Saturday, December 2, 2023

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 to learn more about classes and how you can be prepared.

Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday

If an emergency occurred tomorrow, would you be prepared?

During a disaster you may not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days. North Texas is particularly vulnerable to frequent tornadoes, hail, gusty winds, flooding, and even wildfires.  Preparing your family is an essential step to keeping them safe and healthy during a disaster.

So how can you become prepared? Beginning April 23 at 12:01 a.m., as part of the state’s Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday, you and your family can purchase emergency preparation supplies tax free until midnight on April 25th.  There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase — among some of the emergency supplies are batteries, weather radios, flashlights and first aid kits.

“This tax free holiday serves as a reminder to families about the importance of being prepared while providing a good opportunity to stock up on emergency supplies tax free”, said City of Southlake Emergency Management Coordinator Ben Williamson.

Among the items available to purchase tax free are portable generators and emergency ladders which carry a traditionally higher price tag.

For a full list of tax exempted emergency supplies, visit the Texas Comptrollers Website.