Be Prepared for Severe Weather

Be Prepared for Severe Weather

The Village of Wauconda maintains outdoor warning sirens throughout the Village for the use of providing audible warnings of severe weather events.  Remember, that while you may hear the outdoor warning sirens while you’re inside your home or business, the sirens are designed to warn persons who are outside. The Village recommends that you purchase a NOAA all-hazard weather alert radio to be used in your home or business.

The chances of being affected by a tornado may seem small, but if you are in a threatened area, act QUICKLY when the threat is confirmed!

When you hear the sirens sound during severe weather, you should seek safe shelter and seek information. The sirens will sound for a period of three to five minutes when activated for an actual emergency.

If you are outside, go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Do not open windows.

Once you are inside and safe, turn on a TV, radio or NOAA weather alert radio to be informed of the storm location, path and the duration of the warning. There is no all-clear signal, once the warning has expired it is safe to leave your shelter location. Be aware, however, that the situation can change so be prepared in case another warning is issued for the Wauconda area.  Please do not call 911 unless you have an emergency.


Understand the Weather.

Thunderstorms are relatively common.  In fact, approximately 100,000 thunderstorms occur each year in the United States alone.

All thunderstorms are dangerous no matter what their size!  The small storms can produce deadly lightning and the big ones produce lightning, high winds, tornadoes, and hail.  Never take any thunderstorm lightly!

Tornadoes can occur throughout the year, but the peak months in our area are usually March through August.  They are most likely to occur between the hours of 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM but can occur at any time.

The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast at speeds from 30 to 70 MPH, but tornadoes have been documented as moving in many directions and at many speeds.

Lightning causes an average of 80 fatalities and 300 injuries each year.  Surprisingly, the energy from one lightning flash will light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months and the air around the flash is heated to a temperature hotter than the surface of the sun.  The shockwave from this rapidly heating and cooling air causes the sound of thunder.



Prepare for the Weather

Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a battery backup to receive up-to-date weather warnings for our area.

  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended outdoor activities. Cancel or postpone outdoor activities if severe weather looms.
  • Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.


Watches and Warnings, Know the Difference


  • Tornado Watch – Tornadoes are possible in your area. Stay alert for approaching storms and stay tuned for weather radio updates for your county.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Severe Thunderstorms are likely to occur but are not imminent. Remain alert for changing conditions and stay tuned to the radio for updates.
  • Tornado Warning – A tornado is on the ground or has been sighted on radar in your area! Outdoor warning sirens will activate to alert those outside to take cover inside.  Take cover immediately and stay there until the warning is cancelled!
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning – Severe Thunderstorms are imminent and have been spotted by radar or trained weather spotters. Severe danger to people and property exists to those in the path of the storm.


For additional information, please contact Mike Wahl, Deputy Director of Emergency Management, 847-416-7504, or check out the following websites:

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