JACKSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - When severe weather threatens, it's important to already have a plan in place to keep your family safe.
Jackson County EMA Deputy Coordinator Orval Rowe agreed.
"It's super important," said Rowe, "It's the difference between life or death, it really is."
As the threat starts to pick up right now in the Heartland, he says it's best to be prepared is key. So when you hear the loud siren, take cover.
"Basically stay away from windows, small interior room with no windows on a lower level," Rowe said. "If you are in a mobile home make sure you get out of the mobile home or a motor home, because of the chance of rollover or explosion."
That siren also provides warnings to local businesses like Vision Center in Murphysboro. The owner, Dr. Jeff Spears, explained how he and his staff prepare.
"Cell phones are always charged up," said Dr. Spears. "We have water, extra water, we have a backup system, security."
And since the building doesn't have a basement, Dr. Jeff Spears said they improvise using a little safe room in the center of the office.
"You use your weather radios, you use your cell phone," Spears said. "I got that Channel 12 alert system on mine, and so with all that added on it creates a much safer environment to decrease the loss of life."
"Anytime you're prepared, you're going to be a lot safer than when you're unprepared," Rowe said. "You're going to be nervous but you won't be scared. It's always better to be nervous than scared. When you're nervous you're more alert. When you're scared a lot of people aren't alert when they are scared."
Click here for more information on how to plan and prepare your family.