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Written by John Dwyer   
Monday, 14 April 2014 15:06

America's PrepareAthon!

 America’s PrepareAthon! is a nationwide, community-based campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises conducted at the national level every fall and spring.

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Written by John Dwyer   
Monday, 17 March 2014 14:36



Severe Weather Spotter Training

March 27, 2014
Urbana, IL
6:30pm CDT Carle Forum @ Pollard Auditorium --- 611 Park Street

Severe storm spotters are a VITAL part of the warning process and played a critical role in getting timely warnings and information out to the public during the deadly tornado outbreak on November 17, 2013!

The NWS in Lincoln, IL provides on-site spotter training classes annually in various locations across central and southeast Illinois between March and early April.

Anyone with an interest is welcome to attend a spotter class. Children (under the age of 18) are welcome to attend the class, however, they will not be considered official spotters. There is no cost for this training - just 2 to 2.5 hours of your time for the class.

The spotter training class is designed for people new to severe storm spotting, as well as those that need refresher training. The training is comprised of all of the information that spotters need to be effective and stay safe.

Topics covered in the spotter training class include:

•Spotter Safety

•Thunderstorm development and features

•Types of Thunderstorms - especially those that impact Illinois

•Types of Tornadoes, Landspouts and Gustnadoes

•Non-tornadic severe weather (T-storm Wind Gusts, Large Hail & Flooding)

•Resources for Spotters

•How and What Spotters Need to Report

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 07:40
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Written by John Dwyer   
Friday, 07 February 2014 08:13

February 6, 2014

IEMA Appeals FEMA Denial of Tornado

Assistance for

 Local Governments
Appeal Includes $21.4 Million in Disaster-Related Expenses


SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today appealed FEMA’s denial of the state’s request for federal assistance that would help tornado-ravaged communities in nine counties recover from the Nov. 17 deadly tornado outbreak.  The appeal includes more than $21.4 million in disaster-related expenses for local governments in Champaign, Douglas, Grundy, Massac, Tazewell, Vermilion, Washington, Wayne and Woodford. 


If the appeal is approved, local governments could receive reimbursement for 75 percent of eligible disaster-related costs such as overtime, debris removal and repair and replacement of damaged public property.


“Nearly three months after that devastating day, several communities are faced with staggering expenses directly related to the historic tornado outbreak,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken.  “Federal assistance is critical for towns like Washington, Brookport and Gifford to clear debris that threatens public safety and rebuild their communities.”


On Dec. 19, 2013, the state requested federal Public Assistance for local governments in nine counties as an add-on to a major disaster declaration issued on Nov. 26, which made federal grants and low-interest loans available to people in 15 counties affected by the storms.  The state was notified on Jan 9 that the request for Public Assistance had been denied. 


The appeal includes new local government expenses for Champaign, Massac and Tazewell counties that were collected during joint Preliminary Damage Assessments conducted last week.  These costs were not identified during the original round of PDAs conducted just two weeks after 25 tornadoes swept across the state.


The state’s original request included $6.1 million in local government and electrical cooperative expenses.  Today’s appeal includes more than $21,450,443 in costs the state believes should be considered eligible for federal assistance.  The increase from the initial request is due primarily to the identification of additional costs for debris removal and damage to infrastructure. 


Assistance to people and businesses affected by the Nov. 17 tornadoes has already topped $23.5 million, including FEMA grants of more than $2.5 million and $21 million in low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 March 2014 10:02
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Written by John Dwyer   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 09:29

This year, please take the time to learn how to prepare for severe weather during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 2-8, 2014, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency.


Being prepared to act quickly could be a matter of survival. This is especially evident during the threat of severe weather. The deadliest and most destructive tornado of 2013, an EFS-5 on May 20 in Moore, Oklahoma and caused more than $2 billion in property damage and killed dozens. Even though the Oklahoma tornado outbreak was forecast days in advance, and warning lead times for the tornado outbreak averaged nearly 20 minutes, there were still many people in the impacted areas who stated they were unprepared.


While spring tends to produce more tornadoes, they can happen in ANY month.   On Nov. 17, a late season tornado outbreak that struck seven Midwestern states became the most active tornado day of 2013 with a total of 74 tornadoes. In our area, the Village of Gifford, Illinois was impacted by one of those 74 tornadoes.

Here is what we can do to prepare:
Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example by sharing your knowledge and actions with your social network are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and save your life and others.

Know Your Risk: Hurricanes, tornadoes, storms - every state in the United States experiences severe weather. Visit weather.gov to get the latest on weather threats.

Take Action:
Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a family communications plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and learning about Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Learn more at
www.weather.gov and www.ready.gov/severe-weather or the Spanish-language web site www.listo.gov. Follow the National Weather Service @nws, FEMA @readygov, and Champaign Co EMA @ChampCoEMA.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 07:41
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Written by John Dwyer   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 14:36


Pesotum, IL (02-04-14) A winter weather system is currently hitting the Midwest. Illinois State Police District 10 officials ask that you take precautions so you do not have to put yourself or your families’ lives in danger by getting on the road. With heavy snow and high winds, even the shortest trips could become perilous. We are requesting everyone to put their safety and the safety of others they are sharing the roadway with first. 

Roadways in District 10 may quickly become very dangerous. Counties include Champaign, Douglas, Coles, Vermilion, Edgar, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby, and Macon. Snow travel advisories have been issued and motorists are reminded to take the necessary safety precautions and monitor the road and weather conditions before traveling. Allow for extra time, allow more distance between you and the vehicle you’re following, have a charged cellular phone with you, keep your gas tank full, and avoid unnecessary travels. Our top concern is for motorists to arrive at their destination safely. Commercial Motor Vehicles are advised to locate a rest area or truck stop for rest periods during the storm when the roads become impassable and treacherous. Be aware that stopping distances are significantly greater for Commercial Motor Vehicles and we have experienced many jack-knifed, disabled, and overturned truck tractor/semi trailers this winter season. 

Bridge decks, overpasses, exit ramps, and areas near guardrails are the first areas where frost forms. Use extreme caution. Blowing and drifting snow will cause white out conditions. Extremely cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills can be deadly. Stranded motorists are encouraged to remain inside their vehicles. Motorists should use caution, reduce speed, and allow for extra travel time. Motorists are also reminded to have an emergency kit in their vehicle. Illinois State Police District 10 would like to remind drivers to only use cruise control on dry surfaces and if you lose traction, gradually slow down, do not slam on the brakes. 

Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when approaching stationary authorized emergency vehicles with their lights activated on the roadways. Authorized emergency vehicles include police, fire, EMS, and other emergency vehicles. It is the law to proceed with due caution, change lanes if possible, and reduce your speed. Move over and slow down. Also use caution when traveling near snow removal trucks and snow plows. 

A complete list of road closures can be found on the Illinois Department of Transportation website www.illinoisroads.info and www.gettingaroundillinois.com or 1-800-452-4368. 

Additional information will be provided as updates are given.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 16:35

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