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Prepare Today for Tomorrow’s Emergency

Column by Commissioner Cook

  • 26 March 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2256

If I had to run out oTo assist an electric provider transport a large transformer to the city of Florence that had been without power or water for several days during the recent snowstorm, first  Williamson County Road and Bridge employees Jeff Ivey and Zach Langenegger worked with the Texas Department of Transportation to clear the roadways on SH-195 from I-35 to Florence with motor graders not designed for ice or snow. f my house today during an emergency, what would I grab and how quickly?

During our recent winter storm unofficially called Uri, many people had to flee their homes that flooded from busted pipes or just to find a warm place somewhere.

If you weren’t fleeing, flushing toilets with melted snow, or weathering the elements indoors without lights or heat, you were lucky. And if you had to dig through snow in the dark to find the main water shutoff valve to your home as your busted pipes gushed like Old Faithful inside, therein is a lesson for all of us.

We should all be able to locate our water main, and where to shut off the power and gas as quickly as possible in any disaster at any time of day.

If a big storm or fire is coming through, we now know we’d better have water saved up, flashlights and batteries. Those flashlights will come in handy when you’re trying to shut off water, gas or electricity in the dark!

For your ready-to grab bag, consider making copies of legal and important documents like home/auto insurance, house/auto titles, bank accounts, credit cards, licenses, passports, and lists of prescription names with numbers, phone numbers, doctors and passwords.

Items for your emergency kit can include:

  • prescriptions
  • over-the-counter medicines you use
  • small water bottles for drinking
  • distilled water required for medical equipment
  • phone chargers
  • a change of clothes and shoes
  • extra eyeglasses if possible
  • toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • jackets
  • snacks
  • soap, hand sanitizer, wipes and toilet paper
  • diapers, bottles and formula
  • face masks
  • waterproof bags for items like prescriptions and documents.

Williamson County launches Phase 2 of Wilco Forward Small business Grant Program

Media Release from the Wilco Public Information Office

  • 19 March 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2281

Williamson County launched Phase 2 of its Wilco Forward Small Business Grant Program for businesses financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses such as food services, bars and hotels/motels have been able to apply for a small business grant to help them stay afloat since Wednesday, March 17.

This is the second round of Wilco Forward small Image of a small brown building with a striped red & white awning from Flaticon.business grants funded by CARES Act funds. The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved allocating $10 million to fund the program during the Commissioners Court meeting held on Tuesday, March 10. Each eligible business will receive up to $500 per employee with a maximum amount of $10,000.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to businesses in Williamson County and across the country.  Through our original round of small business grants, we were able to help thousands of businesses in Williamson County stay afloat during some of the most challenging days of this ordeal,” said Williamson County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer. “As our businesses finally return to fully-opened nearly a year later, our restaurant, bar, and hospitality businesses have continued to be significantly affected by government-mandated closures. Williamson County’s responsible management of CARES Act dollars over the last year has left us with resources available to help these businesses get back on their feet.”

Williamson County Vaccine Providers to Begin Vaccinating Phase 1c

Media Release from the Wilco Public Information Office

  • 15 March 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2229

Dreamstime.com Photo of the arm of a person with syringe and needle ready to be injected.Residents who fall under the Texas Department of State Health Services’ (DSHS) Phase 1c may sign-up starting today, March 15, on Williamson County’s centralized waitlist to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  

To register and get on the waitlist, please visit www.wilco.org.  

DSHS opened the vaccination process to Phase 1c individuals, which includes anyone between the age of 50 to 64 years old.

DSHS reported that people in this age bracket are the next most vulnerable group in our population and could suffer serious to life-threatening effects when infected with COVID-19. 

To date, 144,669 doses have been administered to Williamson County residents, and 42,995 of those residents have been fully vaccinated, according to data provided by DSHS.

Williamson County has approximately 13,500 people on the waitlist that are in Phase 1b with approximately 3,600 of that group who are over 65.

Now You Can Watch The Recorded Williamson County AgriLife: Freeze Damage Recovery Program

Offered by Williamson County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service along with additional information and help.

  • 3 March 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2264

Image of a tree with eyes and a smile from Plant Cliparts

If you missed the Williamson County AgriLife: Freeze Damage Recovery program yesterday, you can find the posted recording along with some extra fact sheets and tips at https://williamson.agrilife.org/winter-storm-recovery-for-lawns-and-landscape/

The following information is from Kate Whitney, Horticulture Extension Agent with Williamson County, who hosted the Facebook program: Remember that the key is PATIENCE! The warmer weather is helping our plants to recover, but it might take several weeks before plants start to show signs of life.  A scratch test on the stems is a good way to find living tissue in your plants.  Start at the tips and work your way down until you find live tissue. 

Please be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter “Trees, Turf & Tomatoes” for timely information about lawn and garden tasks in Williamson County.  It’s just one email a month, and we will not sell your information.  You can sign up here: https://williamson.agrilife.org/horticulture-newsletter/

Let us know if you have specific questions that were not covered during the webinar or in the handouts.  Remember our new favorite slogan #learntoloveugly.  Our plants will look ugly for some time, but that is okay!  Give them time to start greening up this spring before you give up. 

County Residents Can Apply for FEMA Assistance for Winter Storm Damage

Information from the Williamson County Public Information Office

  • 26 February 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2449

Williamson County is one of 77 Texas counties that fall under the federal Texas Severe Winter Storms disaster declaration. Williamson County residents who sustained damage from snow and ice during the winter storms may apply for federal assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you have insurance, contact your insurance company first, and then FEMA. Your insurance claim information is needed to determine eligibility for federal assistance. Apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

Registration is estimated to take approximately 20 minutes. You will need the following information to complete your registration:

  • Social Security Number (SSN) or the SSN of a minor child in the household who is a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien
  • Annual household income
  • Contact information (phone number, mailing address, email address, and damaged home address)
  • Insurance information (coverage, insurance company name, etc.)
  • Bank account information (if you are eligible to receive financial assistance, the money can be deposited in your account)

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