Andrews County Office of Emergency Management

 

This easy to read guide is designed to help citizens begin the planning process. It is a brief description of programs that help families and individuals become more prepared.

Know the hazards
Know your needs
Know the plan and practice it
Know the programs and use them

By reading this guide you have taken the first step in preparing for emergencies. Emergencies happen quickly and may leave their victims feeling lost. The best thing you can do to be prepared is to get involved. 

Please take full advantage of this guide as well as other material we have provided though our website as it is truly a matter of life and death. 

Andrews County Office of Emergency Management is available to assist you in any way we can. We can be reached at (432) 524-1429.


WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD DO TO PREPARE

Even though responses vary with disasters, preparing for each situation is similar. For example, the emergency kit and family communication plan for a tornado will be similar for other emergencies.

BE PREPARED!

Find the safest area in your home to gather the family during severe weather, away from windows, doors, and skylights. Ensure everyone knows what to expect and what to do in case the family isn’t together when an event occurs.
 

TYPICAL WEST TEXAS WEATHER EVENTS

Hail
Ice Storms
Straight-line windstorms
Thunderstorms
Tornados
Flash Flooding

HAIL

Common in Andrews County, hail can be as large as softballs and is potentially deadly.

ICE STORMS

Common occurrence in different areas of Texas. Business, school and road closures possible.

STRAIGHT-LINE WINDSTORMS

Very common in Andrews County, high winds causing minor to severe damage. Commonly mistaken for tornados.

THUNDERSTORM

Common in Andrews County, thunderstorms with heavy rain lasting 30 minutes to an hour, potentially disastrous lightning, hail, winds and tornadoes. 

TORNADO

Rotating, funnel-shaped clouds typically occurring near a thunderstorm’s trailing edge withwinds up to 300 miles per hour. The air may become still before a tornado hits.  A whirling cloud of debris may mark a tornado’s approach. Somewhat common in Andrews County

FLASH FLOOD

Flash flooding is not very common in Andrews County. Flash flooding can develop during heavy thunderstorms. Flash flooding may form a wall of water carrying deadly debris. Gradual flooding may be just as dangerous.


H
AIL and ICE STORMS 

Hailstorms typically do not have a major long lasting impact on the area. However, hailstorms can knock out utilities, damage roofs, vehicles and cause injuries. 

Ice storms occur occasionally throughout west Texas. Typically they do not have a long term effect, however utilities may be down, road, school and business closures may occur. Pets and livestock are affected.

HAIL 

Short term
Localized damage

ICE STORMS 

May cover large geographic area
Last several days, damage to utilities, hazardous road conditions

PREPARATION

 

Seek shelter indoors
Move pets and livestock to shelter
Place vehicles under covered area
Avoid unnecessary travel
Have emergency lighting (flashlights)
Monitor weather broadcast
Maintain supply of food and water to last 3 days
Have additional blankets, jackets and other warm items available

  

TORNADOS and STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS

 

Tornados can and do occur in Andrews County. They are not as frequent as straight-line winds. Major damage can occur. 

Straight-line winds are a regular occurrence and can result in major damage. They are often confused with tornados.

PREPARATION 

Seek shelter indoors
If possible move pets and livestock to shelter
Avoid unnecessary travel
Have emergency lighting (flashlights)
Monitor weather broadcast
Maintain supply of food and water to last 3 days

IF A TORNADO WARNING IS ANNOUNCED 

Seek shelter immediately. Interior rooms of the house such as bathrooms and closets are best.
If you can’t reach shelter, lie face down in the lowest spot you can find and cover your head with your hands.
If you’re in a car, get out of it and shelter in a building or ditch.

ALERTS and WARNINGS

Thunderstorm or Tornado watch: conditions are favorable for the formation of severe thunderstorms or tornados
Thunderstorm or Tornado warning: conditions are favorable for the imminent formation of severe weather or severe weather is occurring in the area

AFTER IT PASSES

Monitor radio for updates.
Watch for broken glass and downed power lines.
Do not move injured people unless there is immediate danger call for help.
 

FLASH FLOODS and THUNDERSTORMS

 

Flash floods threaten some neighborhoods more than others. The rule for safety is simple: Head for higher ground and stay away from flood waters. Do not cross moving water! What appears shallow may be deep enough or have a strong enough current to be deadly.

Thunderstorms occur on a regular basis. Although most are not what most people would consider dangerous, there are many hazards associated with them. Heavy rain can result in flooding. Lightening and wind often accompany a thunderstorm and can be hazardous. 

FLASH FLOODS 

Are generally short-term events that may last only a few hours
More frequent in the spring
In rural settings, low water crossing and natural flow of surface water may cause it to occur without notice.


BE AWARE OF FLASH FLOODS 

May occur within a few minutes or several hours of heavy rainfall
Floods are the number one killer in many parts of Texas including west Texas
May push massive debris ahead of them and may trigger ground erosion
Typically caused by-slow moving or frequent thunderstorms

ALERTS and WARNINGS

Flash flood or flood watch: possible within designated watch area, be alert to environmental clues and ready to evacuate
Flash flood or flood warning: has been reported or is imminent; act quickly to save yourself because you may have only seconds. Small streams, low-lying area, underpasses and storm drains are flooding.
Flash flood or flood statement: follow-up information regarding an event.

BEFORE THE FLOOD WHAT YOU CAN DO

Fill the bathtub and other containers with water so you have an uncontaminated supply if water service is cut off.
Stock food requiring little cooking and no refrigeration. Prepare a disaster kit.
Keep NOAA weather radio, battery-powered radio, emergency cooking equipment and flashlights in working order.

IF YOU ARE TOLD TO EVACUATE

If there’s time, secure outdoor equipment
Lock doors and windows
Turn off utilities at the main switches and valves if it is safe to do so
Tell someone where you’re going.
Follow recommended evacuation routes.
Watch for washed-out roads and bridges.
Watch out for down power lines.
Don’t try to wade, swim, or drive through high water as the current may be deadly.

AFTER THE FLOOD 

Avoid standing water; it may be contaminated or electrically charged.
Avoid moving water; six-inch deep water can sweep you off your feet.
Roads and bridges may be weakened and could collapse at any time.
Stay out of disaster area unless authorities ask for volunteers.
Return home only after authorities say it’s safe.
Stay out of buildings surrounded by water.
Listen for reports on tap water’s safety before using.
Throw out fresh food that came in contact with floodwater.
Boil tap water before drinking.
Have wells tested for purity before using it for drinking.
Seek necessary medical care at nearest hospital
Food, clothing, shelter and first aid may be available through the American Red Cross.
Dry out and check electrical equipment before using.
Use flashlights, not open flames, of any kind to examine buildings; there may be flammable residue and/or gases.
Report broken utility lines to proper authorities.

 

OTHER HAZARDS

 

HOMELAND SECURITY

 

Since its inception, the NATIONAL THREAT LEVEL SYSTEM has been used to indicate the nation’s risk of terrorist attack.

 

RED-Severe risk of attack

ORANGE-High risk of attack

YELLOW-Elevated significant risk of attack BLUE-Guarded general risk of attack GREEN-Low risk of attack

 

 

 

TERRORISM

 

The use of violence against people for intimidation or coercion.

 

Always be aware of your surroundings. Get to know your neighbors.

Be alert to and report suspicious behavior.

accept packages from strangers or leave baggage unattended.

Leave an area if you feel uncomfortable with a situation. Know emergency exits from buildings you enter.

 

CHEMICAL/BIOLOGICAL/NUCLEAR

 

Emergencies involving these materials can result from accidental as well as intentional events.

 

Prepare a room with as few windows and doors as possible in case authorities ask you to shelter in place.

Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.

Turn off air conditioning/heating system, exhaust fans and clothes dryers. Monitor radio or TV for further instructions.


HAVE A PLAN AND KNOW WHAT TO DO…

BECAUSE EVERY MINUTE COUNTS!

 

 

 

COMMUNICATION PLANS

 

Have a plan to help the family regain contact if one or more get separated.

Have a contact outside of the area (preferable out of state) that each family member can call.

Pick two places to meet.

 

 

YOUR FAMILY’S SAFETY DEPENDS ON BEING PREPARED

 

 

Assemble disaster supplies kit.

Create emergency communications plans. Establish a meeting place.

Check on school emergency plans

Remember in disasters stay calm.

U.S. Department of Homeland security web site, www.ready.gov.

 

DON’T FORGET - PLANNING FOR PETS

 

Keep pets inside during emergency if possible.

If you must evacuate, remember that the American Red Cross emergency shelters

DO NOT ALLOW PETS. Make a pre-plan for housing your pets.

Call hotels and motels outside your area and ask about accepting pets during an emergency.

Assemble portable pet kit with food, water, collar, leash identification, vaccination record and phone numbers for vet and boarding facilities.

For lost pets, contact your local Animal Care and Control Center

If a pet must be left behind, prepare an outdoor emergency pen with three-day supply of food and water.

 

MAKE A PLAN FOR WHEN YOU ARE AT WORK AND IN YOU CAR.

 

Small kits placed in your car or desk.

Kits should include emergency lighting, blanket, water, food, emergency contacts, medication and any other item you feel is essential.


GATHER THE FAMILY AND TALK ABOUT WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IF A DISASTER STRIKES.

 

Write down what you come up with; make it flexible enough for any event. Then practice it.

What are potential emergencies? Staying informed during disaster. Evacuating your home.

How to get out. Where to go.

What to take and were it is kept.

What about special needs of children the elderly and the disable. Medications, wheelchairs, portable oxygen things that will require a pre-plan, remember plan for 3 days.

 

 

 

NOAA Weather Radio is designed to keep listeners inform during all types of emergencies, not just weather related, and may be purchased at electronics stores.

 

Cable-Override emergency messages may override cable programming to spread important information.

 

Outdoor warning sirens warn of imminent threat.

 

STAY INFORMED AT ALL TIMES

 

Local Radio – KACT 1360 AM & 105.5 FM Radio

 

Area Television – KMID Channel 2, KOSA Channel 7, KWES Channel 9, KPEJ Channel 24

 

CABLE OVERRIDE-emergency messages MAY override cable programming to spread important information.

 

OUTDOORS WARNING SIRENS-warn of imminent threat, but may not be only for severe weather.  If you hear a siren, go inside, turn on local TV or radio station and follow authorities’ instructions.


RECOVERY TIPS: DEALING WITH DIASTER’S AFTERMATH

 

How do I find my local emergency management office?

 

Andrews County Office of Emergency Management

201 N. Main Andrews, TX 79714 (432) 524-1429

 

How do I request disaster assistance?

 

Disaster assistance is provided based on the need of the affected area. Local volunteer agencies step in to provide immediate, essential needs such as shelter, food, water and clothing. News media will announce locations where agencies have set up facilities to distribute these items.

 

How can I get in touch with my family?

 

Call American Red Cross-Permian Basin Area Chapter, (432) 563-2267, to access a family- location database. Do not call the disaster area.

 

What if my home is damaged?

 

All structural damage should be reported to your local emergency management office at

(432) 524-1429 or Andrews County Sheriff’s Office at (432) 523-5545. If damage is so severe and has displaced you from your home, contact the American Red Cross (Disaster Services) at (432)

563-2267. In addition, before disaster strikes you want to ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage on your home, including: flood, wind, and hail. Most typical homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover these items and you may be left without insurance relief.