With a slight chance of severe storms in the forecast today for parts of Illinois, it's a perfect time to take a look at how to prepare for such weather.
While the National Weather Service says the main threats today could be large hail and damaging winds, it's important to be prepared for severe weather.
"Weather is, unfortunately, something we can't control. All we can do is prepare for it," said Guy Trayling, assistant fire marshal with the .
Trayling and Fire Chief Dave Wheelock recently spoke to members about the importance of being ready for severe weather, including severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
The latter, Trayling said, are most prevalent from March to June.
"We're right in it, right now," said Trayling. Illinois averages 31 tornadoes per year, Trayling said, and ranks fifth in the nation in terms of having the most tornadoes.
"It can happen and it will happen," said Trayling. "We've had tornadoes here in Lake Zurich."
The biggest thing people can do to prepare for tornadoes is pay attention, he said, "because it can suddenly turn severe and do so very rapidly." If a watch is issued, that means severe weather is possible. A warning means severe weather, like a tornado, has been spotted.
"Your action in each of these cases is to seek shelter," said Trayling.
He offered a number of recommendations to be ready for tornadoes. Trayling suggested that people — businesses and homeowners alike — purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, weather radio.
Before severe weather strikes, people should also determine where they would seek shelter — and practice going to that shelter.
"That's something you need to seriously think about," said Trayling. In the event of a tornado, basements are best, particularly near load-bearing areas. "Shelter is always good, better, best. There is no guarantee."
Trayling said people should keep emergency supplies like water, nutrition bars, hand sanitizer, a blanket and a battery-powered flashlight.
"You may be trapped for a long time," he said. "You need to plan ahead to make sure you have the supplies necessary to give you that time."
He also mentioned the importance of insuring property, taking pictures of possessions and keeping important documents in a safe deposit box.
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