Hays emergency services prepares for winter weather

Staff Report
Potentially severe weather events are on the minds of county staff as the Hays County Office of Emergency Services (OES) prepares for any severe weather events that may occur this winter season after the county experienced a historic snowstorm in February 2021.
During the February aftermath, power and weather went out for thousands of residents around the region. According to OES Director Mike Jones, many people were without food and water for several days, and temperatures were below freezing.
While emergency plans were in place, Jones said treacherous driving conditions made it difficult to get to county residents.
“Despite having food and water to distribute, it was a challenge to attempt to drive anywhere for the first two days after the major snow fell,” Jones said. “For more remote parts of the county, it was near impossible to get to anyone in a quick time frame.”
As the winter season approaches, OES is once again stocking up on resources such as water and shelf-stable food, as well as coordinating with community organizations for shelters and warming stations, should they be needed.
Jones said one of his main goals for OES is to build a more resilient community where individuals can take care of themselves and their neighbors, should an event occur.
“February’s freeze event showed where we have a need in the community,” Jones said. “When the power and water went out for days at a time, we saw how unprepared most of our residents were.”
Jones said that having a minimum of one gallon of water per person each day is critical, and added that alternate sources for cooking and heating food should be considered, whether it’s an outdoor grill, a propane burner or something else that is safe to use.
Home generators are also popular now, but Jones cautioned about using them properly and never using them inside a home. He said running a vehicle in a garage should be avoided due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Officials have been sharing winter preparedness tips to urge residents to make plans in the event of an emergency such as a winter storm or power outage. Tips for creating a family emergency communication plan is among the recent public education messages.
Residents can sign up to receive emergency alerts via phone, email or text through warncentraltexas.org, or visit haysinformed.com for countywide emergency information and emergency preparedness tips, as well as the Hays County official Facebook page and OES Facebook page for updates and information during an emergency.

Comment on this Article

About Author

Comments are closed.