In Texas, spring is the season when severe weather is most likely to occur, and spring has sprung in the North Central Texas area. Severe thunderstorms may form in a matter of minutes, possibly bringing with them large hail, damaging winds, dangerous tornadoes and lightning. These storms may also produce very heavy rain, dropping several inches in the span of an hour, potentially causing hazardous flash flooding.
The City of Rockwall urges residents to be informed and prepare in advance of severe weather and other threats. Preparedness includes having an “all hazards” emergency action plan at home, at school, and at the office and being ready to put that plan into action when necessary.
Rockwall maintains numerous outdoor emergency warning sirens strategically placed throughout the city. Sirens are tested on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m., unless severe weather is in the area. Outdoor warning sirens are used to warn citizens who may be outdoors of an imminent severe weather event in the community and to encourage them to immediately seek shelter indoors. Sirens are not intended to warn citizens who may be indoors at the time of the event, although in some cases residents may hear the sirens while inside of their home or business. When sirens sound, citizens who are outdoors should quickly move indoors and seek shelter in an innermost room, away from glass windows, and tune to a local news or radio station until it’s been conveyed that safe conditions have been restored. Remember to never call 9-1-1 when you hear sirens sound unless you have a true emergency that requires police or fire response. Since lives could be at stake, 9-1-1 phone lines must remain clear in order to address true emergencies in a timely manner.
Residents are encouraged to have multiple ways of receiving important safety-related information such as weather warnings. One such way is by purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio for use in your home and office. You may also tune to WBAP 820AM radio for instructions during a severe weather event. In addition, Rockwall County Emergency Management utilizes NIXLE, an emergency notification system that enables users to receive a text message when severe weather is imminent. To sign up for NIXLE, text RCOEM to 888-777 or visit www.nixle.com. Lastly, if you have disabled emergency notifications on your mobile device, you are encouraged to turn these notifications back on. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) may be sent by authorized government including local and state public safety agencies such as FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. It is important that residents receive these pertinent notifications, which are automatically sent and do not require “sign-up” as long as this function is enabled on your wireless device. For more information about WEA messages, you may visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/wea.html.
For more information about severe weather and other hazards, please visit www.knowhat2do.com.
For additional information, please contact:
Lauri Dodd, Public Information Officer / Marketing
City of Rockwall