“Life-Threatening” Storm Headed For Chicago

January 31, 2011

A major snowstorm is heading our way.

Our advice: Prepare for it, then stay inside your Chicago home.

The Chicago area is under a blizzard watch from Tuesday at noon through Wednesday at 6 p.m. as 12 to 18 inches of snow are expected to pound northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana.

In fact, the National Weather Service said the storm could be “dangerous, multifaceted and potentially life-threatening.”

Take action today to prepare for tomorrow.

The biggest concerns during a storm of this magnitude are a loss of power and heat.

Here are some tips for surviving the storm:

*Make sure your home has a good supply of flashlights and batteries. Tune in to a battery-operated radio for weather updates if you lose power. With power, visit weather.gov.

*Stock up on water and food, especially items that don’t require cooking.

*Add storm windows or cover your windows with plastic to keep the cold air out.

*If your pipes freeze, remove any insulation and wrap pipes in rags. Pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to cold.

*Be careful when shoveling, especially in such deep snow. Stretch out first inside your home, then protect your skin from the elements before going outside.

*Make sure you have a full tank of gas in your car, but still drive only when necessary. If you get stranded in your car, turn on your hazards and your dome light so work crews or rescuers can see you.

With snow expected to fall at a rate of two to three inches per hour, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said the city’s full fleet of snow trucks are ready to jump into action.

Metra, Pace and Amtrak representatives are still planning to operate on normal schedules.

There’s a good chance most schools will be closed on Wednesday, so prepare for that as well.

Then, sit back in your warm Chicago home and enjoy the snow day. Hey, maybe we’ll even hit a record.

Chicago’s Top 10 Biggest Snowstorms:

1. 23.0 inches: January 26-27, 1967

2. 21.6 inches: January 1-3, 1999

3. 19.2 inches: March 25-26, 1930

4. 18.8 inches: January 13-14, 1979

5. 16.2 inches: March 7-8, 1931

6. 15.0 inches: December 17-20, 1929

7. 14.9 inches: January 30, 1939

8. 14.9 inches: January 6-7, 1918

9. 14.3 inches: March 25-26, 1970

10. 14.0 inches: January 18-20, 1886

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