Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2015 Vol. 62 No. 11

Message From The Chief


The first cold fronts that roll into Texas usually begin mid- to late-October. And they’re usually welcome, since they break the summer’s stifling heat and bring relief for those suffering under high summer humidity. But they should also serve as a cue to start our winter preparedness.

Winter Weather Awareness Day
Winter Weather Awareness Day in Texas is November 11, 2015. The last two winters in Texas have brought an icy chill to vast areas of the state. Hurricane force winds and record snowfall in some areas and layers of ice in others caused major power outages and closed roads, schools and businesses across the state, many for days.

There’s an old saying, “It’s better to have something and not need it, than to need something and not have it.” Winter weather is more than inconvenient; it can be very dangerous. Each year, winter weather catches too many people unprepared. So every November we urge all Texans to take some time—maybe on Texas Winter Weather Awareness Day—to see how prepared you and your family are for dealing with possible severe winter weather.

Average temperatures in Texas are usually quite pleasant in November, and it’s much easier to stock up on winter gear while the weather is nice and the crowds are small than when getting those supplies is a dire need. How long could you and your family survive at home if you were unable to get to a store?

How can you prepare? Add the following supplies to your home emergency supply kit:

  • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways
  • Sand to improve traction
  • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

If you don’t have an emergency supply kit, a checklist to build one is available at:  Texas Prepares Supply Kit.

Welcome to Texas

Minimize travel. Winter Weather Awareness Day is a great opportunity to make sure your vehicles are winter ready. Keep a disaster supplies kit in all your vehicles. If you have to get out, keep in mind that as much as 70 percent of fatalities related to ice and snow occur in automobiles.

Be familiar with winter weather terminology. Do you know the difference between freezing rain and sleet, between a winter weather advisory and a winter storm warning?

We all know winter weather is coming, and the potential for severe winter weather is possible anywhere in Texas. Don’t be caught off guard; prepare now.

Speaking of Needing Something …
Got your flu shot yet? Influenza can be a dangerous, deadly disease. With few exceptions, the CDC recommends a flu shot for everyone over six months of age. And they recommend you get it early. Today there really are no excuses for not getting a flu shot; pharmacies and clinics all over the state welcome walk-ins for shots at little or no cost or wait. While you’re on your way to your favorite grocery store or home improvement center to get supplies for your emergency kit, pop in and get your shot!

Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM® TEM
Follow @chiefkidd on Twitter

Centers for Disease Control - Flu

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