AUSTIN (KXAN) — This week is Flood Safety Awareness Week in Texas. Right on cue, Central Texas is bracing for a significant round of storms and heavy rain Tuesday evening into overnight Wednesday.
KXAN’s First Warning Weather team said a line of strong thunderstorms is likely to race southeastward across our area overnight bringing heavy rain, strong winds, hail and even a low risk of tornadoes.
Austin’s Watershed Department wants you to prepare for events like this by learning how to protect yourself, your homes and businesses from floods.
The city explained flooding is the most common and costly disaster in the state. While in the past there have been major floods in the spring in Texas, floods can occur at any time of the year.
Online, the city said you can find resources about flood safety, real-time road closures and rainfall data. The city’s flood safety website also includes a link to sign up for emergency alerts from WarnCentralTexas.org.
If a Flash Flood Warning is issued, ready.gov advises you to find shelter right away. You should not walk, swim or drive through floodwaters, as just one foot of moving water can sweep your car away. You should also stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
Having an emergency plan
The city’s website also directs you to tips to create an emergency plan. Here’s how to do it.
- Put a plan together by discussing the following with your household: signing up for emergency alerts, learning evacuation routes, knowing how family members will communicate with each other and having an up-to-date emergency kit.
- Keep in mind specific needs within your household: Sometimes plans need to be tailored to account for children, medical supplies and equipment and pets.
- Write it down, have a copy: You can fill out this PDF from FEMA to make sure all your plans are in one place.
- Practice your plan with your household
KXAN also has resources to help you monitor weather conditions, especially when flooding is a threat. Some of those can be found below.
Flood Safety Awareness Week lasts through Friday.