Preparing for Severe Weather
is information on the possible ways you may be notified of severe weather and a possible emergency
situation. You can also check
Weather Service Forecast Website.
- Commercial radio and television stations.
- Weather radios. These special radios provide the earliest
warning with an alarm that will alert you in case of anticipated
bad weather. The Marion, IL station is WXM-49 at 162.425 MHZ. To learn
more, call your local office of Emergency Management usually listed
under Government in the telephone yellow pages.
- Door to door warning from local emergency officials such
as police or firemen. Strictly follow their instructions!
- Be aware of anyone in your neighborhood who may need special
help during an emergency. If available and you need special help,
take advantage of advance registration systems in your area by calling your
local office of Emergency Management usually listed under Government in
the telephone yellow pages.
The next time disaster strikes, you may
not have much time to act. Prepare now for a sudden emergency. By planning ahead
you can avoid waiting in long lines for critical supplies, such as food, water,
and medicine. Remember to review your plan regularly.
Use the following checklist to get started:
- Assemble emergency supplies.
- Arrange for someone to check on you.
- Plan and practice the best escape routes from your home.
- Plan for transportation if you need to evacuate to an
- Find the safe places in your home from such disasters
as a tornado.
- Have a plan to signal the need for help, especially if
the phone is not working.
- Post emergency phone numbers near the phone.
- If you have in-home or home health care services, plan
ahead with your agencies for emergency procedures.
- Teach those who may need to assist you in an emergency,
how to operate necessary equipment like wheelchairs and
oxygen. Be sure they will be able to reach you during an emergency.
For your safety and comfort, you need to have emergency
supplies packed and ready in one place before disaster hits. You should assemble
enough supplies to last for at least 3 days.
Assemble the following supplies you would
need and store them in an easy-to-carry container such as a back pack or duffel
bag. Be sure your bag has an ID tag. Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs,
canes or walkers that you would need.
For your medical needs, include:
- First-aid kit.
- Prescription medicines, list of medications including dosage,
list of any allergies.
- Extra eyeglasses and hearing aid batteries.
- Extra wheelchair batteries.
- List of style and serial numbers of medical devices such as
- Medical insurance and Medicare numbers.
- List of doctors and relative or friend who should be notified
if you are injured.
- Any other items you may need.
General supplies include:
- Battery powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries.
- Change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
- Blanket or sleeping bag.
- Extra set of keys.
- Cash, credit cards, change for the pay phone.
- Personal hygiene supplies.
- Personal numbers of local and non-local relatives or friends.
- Insurance agents name and number.
- Plastic garbage bags.
For some disasters, you may be ordered to
stay in your own home. For these you may also need:
- Bottled water, one gallon per day per person. Plan for 3 days.
Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers that
you are able to handle. Identify the storage date and replace
them every 6 months.
- Non-perishable food, including any special foods you require.
Choose foods that are easy to store and carry.
Include nutritious and ready-to-eat foods. Rotate them regularly.
- Manual can opener you are able to use without electricity.
- Non-perishable food for your pets.
In some emergencies, such as a tornado,
chemical spill, or heavy smoke alerts, you may be told to remain indoors. This
means staying where you are and making yourself as safe as possible until the
emergency passes or you are ordered to evacuate. In this situation it may be
safer to remain indoors than to go outside unless you are told to evacuate the
If you are told to stay indoors:
- Close all windows in the home.
- Turn off all fans, heating, and air conditioning systems
in air from outside.
- Close the fireplace damper.
- For a chemical spill or heavy smoke alert, go to an above ground
floor (not the basement) to a room with the
fewest windows and doors that is away from the danger. Wet some towels and
jam them in the crack under the doors.
Tape around doors, windows, exhaust fans or vents. Use plastic garbage bags
to cover windows, outlets and heat registers.
- Take your Emergency Supplies Kit with you.
- If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window
shades, blinds or curtains. To avoid injury, stay away from the windows.
- Stay in the room and listen to your radio until you are told
all is safe or you are told to evacuate.
In some disasters, shelters may be
designated, especially if the disaster is expected to last several days, such as
a flood. Be prepared to go to the shelter if you are without electricity, flood
waters threaten your home, your home has been severely damaged from storms, or
the police or other local officials tell you to evacuate.
If you are told to evacuate your
- Coordinate with your in-home and home health care providers for
- Try to car pool.
- If you must have assistance for special transportation call your local
officials or in-home care provider.
- Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes.
- Take your Emergency Supplies Kit.
- Lock your home.
- Use the travel routes specified by officials or special assistance
provided by local officials. Don't take short cuts, they may be unsafe.
- Notify shelter authorities of any needs you may have. They will do their
best to accommodate you and make you comfortable.
If you have time:
- Shut off water, gas, and electricity if instructed to do so and if you
know how. Gas must be turned back on by a professional.
- Let others know when you will leave and where you are going.
- Make arrangements for your pets.
Animals, other than working animals for the disabled,
may not be allowed in public shelters.
Before there is a fire in your home:
- Plan 2 escape routes out of each room. If you cannot use
stairways, make special arrangements for help in advance.
Never use elevators during a fire.
- Sleep with the bedroom door closed. This gives you extra
minutes of protection from toxic fumes and fire.
- Test your smoke detector battery regularly, and as a reminder,
change batteries on the same day of each year.
Vacuum it occasionally to remove dust.
In case of fire:
- Remain calm.
- Drop to the floor and crawl. Most fire fatalities are
due to breathing toxic fumes and smoke. The
cleanest air is near the floor. Breathing toxic fumes and
smoke is more dangerous than the risk of injury
in getting to the floor quickly.
- If your smoke detector goes off, never waste time to get
dressed or collect valuables or pets. Get out of the house
immediately. Feel any door knob before you open it. If it is hot,
find another way out.
- Do not try to fight the fire. Call for help from a neighbors
phone. Never go back into a burning building for any reason.
- If your clothes catch on fire, drop to the floor and roll to
suffocate the fire. Keep rolling as running while on
fire only fans the flames and makes it worst.
- If you are in a wheelchair or can not get out of your house,
stay by the window near the floor. If you are able,
signal the need for help.
Grandchildren often visit while others
live regularly with their grandparents. The following safety advice for children
can help grandparents prepare a safe environment at home for young children:
- Store matches and lighters up high, away from children.
- Move cleaning chemicals like cleaners, soap, drain cleaner, and
other poisons to high cupboards or
install a child-proof lock if you must keep these items in low cabinets.
- Store prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs like
aspirin, cough medicine, and stomachache remedies
in a cabinet out of reach of children.
- If children are playing outside or in a pool when skies grow
dark or you hear thunder, ask them to come indoors right away.
- Always supervise children playing near or in swimming pools.
- Install appropriate plastic covers over all exposed electrical
Children can help grandparents, too. Have
them test your smoke detectors in your home to make sure they are working by
using a broom handle to push the test button. See that the battery is changed in
each detector that doesn't work. Ask children to draw a floor plan of your home
and show 2 ways out of every room.
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