Sunday, September 22, 2019

September is National Preparedness Month. Are you prepared?

Sometimes emergencies and disasters happen when we least expect them and sometimes we have a little bit of a heads up that trouble is on the way. We can’t always prevent disasters from happening, but we can be prepared to deal with them. Having a plan is key.

In the City of Southlake, the Office of Emergency Management, OEM, works diligently to maintain and update a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. Being rated with an advanced preparedness profile by the State of Texas, the City of Southlake’s plan outlines more than 25 different sections with plans to address everything from sheltering, evacuation, search and rescue, debris clean up, as well as the best ways to communicate important information to residents before, during and after the disaster.

National Preparedness Month is more than recognizing how the City is prepared to respond to a disaster, it’s also a good reminder of how you can be prepared too.

“Disasters are always hard to anticipate and really be prepared for, but having a plan can make a big difference,” notes Southlake Emergency Management Coordinator Amanda Meneses. “It’s important to be prepared, and not just in the month of September. The OEM is ready to respond, but there are a few things residents can do on their own to help them prepare.”

  • Have an emergency preparedness kit that will last your family for at least 72 hours, don’t forget to plan for pets.
  • Know how you will communicate with your family during an emergency and have a designated meeting place. Having a relative outside of the area as a known point of contact is recommended.
  • Learn basic lifesaving skills like CPR and first aid. You can take both of the classes with Southlake DPS. The OEM also offers classes on demand for various emergency management and preparedness skills.
  • Take the time to double check your insurance policies and make sure you have the right coverage for the area.
  • Know how to shut off the water and gas in your home.
  • If you don’t already have an emergency fund, start saving for one. Dealing with an emergency can add up quickly.

The Office of Emergency Management is a great resource for residents. Visit their website, or email them at OEM@cityofsouthlake.com to learn more about classes and how you can be prepared.

Office of Emergency Management Announces Winners of Wacky Weather Wheel Contest

Now that winter is finally behind us, many are anticipating the return of warm weather, green grass and blooming flowers. But have you thought about the possibility of severe weather this Spring? Don’t fret because if you haven’t, your children may be one step ahead!

To kick off Southlake’s 2018 Severe Weather Awareness Week, your local Office of Emergency Management, OEM, sponsored a Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest. The contest was open to all Southlake students in Kindergarten through 4th grade. The “Wacky Weather Wheel” theme was to bring life to the severe weather that can affect us in North Texas, in addition to sparking a preparedness train of thought.

And oh what a spark it did create – an overwhelming 650 poster entries were submitted from five local elementary schools! The thought and creativity displayed from each student made it a difficult decision to select a first and second place winner from each grade level. Each student did a remarkable job portraying weather events that could affect each resident of Southlake.

Winners of the 2018 poster contest are:

  • Kindergarten: First Place – Aadya Tripathy, Second Place – Lucas Grimm
  • First Grade: First Place – Ruby Cloudy, Second Place – Ella Chen
  • Second Grade: First Place – Trevor Bowen, Second Place – Katelyn Lucente
  • Third Grade: First Place – Charlotte Fu, Second Place – River Gatlin
  • Fourth Grade: First Place – Vivien Wang, Second Place – Justin Lim

First Place winners received a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio, a Fire Department T-Shirt, and 1st place medal. The Second Place winners received a prize pack with ribbon and fidget spinner. The top ten masterpieces will be on display at the City of Southlake Public Library from March 26 – April 3.

The OEM would like to remind you that each year severe weather causes extensive damage and creates hardships throughout the State of Texas. Severe weather is the most dangerous and common threat that Southlake residents face on a daily basis. Often, severe weather causes serious injuries and loss of life; tragically, some of which may have been prevented. Weather-related threats occur throughout the year from tornadoes, flooding, straight-line winds, lightning, hail and hurricanes. Every household should always be prepared to face these challenges. If you would like more information on emergency preparedness, please call the Office of Emergency Management at 817-748-8624 or 817-748-8903.