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Severe Thunderstorms

Storms develop quickly and can occur with little to no warning. Heavy winds and lightning caused by storms can cause extended power outages, uprooted trees, landslides, and downed or broken utility lines. Additionally, heavy rains can cause flash floods.


Familiarize yourself with the following terms to stay alert and prepared.

  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch - conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms containing large hail and damaging wind.

  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning - large hail and/or damaging wind has been reported by spotters, or is about to develop. Go to a substantial shelter immediately.


During the storm

  • Avoid handling metal, electrical equipment, telephones, bathtubs, water faucets, and sinks, because electric current from lightning can travel through wires and pipes.

  • If you are outside, take cover in a stable facility. Avoid taking shelter under trees.

  • Tune in to local TV/radio channels for emergency advisories and instructions.

  • Avoid walking through water that has seeped into your home; it may contain hazardous materials.

  • If you are asked to evacuate your home, follow instructions given to you by emergency personnel.

  • Call your local public works department or village hall to report fallen trees or tree limbs, or clogged catch basins.

  • Call your local public works department or village hall to report flooded streets.

  • Avoid downed power lines and broken gas lines. Report them to 9-1-1.


After the storm

  • Assess your immediate environment.

  • Report fallen trees, flooded streets, or damaged public utilities to the proper department.

  • Stay tuned to local weather stations for updated information.



  • Causes an average of 55-60 fatalities and 400 injuries each year

  • Occurs with all thunderstorms

  • Costs more than $1 billion in insured losses each year



  • Cause an average of 60-65 fatalities and 1,500 injuries each year

  • Can produce wind speeds in excess of 200 mph

  • Can be 1 mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles


Straight-line Winds...

  • Can exceed 125 mph

  • Can cause destruction equal to a tornado

  • Are extremely dangerous to aviation


Flash Floods and Floods...

  • Are the #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms, more than 90 fatalities each year



  • Can be larger than a softball (5 inches in diameter)

  • Causes more than $1 billion in crop and property damage each year



NWS Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning…

Severe Weather Preparedness – Illinois Emergency Management Agency 

Surviving Disasters…A Citizen’s Emergency Handbook – Illinois Department of Public Health 


If you have any questions, or would like further information on any preparedness plans, please contact our office.

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