Ask Sammy

What should I do if a Winter Storm WATCH is issued?

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, and TV stations, or cable TV such as The Weather Channel for further updates.

Be Alert to changing weather conditions.

Avoid Unnecessary travel.

What should I do if a Winter Storm WARNING is issued?

Stay indoors during the storm.
If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves (mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
Understand the hazards of wind chill, which combines the cooling effect of wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin.
As the wind increases, heat is carried away from a person’s body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature.
Walk carefully on snowy, icy, sidewalks.
After the storm, if you shovel snow, be extremely careful. It is physically strenuous work, so take frequent breaks. Avoid overexertion.
Have a disaster supply kit made.

Ask Sammy-What if?

What if I hear that a Tornado Watch has been issued for my area?

Listen to local radio and TV stations for further updates. A NOAA weather radio, local radio and TV are your best sources of information.
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.
Keep a flashlight and battery-powered radio close at hand.

What do I do if a Tornado Warning is issued?

If you are inside, go to a room without windows, located in the basement or first floor of the center of the building, away from outside walls. This helps protect you from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (see above).

Can Tornadoes occur in the winter months?

Yes, Tornadoes can occur anytime the atmospheric pressures are right for the formation. Did you know that on January 7, 1989 a tornado ripped through Allendale, Illinois destroying most of the town.

February 19, 1888: Illinois’ 9th deadliest tornado destroys much of Mt. Vernon.

March 4th, 1961: A tornado moves across Chicago, damaging 3000 homes.
March 18th, 1925: The Great Tri-State Tornado strikes MO, IL, and IN. It is the deadliest tornado in US history.
March 19th, 1948: Illinois’ 6th deadliest tornado kills 33 and injures 449. Most of Forestburg and Bunker Hill are damaged or destroyed.
However, March, April and May are the heart of tornado season in Illinois.

Have a question for Sammy? Email Sammy – Sammy@OgleCountyEMA.org