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Whether it is an emergency that impacts an individual or a community wide disaster, being prepared is the key to minimizing the effects and speeding the recovery process.  The Office of Emergency Management wants you to be aware of the hazards that threaten our community and provide you with the knowledge to respond appropriately when disaster is imminent. 

The City of Amarillo, Potter County, and Randall County participate in an interjurisdictional emergency management program to ensure the readiness of our community to respond to all hazards that exist in the Texas Panhandle.  However, individual and family preparedness is a critical element of any emergency management program… the best community plan will be minimized if the individual or family is not prepared.


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.

Posted in: General.

Potential Severe Weather

The National Weather Service is tracking a slow moving upper level system will bring high chances for storms Friday through Sunday.  Current forecasts indicate storms initiating around 3 p.m. on Friday with the potential for severe weather.  Damaging winds, large hail, locally heavy rain fall, and the potential for isolated tornadoes are possible with these storms.  The Amarillo area is forecasted to receive between 1” to 2” of rain fall with higher amounts in the eastern Panhandle.  Resolve to be ready… take action now to be prepared for severe weather.

Posted in: Alerts.

Red Flag Warning – Extremely Critical Fire Weather

The National Weather Service in Amarillo has issued a Red Flag Warning until 9:00 p.m. and a High Winds Warning until 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.  Breezy winds 35 to 40 mph, gusting to 55 mph through the afternoon and relative humidity in the 10% to 15% range will create an extremely critical fire weather threat across all of  West Texas.

Use extreme caution with outdoor activities, avoiding any activity that cause open flames or sparks.  Be prepared to take action to protect yourself and your family.

Posted in: Alerts.

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
  • Floods
  • Lightning
  • Heat

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 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.

+Severe Weather/Tornadoes




Posted in: General.

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:

Posted in: General.

Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions

02/18/2016… The National Weather Service in Amarillo has issued a Red Flag Warning from noon to 6:00 p.m. today.

Conditions are favorable for an extremely critical fire danger threat across the Texas Panhandle and northeastern New Mexico region. Potter and Randall Counties are under a burn ban, along with much of the region… use caution with all outdoor activities.

 Wildfire Safety Tips include:

Obey burn bans; avoid activities that cause open flames or sparks; properly discard cigarettes – do not throw them from vehicles; keep vehicles on driving surfaces; listen to local news sources; be prepared to take action to protect yourself and your family; if you smell smoke or see fire, move in a direction opposite the fire immediately; and obey instructions from local officials and be ready to quickly evacuate to a safe area.

Posted in: Alerts.


ROAD CLOSURE: The Texas Department of Public Safety has closed I-40 west of Amarillo at Loop 335 (Soncy) to the New Mexico state line and I-40 east of Amarillo at the I-40/287 split to the Oklahoma state line due to hazardous driving conditions.

The National Weather Service in Amarillo has issued a Blizzard Warning until 3:00 a.m. on Monday. The Amarillo are is expected to receive between 4″ and 8″ of snow with high winds creating significant drifting snow and visibility issues. This is a dangerous winter weather event… Travel through all of west Texas is strongly discouraged.

The City of Amarillo, Potter County, and Randall County have closed offices for Monday. Stay Home, Stay Safe!

Posted in: Alerts.

Winter Storm Advisory

The National Weather Service, Amarillo has issued a Winter Storm Advisory from midnight on Saturday through 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Forecast is for an intial rain/snow mix converting to all snow after midnight Saturday with snow continuing through 3:00 p.m. on Sunday when it will transition back to a rain/snow mix through around 6:00 p.m.  Snow accumulations are expected to be in the 1″ to 3″ range in the Amarillo area with accumulations of 5″ to 8″ in the northwestern Texas Panhandle.  In addition, gusty winds between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sunday could create blowing snow that may reduce visibilities on area roadways.  Use caution when travelling on area roadways, especially bridges and elevated roads, as conditions could be slick.

Posted in: Alerts.

Ice Storm Warning for the Texas Panhandle

The National Weather Service in Amarillo has issued an Ice Storm Warning through noon on Saturday.

The Amarillo area has received a ½” ice accumulation through Friday morning.  The National Weather Service in Amarillo forecasts an additional ¼” ice accumulation primarily between 6:00 p.m. Friday afternoon until 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.  Additional light freezing precipitation may fall throughout Saturday.

Roads, bridges, and overpasses are slick and hazardous due to accumulating ice.  Exercise caution and be prepared for road closures if travel is necessary.

Posted in: Alerts.

Texas Panhandle Winter Weather Awareness Week – November 16-20

The Texas Panhandle region is prone to winter weather impacts.  Amarillo receives an average of 17.9 inches of snow annually during winter months.  In addition, the Texas Panhandle can experience extreme cold temperatures, especially associated with the passage of cold fronts that move through the region from the northern Rocky Mountains and Plains states.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently issued the U.S. Winter Outlook that indicates a cooler and wetter winter across the southern U.S. due to a strong El Niño phenomenon in the Tropical Pacific.  While this is simply an indication of what winter may hold, it serves as a reminder of the importance of preparing in advance for winter weather.

The Office of Emergency Management has prepared a series of winter weather preparedness bulletins to outline winter preparedness actions.  Whether you live in the Amarillo area or are simply travelling through the region, resolve to be ready: Be Informed; Make a Plan; Build a Kit; and Get Involved!

Posted in: General.