If you’re travelling over the holiday weekend, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) reminds you to plan ahead for winter conditions and “know before you go.”

According to the OurQuadCities.com Weather Team and the National Weather Service (NWS), rain and snow is likely throughout the Midwest, making travel dangerous at times. State and local emergency officials urge the public to take time now to prepare your family, home and vehicle for everything from a dusting of snow to a major winter storm. 

The Illinois State Police (ISP) reminds motorists to stay vigilant as winter weather conditions continue into the holiday weekend and refrain from driving during inclement weather, unless it is essential. If you must drive, plan ahead, leave early and drive slowly to get to your destination safety. Winter road conditions are unpredictable, and a crash could happen at any time. If you slide off the road, stay inside your vehicle and call 911. If you approach an emergency vehicle with its lights activated or a disabled vehicle with flashing lights, slow down and move over.

“Winter weather creates an even more dangerous working environment for our Illinois State Troopers and all first responders. Remember they are protecting and serving your loved ones on the side of the roadway,” ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly said. “We urge you to slow down and move over and help protect the people who are protecting you.”

“This forecasted winter storm is slated to arrive in the Midwest at a time when holiday travel is at a peak,” IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said. “It is with that in mind that we remind all travelers to monitor road conditions and only travel during a winter storm if it is absolutely necessary.”

Here are some winter weather preparedness tips from the ISP:

  • Familiarize yourself with the various weather alert definitions, so you know how to keep your family safe.
  • Build a home emergency kit with items such as a food, water, medications, NOAA weather radio, flashlight and spare batteries.
  • Stock your vehicle with the emergency items such as a first aid kit, phone charger, blankets, extra clothes, jumper cables, kitty litter or sand, a flashlight and snow scraper in the event you must travel.
  • Charge your mobile devices before any storm.
  • Don’t wait. Communicate. Create and discuss emergency plans for you and your family.
  • Winterize your home and take steps to prevent frozen water pipes.
  • Check and monitor road conditions by visiting www.gettingaroundIllinois.com

You can stay ahead of incoming winter weather here or by following the National Weather Service for your destination and route.