ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. — Leaders in St. Clair County hope residents heed warnings about potential severe weather on Wednesday.

St. Clair County offers a free alert system, which residents can sign up for by clicking here.

“Heed those warnings and get into a safe place,” said Herb Simmons, St. Clair County EMA and 911 coordinator.    

He also warns residents about the possibility of downed power lines on Wednesday.  That same warning is coming from area tree service companies.  

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a number of trees just getting diseases and falling on houses way more often than they used to,” said Zachary Strom, Meurer Brothers arborist.

He advises customers to contact their insurance companies as soon as possible.  The company serves St. Clair County and has been busy and is bracing for what could a day filled with emergency calls on Wednesday.  

“We’ll work 16 hours if we have to and we’ll work in the dark,” said Strom.  “If that’s what’s necessary, we’ll go out and get it down and get it off your house and tarp it up before the next storm.” 

The Belleville Area Humane Society is also getting prepared for the potential of severe weather.  

“We make sure that all of the animals are indoors, and we also do play music to help soothe them,” said Kim Vrooman, executive director. “We play a little bit of Beethoven.” 

Amanda Roos is the agency’s canine placement counselor.  She said it’s also a good idea to have a box with an extra leash, collar, food, and water handy.  

“I would also keep a couple of carriers close by,” said Roos. “One for each cat that you have, just in case they start to get a little skittish.” 

The agency is also preparing for an upcoming event  that will help support the ongoing foster program and adoption services.