Safety Tip

Stay Safe during Severe Weather

Thousands of people are injured and hundreds die during severe weather events such as heat waves, hurricanes, thunderstorms and winter storms in the United States each year. There are steps we can take to help keep ourselves and our families safe. 

Before Severe Weather Strikes

  • Develop a disaster plan for you and your family. Assemble an emergency  supply  kit with at least a 3-day supply of items such as bottled water,  canned food, can opener, flashlight, batteries, weather radio, prescription medicine, toothpaste and other essential items. Visit for more information about creating a plan and building a kit.
  • Identify a safe place to take shelter, whether at home, at an outdoor event or on vacation.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for a day outdoors. Watch the sky for signs of approaching storms.
  • Postpone outdoor events if severe weather is in the forecast.               

Warning Systems

  • The National Weather Service will issue a Severe Weather WATCH when conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop. Watch the sky, monitor weather forecasts and stay alert.
  • The National Weather Service will issue a Severe Weather WARNING when severe weather has been spotted, identified on radar or has a very high probability of occurrence. Seek shelter immediately! Continue to monitor weather forecasts.
  • Schaumburg's Outdoor Warning System is tested on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m. When activated, the sirens will go off every 10 minutes until the threat is over. The system will be activated when there is:
    • a confirmed sighting of a tornado tracking toward the community; or
    • a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service; or
    • a report of storm damage due to winds of 70 mph or greater along with golf ball size hail
  • There are over 40 Lightning Detectors in Schaumburg located near parks, golf courses, swimming pools and the municipal center. The detectors are activated when there is lightning within 7 miles. The warning consists of one long 15-second siren and flashing lights. When the threat is clear, there are 3 5-second bursts and the lights go off. The detectors operate from 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. and are off during the winter months.

During Severe Weather

  • During a thunderstorm, the biggest dangers are lightning, strong winds, heavy rains/flooding and hail. Seek shelter in a sturdy building and stay away from electrical equipment, wiring and plumbing. Stay indoors until 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. Do not drive into a flooded area. Turn around rather than try to cross a flooded roadway. Straight-line winds during a thunderstorm can exceed 125 mph - seek shelter in the basement or an interior room. 
  • Signs of an approaching tornado include a dark, greenish sky, large hail and/or a loud roar similar to a freight train. During a tornado, seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building and cover your head with your arms. Stay away from windows.
  • During extreme heat, avoid strenuous activities, wear light clothing and drink plenty of fluids. Spend time in air conditioned places, particularly during the hottest time of the day. Never leave people or pets unattended in a vehicle.       



Click here to download a falls prevention brochure with additional safety tips from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).