Blooming flowers, singing birds, and budding trees are sure signs of spring, but so are heavy rains, gusty winds, and power outages. It may be said that we need to learn to take the good with the bad, but taking action now to reduce the negative consequences of spring disasters, can certainly make this a better season for you and your family.
Johnson County is the most common North Texas spot for tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, Johnson County has seen more tornadoes since 1950 than any other county in north and central Texas. No matter where you live in North Texas, you could be hit with severe weather — even tornadoes. And in Johnson County, people know that all too well.
“Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, everyone will take a little time to think about what they can do to be ready for the challenges that come with spring in Texas,” says Will Allen, City of Burleson’s Emergency Operations Manager.
Preparations for property damages, power outages, and communication disruptions are some of the most critical actions residents can take to ensure safety during and after disasters of all kinds.
“Our residents should ensure their insurance policies have been updated,” Allen reminds us. “Family members should have a communication plan that includes identifying a meeting place and time if cell phones fail to work.”
Perhaps one of the most widespread and common occurrences associated with severe weather are power outages. You don’t have to be in the path of a tornado to feel the effects of a corresponding power outage. Even a short duration outage for people needing medical care can create a life-threatening situation if they are unable to receive dialysis, oxygen, or other life sustaining treatment.
If an outage lasts more than a few hours, the preparedness steps you take in advance can help offset the dangers and inconveniences that go hand in hand with food going bad, lack of water, and the loss of television, radio and phone, to name a few. During attempts to restore temporary power, please do not bring generators inside!!! Their carbon monoxide gas can be deadly!!!
There are a wide variety of sources available to help guide you through disaster preparations. For example: https://www.fema.gov/; https://www.ready.gov/; and https://www.redcross.org/ all have tips to help you through the challenges of spring’s severe side. For more information, contact Burleson’s Office of Emergency Management at 817-426-9965
What else can residents do to prepare for the severe weather?
- Identify the safest spot in your home - interior room away from exterior walls, doors, windows. Equip with clothing, supply kit, and hard hats.
- Sign up on the City’s Mass Notification System – Everbridge - to receive severe weather warning alerts via text, email, landline phones for tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms warnings - when winds are in excess of 58 miles per hour and/or hail in excess of 1-inch diameter.
- To sign up in Everbridge for warnings and alerts, go to: https://www.burlesontx.com/alerts
- Please note the options one can sign up for under Burleson Weather and Hazards Alerts
- Please also note the option for quiet time (do not contact me between identified hours)
Other resources: https://www.ready.gov/, https://knowhat2do.com/severe-weather/storms/
Please note the city’s Outdoor Warning System (OWS) sirens which are manually operated and can be activated during severe weather but when conditions are more severe:
- Tornado warnings
- Thunderstorm warnings: winds in excess of 70 miles per hour and/or hail in excess of 1.5 inches in diameter