Governor Abbott Increases Readiness Level Of State Operations Center Ahead Of Severe Weather Threats
Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to increase the readiness level of the Texas State Operations Center to Level II (Escalated Response) as the state prepares ahead of multiple weather threats over the next several days.
“The State of Texas stands ready to deploy all available resources to take care of Texans and our communities as multiple severe weather threats begin to impact the state tomorrow,” said Governor Abbott. “To ensure that support and resources are swiftly deployed to all impacted communities, I directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to increase the readiness level of the State Operation Center. Texans in at-risk areas are encouraged to remain vigilant, monitor weather conditions, and heed the guidance of local officials and emergency management personnel.”
According to the National Weather Service, an early week system of storms will bring multiple hazards to the state beginning Monday, including strong winds, blowing snow, critical fire weather conditions, and severe thunderstorms. Snowfall and dangerous wind chills are expected to impact the Panhandle, while fire weather conditions are anticipated in West/Southwest Texas. Severe thunderstorms with large hail, heavy rainfall, and flash flooding threats are expected to impact East/Southeast Texas. Strong winds are possible across the state, with gusts reaching 60-70 miles per hour in some areas. Texans are encouraged to monitor local weather forecasts.
At the direction of Governor Abbott, TDEM has requested the following agencies report to the Texas State Operations Center and ensure their resources are standing by to deploy as needed:
- Texas Department of Transportation: Pre-treating and treating of roadways; monitoring road conditions
- Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas A&M Task Force 1): Urban Search & Rescue Teams; Swiftwater Boat Squads
- Texas A&M Forest Service: Firefighting personnel; heavy equipment, including motor graders for snow removal; saw crews and Incident Management Teams
- Texas Department of State Health Services (Texas Emergency Medical Task Force): Winter and Severe Weather Packages
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Air/water/wastewater monitoring
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service: Disaster assessment and recovery agents
- Texas Animal Health Commission: Coordinating animal/agricultural resource needs
- Public Utility Commission of Texas: Power outage monitoring and coordinating with utility providers across the threat area
- Railroad Commission of Texas: Monitoring of the state’s natural gas supply and communication with the oil and gas industry
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Texas Highway Patrol Troopers and the Tactical Marine Unit
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department: Game Wardens and Boat Squads
- Texas National Guard: Personnel and equipment to support response needs
- Texas Department of Information Resources: Monitoring technology infrastructure
- Texas Education Agency: Monitoring school district needs across the state
- Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Texas VOAD): Coordinating of volunteer organizations across the state
Last week, the Governor directed TDEM to ready state emergency response resources in anticipation of these storm systems.
Texans are urged to make an emergency plan, follow instructions from local officials and first responders, and keep an emergency supply kit nearby. Texans can access weather safety information by visiting TexasReady.gov, locate warming centers at tdem.texas.gov/warm, check road conditions at DriveTexas.org, and obtain flood tracking information at TexasFlood.org.