Rep. Paul Jacobs Offers Advice to Residents and Businesses Following Sunday’s Major Storm Damage

POMONA, IL – State Representative Paul Jacobs is reminding local residents of best practices following the outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes on Sunday evening throughout southern Illinois. Rep. Jacobs is offering the following list of advice for residents and businesses that have experienced major storm damage.

  • Assess your immediate environment. In the event of a major medical emergency, always dial 911. 
  • Report fallen trees, flooded streets, or damaged public utilities to the proper department, including your local city or county emergency management agency. 
  • Assess any damage to your home or immediate surroundings. Be aware of any potential hazards such as ruptured gas lines, structural damage to your home, downed electrical lines, and localized flooding. Immediately report any injuries or hazards via 9-1-1.  
  • Take pictures of all storm damage. 
  • Keep track of the labor that you put in to cleaning up your storm damage (hours, costs). 
  • If your home or business or buildings have sustained major damage, there may be potential property tax benefits for you going forward. Contact your local county treasurer to inquire about details. 
  • Never enter any building that appears to have suffered structural damage or that poses any other hazards. 
  • Do not enter any disaster area. Your presence there will simply add to the confusion and may hamper emergency response efforts. 
  • Continue to check and monitor your major electrical appliances such as refrigerators and freezers. These items can be damaged in a storm and the true extent of the damage may not be known for days or even weeks.  
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. 
  • Disconnect electronics and equipment to avoid damage from electrical surges. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage.
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices. If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. If a life depends on the refrigerated drugs, consult a doctor or pharmacist and use medicine only until a new supply is available.
  • Do your due diligence and research when working with any tree removal company, contractor, roofer, etc. when addressing storm damage. Scammers tend to follow storms, so protect yourself from fraud and unscrupulous businesses.

”I will continue to monitor the latest information from our local and state emergency management agencies and keep the citizens of southern Illinois impacted by these storms updated and informed. As clean up and recovery continues, I offer my prayers to those impacted by the storms,” Jacobs said. “My office stands ready to assist individuals and businesses with any inquiries they may have regarding the storm clean up and response.” 

More storm damage response information and emergency preparedness information can also be found by visiting Ready.Illinois.Gov.