PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — You may have heard a test of the tornado sirens this morning.

The Midwest and Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.

In Central Illinois, the greatest number of tornadoes (statistically) occurred in May.

What is the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning (issued by the National Weather Service)?

  • Tornado Watch: Be Prepared! Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching.
  • Tornado Warning: Take action! A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris. Warnings are issued by your local National Weather Service office. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a tornado identified by a forecaster either visually or by radar.

Sign up to receive EAS (Emergency Alert System) messages via your cell phone. It is pretty easy to do.  Go to “settings” on your cell phone.  A NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radio is an option too.

Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar like a freight train

Immediately go to a safe location that you have identified.

In Homes or Small Buildings:

  • Go to the basement or a small interior room.
  • Cover your head.
  • Stay away from windows.

In Mobile Homes or Vehicles:

  • Do not try to outrun the tornado in your car.
  • Get to the nearest shelter.
  • If a shelter is not available, as a last resort option(s): Stay in the vehicle with your seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows and cover your head with your hands, or lie flat in a ditch and cover your head with your hands.

Plan for your pets!  They are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan.

Prepare for a long-term stay or sheltering. Gather emergency supplies, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food, water, medical supplies and medication

Pay attention to weather reports, do you have the CIProud 2 Go weather app?