By Brian Hilton, College Station Emergency Management Coordinator
All sectors of society – businesses, civic groups, industry associations, neighborhood associations and individual citizens – should plan ahead for natural and man-made disasters. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
In the first few hours or days following a disaster, essential services may not be available and people must be ready to act on their own. With September being National Preparedness Month, it’s the perfect time to review the emergency plans for your family or business.
With the theme “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare,” National Preparedness Month establishes four universal building blocks of preparedness. Click each of these for useful tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
The Bryan-College Station area has had its share of funnel clouds and tornado scares over the years, but we’ve managed to escape any loss of life or catastrophic damage. In fact, straight line winds and microbursts have caused more property damage here than twisters.
Although strong tornadoes are uncommon in our area, that doesn’t mean a deadly tornado couldn’t happen. And even small tornadoes have the potential to be violent.
Since 2000, Brazos County has experienced nine small tornadoes, with three rated F1 (wind speeds of 73-122 mph) on the Fujita scale and the rest F0 (under 73 mph). In December 2006, a F1 tornado moved south to north for five miles across central College Station and did considerable damage to an apartment complex on FM2818 and several businesses along Southwest Parkway and Texas Avenue. Three people suffered injuries.
Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and can also be watched online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.
The workshop meeting has started.
Consent Agenda Discussion
The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting, but these items were pulled for workshop discussion:
Free Parking on Boyett Street: Approval of this item wouldestablish four free parking spaces on the west side of Boyett from Patricia Street to Church Avenue, which would bring to 17 the number of free on-street parking spaces in the Northgate District.
USGS Joint Funding Agreement: The joint funding agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey for stream stations would help provide actual field-measured data for the calibration of engineered flood studies. The city’s regulated floodplains impact hundreds of properties valued at millions of dollars, and many of the city’s major capital projects are influenced by flood studies, which also impact associated flood insurance rates and development regulation.
Water Conservation Grant: The inter-local agreement includes a $57,500 grant from the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District to create a system to help residents avoid overwatering their landscapes and lawns. The system would include a weather station and rain gauges that auto-report to a database and website created by Texas A&M Agri-Life.
Enterprise Resource Planning Replacement Project: The consent agenda includes two items related to the ERP project to replace the city’s wide-ranging business software: (1) A $69,000 software maintenance and support agreement and a $531,000 license and installation agreement with CRW Systems, Inc.; and (2) a master agreement for $1,421,077 with Tyler Technologies for software licenses and implementation services.
Emergency Management Plan: The 2014 Emergency Management Plan outlines the approach of local government entities to emergency operations and provides general guidance for emergency management.
With freezing weather hitting town later today, we wanted to remind you of some of the problems freezing weather typically causes in our area. Previous cold spells we’ve had this winter caused significant damage to irrigation systems and exposed pipes, as well as power outages. In addition, runoff from sprinkler systems that hadn’t been turned off caused black ice in some areas and created hazardous driving conditions.