Severe storms are headed to Cook County this afternoon. Residents are urged to prepare for high winds, flooding and power outages. Cook County’s Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security offers the following tips to help residents stay safe.
- Bring loose items – like patio furniture, potted plants and toys – indoors.
- If items are too large to bring indoors, make sure to anchor them so that they do not pose a hazard to people or property.
- Close and secure all doors and windows in your home or business. A strong wind can rip them from their hinges.
- When you are outdoors, watch for flying debris. Tree limbs can break and street signs can come loose.
- Take extra caution if you are in a high-profile vehicle like a truck or SUV. These types of vehicles are more likely to be pushed or even flip in high winds.
If you see a downed power line:
- Call police and your local utility company’s emergency line immediately.
- Do not touch anything that the power line is coming into contact with including tree branches and vehicles.
- If a power line falls on your vehicle, stay inside your vehicle and do not touch any part of the metal frame.
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will cause many vehicles to float.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pick-ups.
- Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road as the depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water and you could be stranded or trapped.
- Do not drive around a barricade. They are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
- Do not take shortcuts. They may be blocked. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
- Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your vehicle, abandon it and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.