From high winds to thunderstorms to heavy snow and blizzards, the Chicago area is subject to many different weather emergencies. Here are some of the general steps you can take to be prepared.

Preparing Your Home

Test your home generator regularly to make sure that it will come on if the power goes off. Also, always maintain at least a three-day supply of propane gas or diesel fuel. If your fuel or propane tank drops below that level, call for a fill up before a weather emergency hits and supplies run low. Regular generator maintenance in Lake Forest and Chicago is also important.

If you must leave your home, turn off the connections to external gas and electrical lines if you are asked to do so by officials, but wait until you are asked. If you have time, be certain that all doors and windows are locked. Your home generator will power your alarm system, if you have one, so set it to away mode before leaving.

Preparing Your Family

While you should always prepare a plan in advance, different weather emergencies may call for different plans. Therefore, you should have plans for situations in which your family might have to leave your home, situations where you may need to seek shelter and plans for when you may need to stay at home for an extended period.

If someone needs to pick up your children or elderly or disabled relatives, determine in advance who that will be. Make certain that this person is on the list of approved people at your children’s schools and select a unique codeword that your children will remember easily.

Keep emergency supplies stocked in your home but be sure to replace them every once in a while, so that your supplies are always fresh. Especially during winter, you should stock your car or SUV with some of your supplies. While some supplies can go in the trunk or cargo area, you might want to store some where the driver can reach them easily.

In addition to food and water, you should have a first-aid kit in your home and in each of your family cars. Consider whether or not you need to add a tent, sleeping bags, backpacks, and other camping supplies to your emergency kit.

For more information about being prepared for weather emergencies, and for generator maintenance in Lake Forest, contact Penco Electric, Inc. at