Seasonal Awareness

Preparing for inclement weather or assistance during and/or after a severe weather event.

Seasonal Awareness logo

IEMA Seasonal Awareness Fact Sheets

Flash Flood
Downed Power Lines
Power Outages
Frostbite vs. Hypothermia

Warming Cooling Centers Cooling and Warming Centers
Planning for periods of severe cold or heat:

During a heat emergency, cooling centers may be available at various points around Madison County.

Cooling Centers List

During a cold emergency, warming centers may be available at various points around Madison County.

Warming Centers List

Severe Weather

Severe Weather

Severe weather is typically associated with thunderstorms in Madison County, however “severe” can occur any time of the year — spring, summer, fall or winter.

Severe Weather - Winter Weather

Severe weather in the winter can bring cold temperatures, freezing rain, ice, snow, frostbite and hypothermia. More information can be found here: Winter Weather Preparedness Guide

Severe Weather - Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms can bring on strong winds, hail, flash floods, tornadoes and can cause power outages. 

Know the difference between the terms: 

  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch: This means severe thunderstorms are possible in or near your area. Stay alert for the latest weather information. Be prepared to take shelter. 
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: This means severe thunderstorms will be approaching or are occurring. Seek safe shelter. 

It’s important to be prepared and know what steps to take when a disaster strikes.  

One of the most important steps is to sign up to receive warnings and alerts. Also, visit the National Weather Service’s website for up-to-date weather predictions.

Severe weather can happen at any time and anywhere. Practice your emergency plans regularly so that everyone in your home or office knows what to do when a severe weather warning is issued.

For more information on Severe Weather, check out this Severe Weather Preparedness Guide here



Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Some floods develop slow over a period of days or weeks, while others may come on in a “flash.”

Floods are the most common natural disaster and flash flooding is the most dangerous type. Since 1980, flood damage in the U.S. has on average cost more than $4 billion every year.

The best way to stay safe from flash flooding is to be prepared, heed warnings and stay away from flood waters. 

Information on Madison County Flood maps and reports are available at the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council and the U.S. Corps of Engineers, St. Louis.

Information about flood preparedness and cleanup can be found at:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)



Whether you are in your home, a school classroom, a high-rise or other type of building, it is important to know how to protect yourself during an earthquake. Practice what to do during an earthquake with your family members so you can react automatically when the shaking starts. 

If you are indoors, follow these steps:

Drop - Drop down to the floor.

Cover - Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. if that is not possible, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid danger spots near windows, hanging objects, mirrors or tall furniture. 

Hold - If you take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. HOLD the position until the ground stops shaking, and it is safe to move. 

If you are outside when the shaking starts, get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines. If driving, stop safely as soon as possible. Do not stop under overpasses or bridges. Turn off the engine and turn on the radio. Stay inside your vehicle below window level until the shaking stops. Do not get out of your vehicle if downed power lines have fallen across it. 

There are two primary "hot spots" for earthquakes in the central United States that will impact Illinois, specifically in the south and southeastern parts of the state: 

New Madrid Seismic Zone lies within the central Mississippi Valley, from Cairo, Illinois through southeastern Missouri, western Kentucky, western Tennessee and northeast Arkansas. The epicenter of the zone is located just west and northwest of Memphis, Tennessee. 

Wabash Valley Seismic Zone, in southeastern Illinois and southwestern Indiana, is capable of producing 'New Madrid' size earthquake events. The epicenter of the zone is located between Mt. Vernon, Illinois, and West Franklin, Indiana (in Posey County). 

For more information visit: 

Earthquake (

Earthquake Risk |

Earthquake Safety | Earthquake Preparedness | Red Cross

tornado Tornadoes

Know the difference between the terms: 

  • Tornado Watch - This means tornadoes are possible near your area. Stay alert for the latest weather information. Be prepared to take shelter if needed. 
  • Tornado Warning - This means a tornado has been sighted by someone or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately. Turn on a battery-operated radio or television and wait for updated information for your area. 

During a Tornado: 

Take shelter immediately in a storm cellar, basement or the lowest level of the building. If there is no basement, go to a small interior room with no windows, such as a bathroom or closet. Remember to stay away from outside windows! 

Get under a piece of sturdy furniture, such as a workbench or heavy table and hold onto it. If sturdy furniture is not available, make yourself the smallest target possible. Squat low to the ground. Put your head down and cover your head and neck with your hands. 

If in a mobile home, get out and seek shelter elsewhere, well before the storm arrives. If there is not a substantial shelter nearby, go to a low-lying area and shield your head with your hands. 

If you are outside, get inside a substantial building as soon as possible on the lowest floor, away from windows and doors. 

If you are in a vehicle, do NOT park under a bridge or overpass. Immediately exit the vehicle in a safe manner and take shelter in a nearby building. Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. 

As a last resort, if you are outside and there isn't time to get indoors or if there is no secure shelter nearby, lie flat in a ditch, culvert or low-lying area away from vehicles.  

For more information, visit: 

Severe Weather Preparedness Guide

Tornadoes |