ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Fire Departments say that the number one thing is just being prepared for what’s ahead. Stocking up on necessities and making sure to understand all safety measures.

“Have a winter car kit have a home safety kit,” said Jen Anderson the Community Risk Reduction Officer for Harlem Roscoe Fire.

Safety kits should have food, water, blankets, flashlights, and needed medication. I spoke to a few firefighters who say preparations is key during severe weather season.

“Make sure you have some sort of back up system at your house. If you don’t have a generator which of course we want you operating outside of the house so we don’t have to deal with things like carbon monoxide that you have flashlights. If you do have candles burning make sure you are being attentive to them like you would in other circumstance as well.” Michael Schnaper an Arson Investigator for the Rockford Fire Department.

If your power does go out the Winnebago County Health Department says after four hours your going to want to throw out refrigerated like meat, fish, eggs, milk and leftovers. For more information on food safety you visit the Health Department’s website.

Particularly in the city of Rockford we do seem to be vulnerable to power outages and tings like that due to downed wires. We want to make sure that when there are heavy wins we want people aware that is a hazard. Do not approach any of these down wires assume they are all live even if you don’t see any sparking like that,” Schnaper said.

If you see down powerline, report it to Com-Ed at 1-800-EDISON-1 or use the Com Ed app.

“We can send someone out there to get eyes on the line until we get crews out there to make repairs. But for a storm like this where there is going to be high winds there’s a good chance we will see a lot of down branches down trees. And so there’s a good opportunity for lines to get tangled up in those so you might not even see them. We recommend if you normally have lines through your back yard don’t go into your back yard don’t send your dog into your back yard,” said John Schoen a spokesperson for Com Ed.

During high winds stay away from windows. It is always smart to stay home if possible. However it is important to be mindful of safe driving if out on the road.

“Your unsure how deep a water is going down your street or any street and your in doubt, turn around,” Anderson said.

To stay up to date on Com Ed outages visit their website or app.

Rockford Non-Emergency Phone Number- 815-966-2900