CHICAGO—The National Weather Service is forecasting that this winter will be “colder and wetter than average.”
Long range weather forecasts from AccuWeather show the Chicago area could see 50 to 58 inches of snow this winter, compared to the 56 inches of snow received last winter. This is all due to a persistent La Nina weather pattern.
With these predictions in mind, the Kane County Office of Emergency Management has enhanced the County’s severe winter storm plans to include new technologies and procedures to better coordinate a county-wide response while improving communication with the public.
To provide effective planning coordination prior to the onset of a severe winter storm the OEM will conduct county wide briefings with municipalities to share pre-storm related information from the National Weather Service and collaborate on a county-wide response.
During the storm, the OEM will use an emergency management program that will serve as a central depository for up-to-date, real-time information that can be shared among County and municipal officials. This will help to improve the decision making process and better coordinate resources in response to the storm.
The OEM will use a number of new tools to inform the public including utilization of the “emergency alerts” and “road closures” feature on the County’s new website and the use of social media such as Twitter (@KaneCountyOEM). Informational releases to the media will also be used to keep the public informed.