Severe Weather Awareness Week kicks off in IL

Severe Weather Awareness Week kicks off in IL

It's Severe Weather Awareness week in Illinois, which serves as a reminder to residents on how to prepare for unruly weather.

Emergency management officials say being ready all year long is key, since severe weather can hit at any time.

"Weather continues all throughout the year, and so therefore you've got to be very careful throughout the entirety year," coordinator for the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency, Steve Lueker said. "Because we've had as many tornadoes, and severe weather sessions during the winter time as we do during the Spring."

Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) officials say one of the biggest items residents should get is a weather radio, so that they have a way of getting early alerts that something is coming.

Keith Hertenstein, assistant coordinator for the Jefferson Co. EMA, says the most common one is the Midland Weather Alert Radio. He says having a kit ready in the home is highly encouraged.

"A good kit should include of course a weather radio," Hertenstein said. "Also include a light, a flashlight, candles, copies of your important documents, such as birth certificates, insurance papers, copies of prescriptions if you have them."

He says also to include, cash, extra clothing,  blankets, even a sleeping bag, and also .

"You never can tell what you're going to face if you'll have to evacuate," he said. "You'll want to make the kit where you can take it with you so that if you do have to go to say Red Cross shelter, pull your kit, take it with you then you'll have everything you need at the shelter as well."

Hertenstein and Lueker say the Emergency Management Agency works very closely with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Kentucky.

One March 14th, the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky and the Jefferson County EMA will be teaming up with the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport and the Amateur Radio Club of Mt. Vernon to host a Skywarn Spotter Training on Monday, March 14, at 6 p.m.

This is for anyone interested in storm spotter training.

It will be held at the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. For more information, you can contact Mike York at 618-315-1792 or contact Ricky Shanklin at

Click here for various tips when it comes to flooding, tornadoes and thunderstorms.

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