Friday, September 20, 2019

Emergency Management Reminds You to be Prepared for Severe Weather

Recently an EF-4 tornado devastated Alabama and this destructive tornado brought 170mph winds and a mile-wide path of catastrophic damage.  This powerful storm system has left a death toll of 23 people with the possibility of more.

Tornadoes are no stranger to Texas or the North Central Texas area.  As we approach severe weather season, residents of Southlake should be reminded that preparedness is key in this type of weather phenomena.  We could very well be the next Lee County, Alabama.

What the City does to prepare for disasters:

The City of Southlake has a designated Office of Emergency Management with two full-time employees, an Emergency Manager and Emergency Management Specialist.  We have a State approved Emergency Operations Plan that looks at all possible hazards to the City and creates plans to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from those hazards.  We have mutual-aid agreements in place with surrounding cities to ensure we have assistance, should our own services be overwhelmed during a disaster. The City has an Emergency Operations Center that has trained staff and is activated during large scale and disastrous conditions to coordinate response, resources, communication and recovery efforts.  We have state-of-the-art ESRI ArcGIS software that allows us to maintain situational awareness, send public notifications, and conduct damage assessments at the touch of a finger. The Office of Emergency Management takes a whole community approach at disaster preparedness with programs such as Ready Southlake, which fosters relationships between local faith-based/volunteer organizations and the City to serve our community during devastating or emergency conditions.  

What you can do to prepare for disasters:

Know your areas risks and hazards, and you can log on the City of Southlake Emergency Management’s webpage for more information.  Be aware of weather forecasts and sign up for Alert Southlake, the City’s warning and notification system. Understand the Outdoor Warning System, weather alerts and having a NOAA Weather Radio can also be helpful.  Have a communications plan in place with your family so that you will be able to communicate, locate and check-in with each other during an emergency. Have a shelter-in-place and evacuation plan set for your home, work and/or school location.  Each family should have a preparedness kit that has supplies for each family member to utilize the first 72 hours after an event, until normal services can be restored.

If you have any questions on how you can prepare for an emergency/disaster or have questions on what the City does to prepare for these situations, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at 817-748-8903