|Fireworks Safety Tips to Follow - Thursday, July 02, 2015|
You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths by following these safety tips when using fireworks:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
For additional consumer information on fireworks safety, click here
Take Part in Our Hazard Mitigation Plan Survey - Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Is your house in a flood plain? Are you prepared for a tornado? What would you do if your house caught on fire? Local emergency managers want to know how prepared the community is for natural disasters. Residents can provide input through an online survey available here.
The survey is a component of creating a Williamson County Hazard Mitigation Plan. A partnership of local governments and other stakeholders in Williamson County are working together to create an updated Hazard Mitigation Plan. The original Hazard Mitigation Plan was prepared by the Texas Colorado River Floodplain Coalition (TCRFC) and included Williamson County and communities in 16 other counties. This updated plan will focus only on hazards identified within Williamson County. The plan is developed in response to federal programs that enable the partnership to use pre- and post-disaster financial assistance to reduce the exposure of county residents to risks associated with hazards.
In order to identify and plan for future natural disasters, community input is needed. A questionnaire has been designed to help gauge the level of knowledge local residents already have about disaster issues and to identify areas vulnerable to various types of disasters. The information provided will help coordinate activities to reduce the risk of injury or property damage in the future.
The survey consists of 35 questions plus an opportunity for any additional comments at the end. The survey should take less than five minutes to complete and is anonymous.
To take the survey for Williamson County and cities within the county, use this link. The survey will be open until July 13, 2015.
National Flood Insurance Call Center Opens - Monday, June 15, 2015
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) call center pilot program to serve and support policyholders with the servicing of their claims.Flood insurance claims can be complicated, and policyholders may have questions in the days and weeks following a disaster.
The NFIP call center is reachable at 1-800-621-3362, and will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Specialists will be available to assist policyholders with the servicing of their claims, provide general information regarding their policies, and/or offer technical assistance to aid in recovery. For those who prefer to put their concerns in writing, a “Request for Support” form is posted at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program, which can be filled out and emailed to FEMA-NFIP-Support@fema.dhs.gov or faxed to 540-504-2360. More.
Long Term Recovery Committee Accepting Donations - Friday, June 12, 2015
More than 180 families across Williamson County suffered significant damage from the severe weather in May 2015. Many are without insurance or the financial means to rebuild their homes and lives after the storms and will need the help of the community in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Williamson County’s Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) has mobilized a Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC) that will put into action a plan for extended recovery for the affected families and their homes. This long-term work, which is beyond the initial relief and cleanup, will focus on the actual rebuilding of homes and lives and may last weeks or even years.
We need your help. Volunteer opportunities are being organized and a fund (sponsored by United Way of Williamson County) to help with the cost of building materials has been set up. Donations to the May 2015 Flood Relief Fund are 100% tax-deductible and will be used for the long-term recovery efforts in Williamson County. To learn how to help, click here.
FEMA Center in Taylor Transitions to Disaster Recovery Center - Thursday, June 11, 2015
The Mobile Registration Intake Center (MRIC) in Williamson County is transitioning into a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), Thursday, June 25, to provide one-stop service for those affected by the storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred from May 4 to June 19. The DRC will be closed July 3, 4 and 5 for the Independence Day holiday. The registration deadline is Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
A DRC provides expanded services to survivors including general information, help applying for assistance and information on repairing and rebuilding structures.
Location and dates of operation
Taylor City Hall
400 Porter Street
Taylor, TX 76574
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
DRCs are staffed with professionals who will meet with survivors and answer questions, and help with FEMA registration. They are operated jointly by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, FEMA and the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. Low-interest disaster loans from SBA also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other resources and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
People who had storm damage in affected counties also can register for FEMA assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 toll free from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.
Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Eligible survivors should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
Williamson County to Receive Public Assistance - Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Williamson County was added to the list of counties to receive public assistance from the recent severe storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has extended federal disaster aid to include 51 additional Texas counties. This amendment provides for supplemental funding for infrastructure repairs in the wake of May’s severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds and flooding.
Eligible applicants in the following counties can now apply for FEMA Public Assistance (PA) reimbursement for repairs to roads and bridges, water control facilities, city- and county-owned buildings and equipment, utilities, parks and recreational facilities and other public as well as some private facilities. Read more.
Survivors Cautioned to Beware of Frauds and Scams - Monday, June 08, 2015
State and federal recovery officials urge Texans affected by the ongoing severe storms and floods to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud.
Even as government agencies and charitable groups continue to provide disaster assistance, scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals may attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors. The most common post-disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid. More.