(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

According to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, “Throughout history, many tornadoes have ravaged the Chicago metro area, and despite popular myth, several have struck within the city limits of Chicago. …There were 92 significant tornadoes in the 8 county Chicago metro area between 1855 and 2008.” While it may be a rarity to have a violent F4 or F5 tornado on the F scale in Illinois, it is important for families to be prepared for this type of disaster in and around the city. The previous feature entitled “Best Resources For Emergency Preparedness In Chicago” offered some illuminating information on how to best prepare for an emergency. However, there are a few additional resources for those seeking to specifically prepare for a tornado in Chicago.

Emergency Management & Communications
121 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 746-9111

Located at City Hall, Chicago residents can find information on how to be prepared for a disaster in the city. NotifyChicago is a free service provided to residents interested in instant alerts on emergency situations in Chicago via text messages or email. Up-to-date information on weather-related emergencies can be found through NotifyChicago. For tornado-related information, it offers a resource to help families prepare before, during and after. Click here to view the tornado information site via City of Chicago.

Ready Illinois

Ready Illinois offers a number of different resources to plan and prepare for a tornado, as well as deal with the aftermath. Checklists are available for making a plan, building emergency kits and ensuring all family members are safely prepared (including pets). Information, announcements and things to look out for are also listed; including background on the most recent severe storms and tornadoes from November 2013. For those looking to volunteer, Ready Illinois provides assistance opportunities with links to various sectors of disaster relief throughout Illinois.

Chicago CERT
121 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 746-9111

This free program is funded by the Department of Homeland Security and offers the public a chance to better prepare themselves for a disaster, whether it’s to help others or to better understand their own strategy for their family. The program is a 20-hour class that teaches hands-on disaster response techniques through The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class. For those looking to use their training to participate in a volunteer opportunity, the completion of the class allows for acceptance in the Chicago Citizen Corps CERT volunteer program. The 2014 program is held in collaboration with the Chicago Police Department, and features four separate sessions for maximum enrollment.

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Life Secure – Emergency Solutions
P.O. Box 2386
Northbrook, IL 60062
(877) 877-5522

Life Secure Emergency Solutions offers emergency and supply kits that meet U.S. Government Guidelines, with different packages to cater to any disaster or situation that may arise. Basic survival kits, survival backpacks and even on-the-go packs are offered with everything from the basic flashlight to the automobile-ready custom kits. For those looking to be prepared, but don’t know exactly what to collect, these customized packs can be great for peace of mind. For those preparing for a potential tornado, there are numerous survival kit packages to choose from.

American Red Cross of Greater Chicago
The Rauner Center
2200 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 729-6100

The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago serves over 9 million people in both Illinois and Indiana. For those devastated by a tornado, a Disaster Action Team’s on-scene damage assessment will work with families to provide emergency client services. Everything from recovery kits to financial assistance can be provided, with the immediate care being given within the first 48 hours of the disaster. Simple items like toiletry products, as well as shelter and mental health support, are just a few of the services provided by the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. This is a free service with no reimbursement required.

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Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.