Prepare Yourself for Tornado Season



In Illinois, tornadoes most often occur between April and June or late in the summer. Now is the time for homeowners to begin preparing themselves. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) advises homeowners to create their own Family Emergency Plan.

Families should establish the best place in their home to seek shelter, preferably in a basement or cellar. If underground protection is not an option, the next best choice is a hallway or room at the
lowest level of the home as far away from windows as possible.

Second, every member of the household should know the addresses of two locations to meet in case the group becomes separated. One location should be near the home and one should be outside of the neighborhood.

Third, residents who live in an area prone to tornadoes should have a disaster kit for their home and IEMA recommends having two more smaller kits for your vehicle and for work. Some of the items in disaster kits include:

  • One gallon of water per person per day
  • Three days of non-perishable food
    • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits or vegetables
    • Canned juices, milk, or soup
    • Sugar, salt and pepper
    • peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars and trail mix
    • Vitamins
    • Food for infants or the elderly with special diets
    • Comfort or stress food including cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereal or instant coffee
  • First-aid kit
    • Bandages
    • Soap
    • Thermometer
    • Scissors
    • Tweezers
    • Antiseptic
    • Etc.
  • Tools and Sanitation
    • Paper cups, plates and utensils
    • Battery operated radio and extra batteries
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Cash or traveler's checks
    • Non-electric can opener and utility knife
    • Map of local area with local shelters identified
    • Small fire extinguisher
    • Plastic bags or Tupperware
    • Shut-off wrench fro house gas and water
    • Toilet paper
    • Feminine supplies
    • Garbage bags
    • Plastic bucket with a tight lid
    • Disinfectant
    • Bleach
  • Clothing and Bedding
    • Study shoes or work boots
    • Rain gear
    • Blankets or sleeping bags
    • Thermal underwear
    • Hats and gloves
For the complete list of disaster kit essentials, please visit ready.illinois.gov.