Severe Weather Preparedness Week 2024

March 01, 2024
Preparedness Week Graphics - Copy

In an effort to help residents plan ahead for severe weather, the Arlington Heights Fire Department is recognizing Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Week (4-8) by sharing tips and safety information and reminding citizens to connect with the Village.

This week is Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois!
  • Ensure you have weather safety procedures at home, work, school, place of worship, on the road, and elsewhere.
  • Decision-makers and overseers of large groups of people should review preparedness plans and ensure they have adequate means to monitor the weather and shelter individuals.
  • Be a "Force of Nature" and spread awareness of severe weather!

Helpful Preparation Resources 

tornado sirens (jpg)Tornado Sirens and Weather Alerts
It's important to remember that tornado sirens are designed to serve as outdoor  warnings to people who are outside, as a warning to seek shelter. Tornado sirens are not intended to serve as a warning for individuals who are indoors.

Tornado sirens should not be relied upon as your main warning system, as they can easily go unheard if you are indoors due to closed windows, or due to other indoor sounds such as a television.   

To receive weather alerts, you can sign up for cell phone alerts turn on WEA alerts on I-Phone and on Android, follow NOAA weather online, or purchase a NOAA weather radio for your home.

Flooding: Turn Around Don't Drown
Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in cars swept downstream. Many of these drownings are preventable. Never drive around the barriers blocking a flooded road. The road may have collapsed under that water.  A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars and just 2 feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters. (


Lightning: What You Need to Know
Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Learn about Lightning & Thunderstorm Safety from

      Outdoor Lightning Reminders
  • NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!!
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.
      Indoor Lightning Safety
  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.
      Last Resort Outdoor Lightning Risk Reduction Tips
  • If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:
  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)
Emergency Management in Arlington Heights 

If you have questions or wish to discuss emergency management safety plans, please email Community Risk Reduction, Division Chief Dave Roberts at