Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management
Emergency management has five phases including mitigation/prevention of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters. Disasters can be anything from severe weather and tornadoes, to wildfires, hazardous materials incidents, winter weather, flooding and more! Response to an emergency management incident is typically coordinated from an emergency operations center or EOC. The best way to describe what we do is in our title as “Coordinators”. We help coordinate information, resources, and situational awareness. We work with all city and county departments and other organizations throughout our community to ensure whole community commitment to emergency management.
Our emergency management program is “interjurisdictional” in that we cover the City of Amarillo, as well as Potter and Randall counties. Our “all-hazards plan” ensures the readiness of our community to respond to all hazards that may occur in the Panhandle. We also encourage that individuals, families, and businesses make sure they are prepared for any hazard as well, as this is a critical element of any emergency program. You can find more information on preparedness throughout our website and at www.ready.gov.
Preparing for Severe Weather…
When severe weather threatens, it is important that you are prepared to act quickly. Advanced planning and practicing specifically how and where you will take cover for protection may save your life. If a Tornado Warning is issued, immediately move to the best available protection.
The best protection is to seek shelter in a basement or tornado safe room. If you’re unable to get to a basement or safe room, move to an interior windowless room on the lowest level of a building. Take personal cover under sturdy furniture such as a table. Cover your head and neck with your arms and place a blanket or coat over your body.
Here are some additional severe weather preparedness tips…
- Know how to stay informed, including monitoring weather reports provided by your local media;
- Consider buying a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio All Hazards receiver, which receives broadcast alerts directly from the National Weather Service and offers warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
- Know where you would go to have the best level of protection from a tornado for every place you spend a lot of time, such as home, work, school, or place of worship;
- Practice how you will communicate with your family members in case you’re not together during a tornado; complete the Family Emergency Communication Plan;
- Store at least a 3-day supply of food, water, medications, and items you may need after the tornado passes; and
- Store the important documents on a USB flash drive or in a waterproof container that you will need to start your recovery.
Some locations don’t provide protection from tornadoes, including: manufactured (mobile) homes/offices, the open space of open-plan buildings (e.g., malls, big retail stores, and gymnasiums), vehicles, and the outdoors. An alternative shelter should be identified prior to a severe weather threat.
Texas Severe Weather Awareness Week – March 7-11, 2016
Tornadoes, lightning, floods, and early season heat – spring is three months of danger that can imperil the unprepared. It roars in like a lion, rampaging across the United States throughout March, April and May.
Spring hazards include:
- Severe Weather/Tornadoes
Nobody knows the hazards of this dynamic season more than NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). We ask that you get weather-ready for spring with just a few simple steps:
1. Know Your Risk
Check weather.gov every morning. It is a simple action that will ensure that you’re ready for the day’s weather. Don’t leave home without knowing the forecast.
2. Take Action!
Assemble an emergency supplies kit with 72 hours worth of food and water. In an emergency (such as after a tornado or some other hazard event), you may be stuck at home without electricity for three days or more. Make sure that you’re prepared. Also, ensure that everyone in your life knows how to stay in touch with an emergency communication plan. This plan lists meeting places and alternate ways of communicating in case of emergency.
3. Be A Force of Nature
Inspire others by sharing your weather-ready story on social media with the hashtag #SpringSafety. It can be a simple as posting a photo of your emergency supplies kit or letting your friends know how to reach you during an emergency. Together, we can build a Weather-Ready Nation, one that is ready for any extreme weather, water, or climate event.
You are not powerless in the face of extreme weather and water events. Learn about the hazards most common to spring – and some that are threats year-round – and what you can do about them.
Wildfire Preparedness Tips
Dry conditions throughout this area have once again created the risk for wildfires. Careless use of fire can dramatically increase the chance of a wildfire, which can quickly spread across dry vegetation and threaten homes and businesses that are in the vicinity.
Wildfires often begin unnoticed and spread quickly. Every second counts! Reduce your risk by preparing now. Talk with members of your household about wildfires, how to prevent them, and what to do if one occurs.
Help prevent wildfires and be ready in case one does occur near you. The following are some things you can do to prepare for a wildfire:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communication plan. Post fire and other emergency telephone numbers.
- Remove any debris, dead shrubs or bushes form around your home.
- Keep yards cut short.
- Clean rain gutters and remove any debris from your roof.
- Clear items which could burn from around the house. Wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc should be moved outside of your defensible space.
- Be sure that large fire vehicles can access your home and clearly mark all driveways with your address.
- Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire.
- Teach children about fire safety.
- Plan escape routes in a car and on foot.
- Know your neighbors, their skills, and what their plans will be when danger is imminent.
- Always obey the law and check for local burn bans before setting a fire.
- Know what to do with any animals on the property and how you will rescue them quickly.
Some good resources for more information: