Local officials want to make sure the community is prepared the next time severe weather hits Deerfield.
“It’s a big focus for the police department and the village to partner with the private sector,” Emergency Manager Richard Weil said, which is why 36 All Hazard Weather Radios were recently distributed to corporations, businesses and school districts in the area.
Weil explained the radio “is silent until there’s a warning provided by NOAA ‘s National Weather Service. “It gives those extra five to 10 minutes to seek shelter,” he said.
At a recent Deerfield board meeting Weil commented that it’s critical for homes and businesses to monitor severe weather conditions, which is why the village applied for a grant from the Illinois Emergency Services Management Agency.
IEMA statistics show the majority of tornadoes in Illinois occur between April 1 and June 30. In 2010 there were 48 tornadoes reported in the state, which resulted in one fatality, 40 injuries and more than $110 million in damages.
“This area is not without risk of tornado,” Weil said, so the radios were passed out before peak season.
According to the National Weather Service the most recent significant tornado in the Chicago area touched down on May 18, 1997. The F2 carved a path between Lindenhurst and Gurnee in Lake County, but no injuries were reported. However, the device won’t just alert residents about tornadoes.
“The weather radio is a round-the-clock source of weather reports and other life-threatening situations,” Weil said and mentioned it would have alerted community members during the area’s recent snowstorm. “It would have gone off during the blizzard when the county declared a state of emergency."
The radios were provided by IEMA at no cost to the village.