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Prepare Today for Tomorrow’s Emergency

Column by Commissioner Cook

  • 26 March 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2841

Once the scrapers cleared SH-195 from I-35 to Florence, dump trucks driven by Williamson County employees Jimmy Cloud, Garrett Michalk, Garrett Draehn and Mark Chaidez spread sand over the icy roads that allowed the electric provider to get the transformer to Florence.

Emergency centers that opened during the snowstorm in February asked people to bring  some of these emergency items.

Be sure to update your kit and documents at least annually but preferably every six months. And at the very least, make a list of items you can’t store away but will need in case you have to leave unexpectedly like your CPAP machine or oxygen.

What about Fido and Fluffy? Can’t forget our pets! Remember to include pet food, medications, leashes and proof of current rabies vaccine.

For additional ideas, please visit www.ready.gov/kit and www.ready.gov/plan.

To access all disaster-related information for the county, download the Wilco Ready Community Preparedness App on your cell through the Android or Apple app store.

Williamson County’s CAPCOG Regional Notification System also notifies residents about specific emergencies. Cellphone users must register at  https://warncentraltexas.org/ to receive the notification system’s messages by phone, email and text.

Countywide major emergency information is posted on facebook.com/preparingwilco

and at  www.twitter/PreparingWilco.com.

These accounts are monitored weekdays during office hours; however, if you require emergency assistance, call 911. Please do not post emergency requests or send emergency messages to county social media accounts.

We have Texas-size reasons to begin emergency preparations yesterday.

Central Texas’ wettest months of April and May can bring severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding. Central Texas’ Memorial Day Flood 2015 was the highest flood ever recorded in the state’s history, causing death and property loss.

Central Texas can catch the tail ends of hurricanes that run from June to November,  like Hermine in 2010 that flooded 60 homes in Round Rock West. Wildfires may rage during any extended dry periods.

Hopefully Uri—that froze Texas between Feb. 13 through 17—was a once-in-a-lifetime event but just in case, let’s save a few containers for water and remember you can fill your bathtubs with enough notice.

Team members of Wilco’s Office of Emergency Management that coordinates disaster preparedness with the county’s municipal governments, emergency service districts, and nonprofit and volunteer first response organizations are well-prepared.

When called to action during Uri, these folks grabbed their emergency bags that came in handy as many spent several nights at the county’s 9-1-1 center in Georgetown sleeping (somewhat) on cots to fulfill rotating shifts to respond to the record number of emergency calls and needs.

My condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives during our power and water outages.

In addition to asking our Texas legislators to incentivize or require weatherization for all forms of power plants and wind/solar farm equipment, let’s also save lives and reduce misery with preparedness.

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