become better prepared to protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from weather-related disasters.

Peoria County’s EMA routinely works with local and regional emergency agencies to ensure central Illinois is prepared for any type of weather-related disaster, including tornadoes, flooding, snow events and earthquakes. Beyond weather, however, emergency management agencies prepare for all manners of disaster, whether natural or manmade. In addition to planning for emergencies, activating outdoor warning systems and serving as a conduit for additional resources, Peoria County’s EMA plays a large role in building a “Ready Nation” by educating the public of potential hazards and the steps that can be taken prior to disaster to help ensure your family’s safety during disaster.

Fortunately, many family emergency preparedness steps are not disaster-specific and can be applied to almost any catastrophe imaginable in our region. Two such steps are building an emergency supply kit and establishing points of contact:

Every region in the country is prone to disaster, with some more likely than others. In central Illinois, tornadoes and severe weather top the list. Peoria County’s EMA recommends families identify the most likely hazards to occur and plan accordingly. In the event of a tornado, where will your family take shelter? In the event of fire, how will your family escape? Planning for and practicing these scenarios in advance will go a long way towards ensuring a “Ready Family” and saving the lives of your loved ones should disaster strike that close to home. iBi