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3/26/20 - Preparing for Extreme Weather

For municipal leaders and community organizers across the state, 2019 flooding presented a host of challenges that tested the capabilities of their emergency response systems and the plans that support them. According to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, this was the fifth consecutive year that the U.S. experienced ten or more extreme weather events where the economic impact of each exceeded 1 billion dollars. With a disproportionate number of those events impacting the Midwest region, it seems clear that time spent preparing for weather-related disasters improves a community’s ability to respond and recover from adverse events

Municipal employees and community organizers interested in learning how to support families, businesses, and local organizations during weather- and climate-related events are invited to attend Preparing for Extreme Weather at 12:00 p.m. Thursday, March 26. Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford will discuss the science and impacts of climate change as they relate to water in Illinois, and Sally McConkey, Illinois State Water Survey engineer and hydrologist, will explain where to find floodplain information and how to interpret a floodplain map.

  • Thursday, March 26 at Noon CST

  • Presented by: Trent Ford, Illinois State Climatologist: Sally McConkey, Engineer/Hydrologist Illinois State Water Survey

About the Speakers

Trent Ford is the current Illinois State Climatologist and provides weather and climate data, maps, and information for Illinois farmers, government agencies and policymakers, and citizens. Ford evaluates past climate events, monitors current conditions, and studies possible future climate change. He serves as Illinois’ authoritative spokesperson on climate science. A native of Roanoke, Ill., Ford was an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University.

Sally McConkey, head of the coordinated hazard assessment and mapping for the Illinois State Water Survey, is an Illinois registered professional engineer and a certified floodplain manager. She manages the Coordinated Hazard Assessment and Mapping Program (CHAMP). The CHAMP staff is composed of engineers, GIS specialists, and outreach staff. The ISWS is a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and in that role, CHAMP performs hydrologic and hydraulic flood studies, Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map production, delegated review of Letter of Map Revisions, and community outreach. She has a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from University of Illinois and has been with the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) since 1984.

To attend this free webinar, please REGISTER HERE. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Nancy Ouedraogo at

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