The Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging residents across Chicago and northern Illinois to stay off the roads as the area encounters its first ice storm warning in almost a decade.
"Stay inside and off the roads unless absolutely necessary," said FEMA Regional Administrator James K. Joseph in a statement. "Monitor local weather alerts and make sure everyone in your family knows what to do now to stay safe in the event of an extended power outage."
One- to two-tenths of an inch of ice will be possible Tuesday night in far northern Illinois counties, and some southern areas could get three- or four-tenths by dawn.
Downed trees and power outages are possible in this severe weather, FEMA noted.
The federal agency offered the below tips for residents to prepare:
• Stock up on essentials now. Include water, a first-aid kit, canned food, medications, blankets, and any other necessities specific to your family. If you have to drive, makes sure you have a fully stocked emergency kit for your car. You can find a disaster supply checklist at www.ready.gov/kit.
• Make sure flashlights and battery-powered radios are working and keep extra batteries on hand.
• Run portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away as possible from your home.
• Charge cell phones before the storm and have a car charger on hand so if the power goes out, you can use your car as a supplementary power source to charge your phone.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed and set these appliances at their coldest settings. Lowering the temperature before you lose power will allow you to maintain acceptable temperatures for food longer. Eat perishable foods first in case there is a long-term outage. For more information about food safety during a power outage, visit foodsafety.gov.
• Be cautious when you go outside after the storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires may be hidden and could be live. Never touch downed lines and keep children and pets away from them.