November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois

While the winter of 2015-16 is expected to be milder thanks to the effects of El Nino, its unlikely Illinois will completely avoid the cold temperatures, snow and ice that define Midwestern winters.

To help people prepare for potentially dangerous winter weather, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency management agencies will highlight winter weather preparedness throughout November.

“There hasn’t been a winter in Illinois without at least one winter storm in the past century,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “Right now, before that first snowstorm or ice event, is the perfect time to prepare yourself, your home and your car for winter.”

Joseph said that includes checking and restocking vehicle emergency supply kits, which should include items such as:

  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable snack food
  • Water
  • Sand or cat litter
  • Shovel
  • Booster cables
  • Cell phone charger

“Despite winter outlooks indicating mild and less snowy conditions in Illinois this coming winter don’t let your guard down,” said Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS office in Lincoln. "We can still expect cold temperatures, snow and ice, which will impact travelers. In fact, minor accumulations of snow or ice can be just as dangerous for drivers as major winter storms, so they need to adjust their driving accordingly.”

IEMA, the NWS and the American Red Cross developed a winter weather preparedness guide that covers winter weather terms and tips for staying safe at home, in the car and at school. The guide is available on the Ready Illinois website at

Winter weather preparedness tips also will be posted on the Ready Illinois Facebook  and Twitter.