The Williamson County Commissioners Court proclaimed September as National Preparedness Month. Texas has more natural disasters than any other state, recording 26 major disasters since the year 2000. To help residents create plans for emergencies, the Williamson County Office of Emergency Management launched a new mobile app called WILCO Ready. WILCO Ready is a comprehensive mobile application designed specifically to aid in personal and family planning, emergency communications planning, emergency status sharing, local disaster mapping, and provide updated information provided during emergencies. WILCO Ready is available as a free download for Android and Apple devices from the app store.
“All the information you put into the app is stored on your device, so it is not shared. You can build your family’s emergency plan here, and then it will create a supply list for your family emergency kit,” stated Jarred Thomas, Williamson County emergency management director. “You also can build a notification list from your phone contacts, and it will notify that list of your status during an emergency as soon as you have cellular service.”
“WarnCentralTexas.org is still the primary means for sending emergency messages out to affected areas for evacuations or other emergency messages,” added Thomas. “This app will be a secondary source for those emergency messages, but is less restrictive in what messages can be sent and will include additional information beyond the initial warning.”
Thomas stated that the county is working with cities within the county so that the app will be a shared resource for preparedness information. In addition, the app can be used by residents to self-report damage to personal property following a disaster. This allows the Office of Emergency Management to quickly receive and compile more accurate accounts of total damage in the county.