Health Sciences & Social Work

EM Masthead: Current Event Alert

Current Event Alert: Advisory Statements Related to November 17, 2013, Illinois Tornado Outbreak

Second Statement on Friday November 22, 2013, Illinois Tornado Outbreak

Advisory Statement #2

Joint Statement from the WIU Emergency Management Program and the WIU IESMA Student Chapter
Friday 11-22-13 at 4:30pm
Issued by Dr. Jack Rozdilsky, EM Program Coordinator, email

As of Friday November 22, 2013, the WIU Emergency Management Program’s Faculty and the WIU IESMA Student Chapter are advising those persons who wish to help out with last Sunday’s tornado disaster NOT TO TRAVEL TO TORNADO DAMAGED AREAS OF TAZEWELL COUNTY, LIKE WASHINGTON, THIS WEEKEND (November 23-24) to provide volunteer assistance.

This week, a small advance team led by Professor Rozdilsky and staffed by officers of the WIU IESMA Student Chapter traveled to tornado stricken areas of Tazewell County to assess appropriate ways to help and the team provided assistance to the Tazewell County Emergency Management Agency.  It was determined that given the scope of the disaster in locales like Washington, during this first week after the tornado disaster, emergency management authorities are still dealing with immediate response duties and community safety needs.

The impacts of this recent disaster will not be going away for the foreseeable future. In the coming weeks and months, there will be numerous opportunities for both WIU Emergency Management Students and the wider WIU community to provide volunteer services to aid tornado stricken central Illinois communities.

At a special meeting of the WIU-IESMA Student Chapter on Thursday evening November 21, the organization determined that two of its new goals will be to: 1) Provide appropriate assistance to tornado stricken communities in Central Illinois; 2) To facilitate opportunities for Emergency Management Students to provide specialized assistance as needed. The WIU-IESMA student chapter is now making plans concerning how they can best engage in such activities.

As the Spring Semester begins in January 2014, the WIU IESMA Student organization will provide more information on how WIU Emergency Management Students can help out with the recovery from these recent tornado disasters.

At this late point in the Fall 2013 Semester, with the Thanksgiving Holiday upon us followed quickly by the last week of the semester and final exams, WIU Emergency Management faculty stress that Emergency Management students not become too distracted with the recent tornadoes so that a focus can be maintained on finishing Fall 2013 classes. There will be plenty of opportunities to become involved in disaster relief during the upcoming the winter and spring.

How to help now:

If one wants to help immediately, the best way would be to provide monetary aid towards relief efforts. One outlet for donations is the “Washington Tornado Relief Fund”. Donations by check or cash may be made at any Morton Community Bank location throughout Central Illinois. Checks may also be mailed to: Morton Community Bank, 721 West Jackson Street., Morton, IL 61550.

If one were considering donating material goods at community collection points established by a variety of volunteer organizations across Illinois the types of materials needed include: toiletries, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine products and hand sanitizer; plastic totes, lightweight plastic shelving and lightweight stackable shelving units; plastic utensils, cups and plates; reading glasses, contact solution and contact cases; denture products and Depends; first aid kits, sewing kits, pain relievers and cold medicine; and duct tape, extension cords, power strips, phone chargers and black markers.

See the WIU Press Release: EM Professor: Donations Best Way to Help Tornado-Stricken Communities (Dated November 21, 2013)


Initial Statement on the November 17, 2013, Illinois Tornado Outbreak

Advisory Statement #1
Joint Statement from the WIU Emergency Management Program and the WIU IESMA Student Chapter
Sunday 11-17-2013 at 11:00pm
Issued by Dr. Jack Rozdilsky, EM Program Coordinator, email

On Sunday November 17, 2013, the state of Illinois was impacted by a severe late-season tornado outbreak. Early indications about the scope of this disaster event in Illinois indicate 6 deaths, multiple injuries, and locations across the state with property damage. In Central Illinois, 12 miles east of Peoria, the town of Washington appears to be among the towns especially hard hit. Reports from Washington indicate that a tornado approximately 1/8 mile wide with a 4 mile long path cut through a residential area causing one fatality, numerous injuries, and extensive damages to homes.

WIU Emergency Management Program Faculty and the WIU Emergency Management Student Organization (WIU IESMA Student Chapter) are currently organizing a coordinated response to today’s tornado events.

Related to today’s tornadoes, a special meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, November 21 at 5:30pm in room 107 Stipes Hall. At this meeting both the WIU Emergency Management Student Organization and Emergency Management Faculty will discuss plans for volunteer relief efforts organized specifically for emergency management students.

At this point, one possibility being considered is that five days from now (on Saturday November 23) it may be possible for emergency management students to participate in a disaster relief activity at a location yet to be determined in Central Illinois.

While many WIU Emergency Management Students have expressed an interest in becoming involved in providing disaster assistance immediately, it is stressed that one should not self-deploy to disaster stricken communities immediately after the disaster. For even those persons with the best of intentions, entering into a tornado stricken community too soon can be both dangerous and counterproductive.

It is expected that by mid-week, as response transitions to recovery, plenty of opportunities will emerge to become involved in voluntary efforts to assist in disaster relief.

In terms of the efforts of the WIU Emergency Management Program, this web page has been established to provide up-to-date information concerning any efforts organized specifically for WIU Emergency Management Students. This page will be used to post new advisory statements.

In terms of activities that we can expect from emergency management authorities during the next few days Dr. Rozdilsky suggests that on Sunday evening search and rescue activities are winding down and the response efforts have begun in earnest. On Monday morning, the human toll of today’s tornadoes will become clear as the response efforts will transition from search and rescue to search and recovery, the injured will be treated, and temporary sheltering for the survivors will be provided. In terms of dealing with the physical damages, activities such as the restoration of basic services, preliminary damage assessment, and debris removal will be taking place in the immediate future.

The thoughts of the WIU Emergency Management Program Faculty and the WIU IESMA Student Chapter members are with those persons who have been impacted by today’s tornadoes and our thoughts are also with the emergency managers actively engaged in response efforts this evening.

For more information about the WIU IESMA Student Chapter please contact the organization's President Carrie Carlson at or the organization's academic advisor Dr. Heriberto Urby at