The weather reports are predicting an unprecedented winter storm will hit our area beginning today, and it’s tragic but true that some folk aren’t going to survive this onslaught. It’s the duty of us all to try and keep that loss as small as possible. Here are some tips for keeping safe during this massive onslaught of freezing temperatures, snow, and ice:
1. don’t drive if you don’t have to do so, drive during the day and on main roads if you must, and all motorists should use extreme caution. A toll-free phone number has been set up, so you can call and learn what the Illinois road conditions are like in advance: call 1 (800) 452-4368.
2. along the roadways, look for National Guard troops positioned at certain rest areas (for example, along I-70) if you need help; both the National Guard and local law enforcement will be driving the roadways, looking for stranded motorists 24/7 during this storm. They will have basic things like snacks, water, and first aid for those in need.
3. watch out for your neighbors, particularly the elderly. Seniors can be very vulnerable, very quickly in winter storms if they haven’t prepared in advance with filled prescriptions, adequate food, etc.
4. prepare in advance for power outages – have water and food stored for emergency use, as well as blankets, flashlights, and charged phones. Have kerosene and kerosene heaters at the ready (always refilling them outside).
5. close off rooms that don’t need to be heated, it saves on fuel.
For more tips, check out FEMA.GOV.
The National Guard for both Illinois and Indiana have both been called into action. This is a serious situation for our area. For the latest information on the weather and storm conditions and other information on staying safe, see ready.illinois.gov.