Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Franklin County Government is proud to support Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 1st– 5th, 2021

(BENTON-ILLINOIS) Franklin County officials are teaming up with the National Weather Service to support Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois; a statewide effort designed to increase awareness of the severe weather that affects everyone and to encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to know their risk, take action, and be an example.

Being prepared to act quickly could be a matter of survival. This is especially evident during the threat of severe weather. Franklin County was greatly affected with hundreds of lives lost during the massive EF-5 Tri-State Tornado in 1925. Another large and violent tornado occurred on February 28th, 2017. The massive EF-4 Tornado entered western Franklin County just north of Royalton leaving behind a path of destruction that destroyed three homes. 

Director of Emergency Management Ryan M. Buckingham is encouraging residents to take three simple steps to be better prepared for severe weather:

Step 1: Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming storm ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA All-Hazards Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Step 2: Take Action: Before storms strike, develop a family communication plan, create or purchase an emergency supplies kit and NOAA All-Hazards Radio. You can also sign up for free text alerts from Franklin County Emergency Management Agency by texting your Franklin County zip code to the number 888777.

Step 3: Be an Example: Share your preparedness story with your friends and family on social media. Letting others know that you’re prepared will prompt them to prepare as well. Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe. Being weather ready is a collective effort. It takes the whole community to effectively prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from the damages caused by tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and other severe weather.

“We are proud to support the goals of Severe Weather Preparedness Week” said Director Ryan M. Buckingham. “Although severe weather can occur in all twelve months of the year, we are entering the spring storm season which is the period where we typically see the most severe weather. Now is a good time to review your severe weather preparedness efforts and ensure you have a plan in place if a warning is issued,” added the Director.

Local events scheduled for Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Franklin County include:

NOAA All-Hazards Radio Programming
Monday, March 1st - 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Franklin County EMA Headquarters
401 E. Park Street, Benton, Illinois 62812
Stop by and bring your NOAA radio and we will program it for you for free!

Tornado Drill
Tuesday, March 2nd - 10:00 AM
A Tornado Drill will commence at 10:00 AM as local emergency warning systems will be activated to allow residents and business owners the opportunity to practice their severe weather preparedness plans.

Online SKYWARN Storm Spotter Training Course
Register with the NWS at: 

NOAA All-Hazards Radio Programming
Wednesday, March 3rd - 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Franklin County EMA Headquarters
401 E. Park Street, Benton, Illinois 62812
Stop by and bring your NOAA radio and we will program it for you for free!
Download the a free severe weather preparedness guide at

Join us on social media @FCEMA. Share this information with your friends using the hash tag #SWPW21!