Governor JB Pritzker today issued a disaster proclamation for the entire state ahead of a severe winter storm that will blanket the state with life-threatening wind chills for several days.
“This storm poses a serious threat to the well-being of people around the state, and we will use every tool at our disposal to keep our residents safe,” said the governor. “This disaster proclamation ensures that the state of Illinois has the flexibility to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of local governments during this extreme weather event.”
A state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms. The state of Illinois has mobilized personnel and assets to help local government officials with disaster response and recovery.
Earlier this week, Governor Pritzker activated the State Emergency Operation Center to support local government as they begin to plan for these extreme weather conditions. Current forecast models indicate arctic air will move into Illinois Tuesday evening and last through Thursday. The National Weather Service indicates wind chills could reach -55 in northern Illinois, -35 in central Illinois and -25 in parts of southern Illinois.
With these extreme temperatures and dangerous wind chills, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) indicates frostbite could set in on exposed skin within 10-15 minutes. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has a list of identified warming centers in our state, listed by county on the Ready Illinois website. If there is not a warming center near you, call your county emergency management agency for additional assistance. Additionally, all Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offices serve as warming centers during regular business hours for anyone looking to find a safe, warm place during the cold.
To learn more about preparing your home and family for dangerous winter weather, visit Ready.Illinois.gov.