Each year, Americans cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 1,500 floods and 1,000 tornadoes. The good news is that most weather can be predicted. The bad news is—as this past May’s flooding and December’s tornadoes reminded us—many weather-related deaths still occur each year in North Texas, despite advance warning. The first step to being prepared is realizing that severe weather can happen at any time—and it can happen to you.
September is National Preparedness Month, and the City of Garland Office of Emergency Management is happy to announce that we are joining other national, state and local organizations, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in educating the public on how to prepare for disasters. National Preparedness Month is about helping individuals, families, businesses and communities take action to keep themselves and their families prepared!
Establishing a family communication plan, building a preparedness go-kit and signing up for the City’s CodeRED weather warning system are all great ways to get you and your family started. It also is important to take the time to talk with your family and decide what you should do if an emergency happens close to home: Where will you meet if something happens? Does your insurance cover flood-related damage? Do you have enough food, water and medication to go three days without leaving the house? Discussing these topics will help save your lives and lessen the impact when disasters occur.
It takes the entire community working together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the destructive forces of nature and other disasters. Dallas-area Simon centers were recently designated as StormReady® and Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors™ for their continued efforts to increase shopper safety in the face of severe weather. Awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service, these designations recognize Firewheel Town Center, University Park Village, North East Mall, Allen Premium Outlets, Grand Prairie Premium Outlets and Grapevine Mills for their preparedness to handle severe weather situations through communications, community outreach and hazardous weather training.