This whole project started when I received an email from Gino Izzi the Senior Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Romeoville.
In his email he mentioned an article he had read recently that addressed the likelihood that a tornado could hit a major urban center and cost 1,000s of lives.
Could that urban center be Chicago, he asked?
We had gone many years without a major, catastrophic tornado like the one that hit Plainfield back in 1990 or Lemont in 1991. Then last year two massive tornadoes killed seven people and injured many others in Washington, Ill.
In 2011 the city of Joplin, Mo., was decimated by a tornado. With many areas in the Chicago metro area more than 10 times more densely populated than Joplin, just image the death and destruction.
This email was a call to action, in just a few months after attending an annual meeting with local meteorologists in the media, a volunteer board was formed to access and address the issue with the National Weather Service and a few other governmental agencies like the Du Page County Office of Emergency Management.
It was agreed that an all-out effort to reach as many people at one time would be the best course of action because we believe that public readiness is not where it needs to be. We decided to produce a PSA asking the question IS CHICAGO NEXT?
Each station in the Chicago area will run this PSA on the air, post it on their website along with the National Weather Service and the Du Page County Office of Emergency Management websites.