With deadly storms making their way through the Midwest last week, the timing could not be any better for weather officials in Illinois to observe Severe Weather Awareness Week, held during the first week of March each year.
Once again, officials are reminding you to make sure you have a plan to follow when severe weather strikes in your area.
Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln Chris Miller says that the weather service this year is also emphasizing the importance of having a weather alert radio in your home.
Miller says the radios are the best way to get advanced notice when dangerous weather is coming your way.
Miller also says severe weather is developing earlier than usual this year, and he expects it to continue.
Miller says 73 tornadoes were reported in Illinois last year, compared to an average of 46 each year. He says last year tornadoes killed 550 people nationwide, the most since 1925.
As a part of this week's Severe Weather Awareness Week, officials will conduct a state tornado drill at 10 a..m Tuesday. You should expect to see and hear messages on your television and radio, as well as hear sirens.