Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – March 1st is the start of Meteorological Spring. It also kicks off the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Severe Weather Awareness/Preparedness Week in Illinois. Each day the NWS will focus about a different topic to get ready for Storm Season.
Monday the NWS will focus on getting ready before storms arrive to the area. This includes finding a way to get severe weather alerts, locating a safe space, having awareness of the forecast for the day, and making a kit with essentials in your safe space. Kits should include medical supplies, food, water, flashlights, chargers, and items for your pets. Review the plan and be ready to execute it if and when strong storms threaten.
Tuesday’s focus is on tornadoes. The statewide tornado drill had sirens across the state blare at 10 AM. It’s a chance for local agencies along with the NWS to encourage businesses and schools to review and enact on their plans in case a tornado strikes. Click here to read about a local school participating this year and how COVID-19 restrictions have changed how they did the drill.
Wednesday the focus was on lightning. The best way to avoid strikes is to get inside or stay in a car if out of the home. Avoid sheltering under trees. Lightning is most likely to strike the tallest objects in an open field.
Thursday had wind and hail as the focus. Severe thunderstorms can bring large hail stones that can cause massive damage. Straight line winds can be massively destructive and even worse than tornadoes. Some storms can cause wind damage for miles. The derecho of 2020 in Iowa and Illinois is good example of how bad straight line winds can get.
Friday’s focus was on flooding. One of the most overlooked and deadly forms of severe weather. It can happen quickly (Flash Flooding) and even just 6 inches of rain can sweep a person away. Best advice to avoid injury and death from floods is to get to higher ground and head evacuations notices. When in a car just turn around, don’t drown.