Austin-area leaders gather for potential winter storm ‘stress test’

Austin

KXAN (AUSTIN) — More than 100 leaders and staff from 40 different agencies gathered Tuesday to play pretend, imagining Austin was hit by another massive winter storm.

The group then coordinated a response as a kind of stress test.

“We’re making sure we’ve thought through how we react ahead of time,” said Mayor Steve Adler. “So that we’re not inventing the wheel when we’re in the middle of an emergency.”

The meeting at the Austin Convention Center included other stakeholders like schools and even H-E-B, a savior for many last February. It was put together by the City of Austin and Travis County.

“It really asks us to think through what we’re going to do at each stage of that response, as road conditions worsen, and as people get stuck in their homes,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown told KXAN.

Brown said the meeting revealed Austin Water has more generators at some of its pumping stations, more bottled water is being stockpiled, and the Austin/Travis County Emergency Operations Center plans to spread out water distribution sites to reach more people if needed.

He also urged residents to be ready, themselves.

“I have some extra water in my garage now for my own family, two or three days worth,” Brown said. “So, we’re hoping that’s something the community will also do, try to look at their own preparedness.”

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