With warm weather here, outdoor safety should be on your mind. Being prepared in the event of bad weather should be on everyone’s mind in Illinois and much of the Midwest, according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “Anytime somebody is planning an outdoor event they really need to take into consideration that the weather could turn bad and they need to have in place a plan for monitoring the weather, having a plan for letting people know that there’s a hazard approaching and then also a place to tell them to go to so they can be safe when that weather hits,” said Patti Thompson, IEMA spokeswoman. Thompson says ideally there should be multiple options available to monitor the weather, such as a regular radio, weather radio, or TV.
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One of the largest events in Illinois each year is the Illinois State Fair, which often draws 100,000 people a day to the fairgrounds in Springfield. State fair officials have long maintained a plan for ensuring the safety of people on the fairgrounds. That plan was recently updated following meetings with representatives from the National Weather Service office in Lincoln. “Safety for fairgoers is of the utmost importance," said fair manager Amy Bliefnick. “Although the fair always has had an excellent safety record, this was an opportune time to improve our communication with the National Weather Service and the Illinois State Police.”
The State Fair’s plan details coordination between the weather service, the Illinois State Police and fair officials. For the 2012 Illinois State Fair, the weather service will provide daily weather briefings to state police and State Fair officials, be available around the clock for questions about current weather conditions upon request and provide telephone notifications of imminent hazardous weather threats and high-impact weather events.