Are You Prepared for Severe Weather Season?
- Written by City of DeSoto City of DeSoto
- Published: 21 March 2020 21 March 2020
DeSoto, TX - Once a decade, America comes together to count everyone living in the United States through a program called the United States Census.
As spring approaches, we are faced with the threat of severe weather. During a severe weather incident, such as a tornado or ﬂood, preparation will make all the diﬀerence. The City encourages all residents to 1.) stay informed of approaching severe weather, 2.) learn how to understand weather warnings, and 3.) have a disaster supply kit and communications plan with them and their family.
The City’s CodeRed Emergency Notiﬁcation System is a good way to stay informed. Go to the City’s homepage and follow the CodeRed link to sign up to receive voice, email or text messages. The system will allow the City to send you informational messages and emergency alerts from the National Weather Service about situations as they occur. Alerts can be received on multiple devices such as home phone, work phone, mobile phone, text messages, and e‐mail. Similar early warning messages were found to have saved lives in the tornado that hit Nashville recently.
Understanding weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service such as watches or warnings can sometimes be confusing. A watch means conditions are right for dangerous weather. A warning means that the dangerous weather is threatening the area. For severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and ﬂash ﬂoods, a warning means the event is occurring and you should take shelter immediately.
It takes time to recover from large scale emergencies. Planning and preparation will make a huge diﬀerence. City services will respond to high priority, life threatening incidents ﬁrst. You may need to relocate or evacuate with little or no notice. Having a pre‐prepared kit with survival basics such as ﬂashlights, a change of clothes, food and water (including for pets), and ﬁrst‐aid supplies will be vitally important.
Additional suggestions to have in an emergency preparedness kit include:
- Batteries, portable devices, radios, vehicle cell phone charger
- Prescription medications
- Back‐up power for medical devices or extra portable medical oxygen cylinders
- Plastic tarps and tape or stapler
- Insurance policies and other important documents and contact information
The City’s Outdoor Warning Siren System may be activated for any kind of emergency – not just
severe weather. People often have the misconception that the sirens are meant to be heard indoors. However, the siren system is intended to alert people who are outdoors. You may not hear the siren inside or in noisy areas.
When you hear the Outdoor Warning Siren System, you should immediately go inside, seek shelter in the lowest level, most interior space of your home or oﬃce and tune to local news or radio for additional information.
The Outdoor Warning Siren System consists of strategically placed sirens that activate for one or more of the following conditions:
- A tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service that may aﬀect the city
- Trained storm spotters have reported a tornado that is in or has the potential to aﬀect the community
- Destructive winds in excess of 70 mph sustained wind
- Reports of hail larger than 1.25 in diameter or larger
- Other emergencies as directed by appropriate oﬃcials.