When it comes to severe weather, being prepared could be a matter of life and death. Last year alone, the North Central Texas Region reported 25 confirmed tornadoes, 259 cases of hail damage, and 23 instances of flash flooding.
“Being prepared for emergencies or disasters is critical to the safety of you and your family,” said Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Director Rocky Vaz, “We want citizens to take full advantage of the resources we have available to help them plan for severe weather.” Here are a few ways to be better prepared during a weather emergency:
Know your risk – Understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
In addition to tornadoes and damaging hail, Dallas residents are also at risk from flooding. Citizens can use an interactive map to find areas affected by flood by using the rain gauge and flooded roadway warning system data available at: http://fc.dallascityhall.com
Have what you need: This includes an emergency supply kit in your home, vehicle, office or school. These kits should have basic items such as food, water and important medications.
Know what to do: Having an emergency plan is essential to ensuring that family members know what to do and know who to call after a storm. Select a meeting spot at a designated location for family members to rally after a storm. Consider selecting an out-of-town contact for all family members to check in with. It is often easier to make a call out of an impacted area, than within one.
Stay informed: Enable wireless emergency alerts on your phone and sign up for community alerting systems, such as the City’s GeoCast Notification System at: http://www.dallascityhall.com/oem/oem_geoCast.html. Bookmark http://www.dallascityhall.com/oem/index.html for up-to-date emergency information from the City of Dallas.
Be an example – Share your preparedness story with friends and family. Letting others know you’re prepared will prompt them to prepare as well. Sign up for training through the many programs offered by the City of Dallas. This includes joining the Dallas Community Emergency Response Team or taking SKYWARN® weather spotter courses.
“Preparing starts with you, so we encourage residents to have what they need; have a plan and be informed about emergencies,” Vaz said.
To learn more visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/severe.html#.UxedxfldXzMand; and follow the Dallas OEM on Twitter and Facebook.