Announcements

Prepare Now for Hurricane Season

- Friday, June 06, 2014
Even though Central Texas doesn’t have beach front property, the public should still gear up for the annual Atlantic Hurricane Season, running June 1 to November 30.
 
Regional emergency planners and the American Red Cross want to remind residents as far inland as San Marcos, Austin, and Georgetown they still can be affected by major hurricanes.
 
Hurricanes can produce severe weather deep into Texas, creating damaging hail, tropical storm-force winds, lightning strikes, tornados, flash flooding, and electric power disruptions. Reverberating coastal storm winds can also stoke inland wildfires.
 
It is also inevitable that the region will host Gulf Coast evacuees who flee inland, such as it did in 2005 for hurricanes Katrina and Rita and in 2008 for hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
 
Central Texas government partners, together with the American Red Cross, maintain the Capital Area Shelter Hub Plan to house evacuees. The shelters are located in high schools and middle schools in Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties.  Additionally, the City of Austin maintains an agreement to accept evacuees from City of Galveston and Galveston County who do not have their own transportation.
 
In extreme conditions, Central Texas can house as many as 25,000 coastal evacuees in 75 shelters.
 
Residents can do their part by preparing themselves for severe inland weather, and familiarizing themselves with ways to help their fellow Texans, as noted below.
 
Preparedness
 
Residents can prepare by creating a basic emergency kit for each member of their family, to survive for at least three days if an emergency or disaster occurs. More information can be found at http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit.
 
Additionally, area residents should be aware that Central Texas is nicknamed “Flash Flood Alley.” Resident should investigate if they live in a floodplain and have a plan to respond to flash flooding. City of Austin residents can explore floodplains at www.atxfloodpro.com online.
 
Residents in Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties can also sign up for emergency notification by voice, email, SMS text for emergencies and non-emergencies near where they live and work. Visit wireless.capcog.org.
 
Victim Assistance
 
To support your community and help affected families, there are many ways to get involved.
 
People can make a monetary donation to local American Red Cross disaster relief or become a Red Cross disaster volunteer today so you’re prepared to step into action immediately when the time comes.
 
Other volunteer opportunities are available through the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). To locate a CERT team in your community, visit http://www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams. 

Just 15 Minutes Could Save Your Life

- Tuesday, April 08, 2014

More than 10,000 people across Central Texas have registered with the Capital Area Council of Governments’ newly updated RNS at http://wireless.capcog.org, and friends, neighbors and relatives are encouraged to join in today.

Register your cellphone, landline, email address or pager to get alerts by voice call, email or text. No Internet access? No problem. To register for the Regional Notification System by phone, just call toll free 866-484-3264, and you’ll be prompted for your contact information.

The free service, previously called the “Emergency Notification System, can alert participants if a large emergency or major incident were happening in their area or a loved one’s area across Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties.

It has been used to warn people during a flood; to instruct residents during an ongoing law enforcement SWAT operation; and, in the 2011 Labor Day wildfire outbreak, to contact more than 9,000 residences and businesses in Bastrop, Travis, Fayette, Caldwell, Hays and Burnet counties.

Don’t delay – it takes just 15 minutes to sign up today. And to learn more about the Regional Notification System, download the frequently asked questions sheet at www.capcog.org/divisions/homeland-security/rns.
RNS online registration URLwireless.capcog.org 

Register your cellphone, landline, email address or pager to get alerts by voice call, email or text. No Internet access? No problem. To register for the Regional Notification System by phone, just call toll free 866-484-3264, and you’ll be prompted for your contact information.

The free service, previously called the “Emergency Notification System, can alert participants if a large emergency or major incident were happening in their area or a loved one’s area across Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties.  It has been used to warn people during a flood; to instruct residents during an ongoing law enforcement SWAT operation; and, in the 2011 Labor Day wildfire outbreak, to contact more than 9,000 residences and businesses in Bastrop, Travis, Fayette, Caldwell, Hays and Burnet counties.

Don’t delay – it takes just 15 minutes to sign up today. And to learn more about the Regional Notification System, download the frequently asked questions sheet at www.capcog.org/divisions/homeland-security/rns.
RNS online registration URL wireless.capcog.org


TDI News Release: Insurance Is Key to Disaster Preparation - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AUSTIN – With the official start of hurricane season on June 1 and an already active spring storm season, the Texas Department of Insurance encourages you to review your basic insurance needs to make sure you and your loved ones are financially protected from a disaster.  Here are some steps to take to make sure you’re ready.

Create a Home Inventory. Creating an inventory and storing it in a safe location away from home is a basic – and effective – disaster preparedness step.  According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), more than half of Americans don't have a home inventory of their personal property. Not having an inventory to calculate the value of your property means you might be underinsured and not have enough money to replace your personal property if it’s damaged or destroyed.

You can download and print a home inventory checklist from the TDI website: www.tdi.state.tx.us/pubs/consumer/cb086.pdf.

In addition, NAIC has created a smart phone app that makes it easy to create a home inventory.  The myHOME Scr.APP.book app lets users capture and electronically store images, descriptions, bar codes, and serial numbers of your personal property. The app organizes information by room and creates a back-up file for email sharing. To download the free app, go to the iTunes or Android app stores and search "NAIC."
You should review your inventory each year. Note the make, model, serial number, purchase price, and purchase date of any new items and keep copies of receipts for major purchases with your inventory.

Check Your Policy. It’s important to know whether your policy includes coverage for replacement cost or actual cash value in case of a loss. Actual cash value (ACV) is the amount it would take to repair damage to your home or to replace its contents after allowing for depreciation. Replacement cost is the amount it would take to rebuild or replace your home and its contents with similar quality materials or goods, without deducting for depreciation.
Make sure your policy meets your needs and that you know your policy limits, deductibles, exclusions, and claim notification requirements. Store copies of your insurance policies with your inventory in a safe location away from your home so that you can easily retrieve them.  Also consider scanning your policies and storing them electronically on a computer or server away from your home.

Keep a list of contact details for your insurance agent and company with your policies. Include office phone numbers, mailing addresses, website addresses, and all of your policy numbers for quick reference. Email this information to yourself in case you’re separated from your hard copy list.

Make Sure You Have Windstorm Insurance.  If your property is in one of the state’s 14 coastal counties or parts of southeastern Harris County, your homeowners policy might not provide windstorm coverage.  You may be able to obtain insurance coverage for windstorm or hail damage from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). It’s important to know that you cannot buy or change TWIA coverage once a hurricane is in or near the Gulf of Mexico. For more information about windstorm coverage and inspection requirements, call your insurance agent or TWIA at 512-899-4900, or visit TWIA’s website at www.twia.org.

If you’re a TWIA policyholder, be aware that your policy recently changed. For more information about the new TWIA claims process, call TDI’s Coastal Outreach and Assistance Services Team (COAST) at 1-855-35COAST (352-6278).

Consider Flood Insurance.  Most homeowners and commercial property policies exclude coverage for damage from flooding.  To protect yourself from losses caused by rising water, you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy, typically from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Flood insurance policies usually have a 30-day waiting period after the purchase date before coverage takes effect on currently owned property, so don’t wait until a flooding threat is imminent. To get flood insurance, call your insurance agent or NFIP at 1-888-FLOOD 29 (356-6329) or visit www.floodsmart.gov

Make a Safety Plan.  If a disaster threatens your area, you might have to decide whether to stay in your home or evacuate. Whenever local authorities recommend evacuation, you should leave. The advice of authorities is based on knowledge of the strength of the storm and its potential for destruction.
• Map out safe routes inland or to safer areas. If you live in a low-lying area, know where low-water crossings might make travel to safety more difficult and plan routes that avoid these areas.
• Find out the location of any nearby community shelters in case you must seek immediate shelter.
• Work out a way for family members to communicate in case you must leave your home or if there is a disruption in local phone service.
For more specific information about safety planning and emergency preparedness, go to www.texasprepares.org

For More Information
If you have questions about insurance, call TDI’s toll-free Consumer Help Line (1-800-252-3439) or visit the TDI website at www.tdi.texas.gov.

Identify Your Risk For Wildfire

- Monday, April 30, 2012

The Texas Forest Service (TFS) and Texas A & M University System officials unveiled a new web portal designed to help Texans identify their risk for wildfire. 

The Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (TxWRAP), allows users to identify wildfire threats for a particular area based on landscape characteristics, historical fire occurrence, weather conditions, terrain and potential fire behavior.  It also routes users to resources that can help them implement wildfire prevention practices.  The portal was designed to increase public awareness and support wildfire mitigation and prevention efforts across the State. 

The first web portal of its kind in the nation, TxWRAP includes free applications for the public, local community groups, government officials, professional hazard mitigation planners, and wildland fire managers.  The TxWRAP tutorial is available on You Tube. 


Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal

- Monday, April 30, 2012

On Friday, the Texas Forest Service (TFS) and Texas A & M University System officials unveiled its new web portal designed to help Texans identify their risk for wildfire.

The Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (TxWRAP), allows users to identify wildfire threats for a particular area based on landscape characteristics, historical fire occurrence, weather conditions, terrain and potential fire behavior. It also routes users to resources that can help them implement wildfire prevention practices. The portal was designed to increase public awareness and support wildfire mitigation and prevention efforts across the State.

The first web portal of its kind in the nation, TxWRAP includes free applications for the public, local community groups, government officials, professional hazard mitigation planners, and wildland fire managers. The TxWRAP tutorial is available on You Tube.


Preparing for a Wildfire

- Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The fire season is now a year-round reality in many areas, requiring firefighters and residents to be on heightened alert for the threat of wildfire throughout the year.

Each year, wildfires consume hundreds of homes in the Wildland/Urban Interface, or WUI. Studies show that as many as 80 percent of the homes lost to wildfires could have been saved if their owners had only followed a few simple fire safe practices. In addition, wildfire-related deaths occur because people wait until it is too late to leave their home.

Williamson County and the Emergency Service providers therein take every precaution to help protect you and your property from wildfire. However, the reality is that in a major wildfire, there will simply not be enough fire engines or firefighters to defend every home.

Successfully preparing for a wildfire requires you to take personal responsibility for protecting yourself, your family and your property. Watch the video from the International Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) or review the attached publication by the Texas Forest Service, in association with the IFCA.  Both provide residents with the tips and tools they need to be prepared and successful in the event of a wildfire.


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Emergency Management

Logo for Emergency Management

 

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) assists Williamson County in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters.  The OEM works year-round with City Departments, regional emergency management and public safety officials, and elected officials to develop a plan to lessen the impact of disasters on County residents. OEM Staff comes from various backgrounds and specializations, and work together in the four areas of emergency management: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.

During a disaster, please stay tuned to local radio or television stations for up to date information regarding appropriate safety measures. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn about preparedness
and what the OEM is doing.




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TIER II Reporting

Electronic Submission (preferred)
lepc@wilco.org

or

Mail to:    
Williamson County OEM
PO Box 2659
Georgetown, TX 78627
Attn: Jarred Thomas

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Office of Emergency Management


Physical Address
911 Tracy Chambers Lane
Georgetown, TX 78626


Mailling Address
PO Box 2659
Georgetown, TX 78627

Jarred Thomas, CEM, TEM
Emergency Management Coordinator
Phone: 512-864-8200
jthomas@wilco.org

Michael Turek
Emergency Management Deputy Coordinator                                                                                                                                                Phone: 512-864-8200
mturek@wilco.org   

 

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Wilco Mitigation Plan

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Williamson County Courthouse
710 Main Street Georgetown, TX 78626
Main Telephone: (512)943-1100
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