Emergency and Disaster Preparedness

Prepare for the Unexpected by Taking Action Now

Every year natural disasters – ranging from wildfires to hurricanes to tornados and flooding – wreak havoc on families, homes and entire communities across the North Texas region. Often, people are reminded to take action to prepare before these events happen, but sometimes they occur without warning. Our lives can be changed in an instant by a number of different emergencies and we are constantly reminded of this each time we watch the news.

Yet, too many Americans have not taken steps to prepare. There are simple steps each of us can take to prepare before an emergency happens – minimizing the impact they will have on our lives.

Free preparedness resources are just a click away at www.ready.gov, www.listo.gov, or City of Denton Emergency Management. These sites provide information about the simple steps you can take to prepare with examples of a Family Emergency Plan and Checklist. There are special sections for kids, ages 8-12 and small- to medium-sized businesses.

This is also a great time to pre-register to be a community hero in case of a disaster. Disaster volunteers fill many roles from medical and shelters to donations management and communications.

Volunteer your services for county-wide Emergency Disaster Relief by visiting the City of Denton Emergency Management volunteer page.

Disaster Preparedness Kit Check List...Are you Prepared?

  • 72-hour supply of non-perishable food & can opener
  • 1 gallon of water per person, per day
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Battery powered or hand-cranked radio
  • First aid kit and other medications
  • Important Identification and financial documents
  • Out-of-state emergency contact numbers and an evacuation plan
  • Extra cash

Friend, neighbors, relatives and pets may need special assistance preparing. Don't forget to lend a hand!

Special Tornado Tips

If You're in a Frame House

  • Make sure you have a portable radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio, for information.
  • Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home (basement or storm cellar). If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway, a smaller inner room, or a closet. Keep away from all windows.
  • You can cushion yourself with a mattress, but do not use one to cover yourself. Do cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass. Don't waste time moving mattresses around.
  • Keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier.
  • Multiple tornadoes can emerge from the same storm, so do not go out until the storm has passed.
  • Do not leave a building to attempt to "escape" a tornado.
  • If you are in a manufactured (mobile) home, leave immediately and take shelter elsewhere.

If You're Outside

  • Try to get inside and seek a small protected space with no windows.
  • Avoid large-span roof areas such as school gymnasiums, arenas, or shopping malls.
  • If you can not get inside, crouch for protection beside a strong structure, or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head and neck with your arms or a piece of clothing.

If You're In a Car

  • First; always avoid driving when tornadoes or other severe weather threatens. Vehicles are very unsafe places to be.
  • If possible, take shelter immediately in a nearby building.
  • Your best option might be to get out of the car and lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area that is sufficiently deep enough to protect against wind-driven debris.
  • If you leave your vehicle, get as far away as possible from your car/truck and shield your head from flying debris.
  • Do not shelter in overpasses or other potential wind tunnels.

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