Governor Abbott Prepositions State Resources as Severe Weather Targets Texas
Elevates activation level of SOC to monitor storms, support locals
Governor Greg Abbott today placed numerous resources on standby across the state in the event search and rescue operations are needed following the severe weather expected in Texas this week. The Governor has also ordered the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to elevate its readiness level from level IV (normal conditions) to level III (increased readiness) for this weather event.
“As Texas prepares for another round of severe weather, including the potential for tornadoes and dangerous flooding, multiple state resources have been prepositioned for rapid deployment should local officials need assistance with search and rescue operations,” said Governor Abbott. “We are asking Texans to stay alert during this dangerous storm system and heed all warnings from local officials.”
In addition to placing multiple aviation assets, boats, and personnel on standby across the state, Governor Abbott today deployed Texas Task Force 2 (an urban search and rescue team) to Wichita Falls. From there, Texas Task Force 2 is ready for rapid deployment to the Texas Panhandle, which is facing the greatest threat for tornadoes, dangerous winds, and damaging hail through the late evening hours tonight. Current forecasts indicate all areas in the path of this storm system are at risk for flash flooding through the remainder of the week. The SOC is coordinating with the National Weather Service and closely monitoring these storms.
State agencies involved in the emergency response effort include the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Task Force 2, Texas A&M Texas Task Force 1, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas A&M Forest Service, and Texas Military Department. The following resources are on standby:
- 19 Water Rescue Boats and Crews
- 2 Helicopters with Hoisting Capability
- 30 High Profile Vehicles
- 8 Ambulance Buses
- 1 Ambulance Strike Teams
- 1 Type One Mobile Medical Unit
- 8 Medical Incident Support Teams
- 1 Task Force Leader
Texans are encouraged to follow these safety tips:
- When severe storms threaten, the safest place to be is indoors.
- Avoid areas already flooded and avoid any fast-flowing water.
- Be extremely cautious of any water on roads or in creeks, streams, storm drains, or other areas – never attempt to cross flowing streams or drive across flooded roadways and always observe road barricades placed for your protection. Remember, Turn Around Don’t Drown.
- Dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground.
- Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night.
- Stay informed by monitoring weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather in your area.
For additional safety tips related to thunderstorms and flooding, read more: http://dps.texas.gov/dem/ThreatAwareness/weather_aware_severe.htm.