Category: News & Media

Preparing for Inclement Weather in Texas

Preparing for Inclement Weather in Texas

Written By Destanie Ontiveros, NCT9-1-1 Communication Coordinator

As the weather continues to change here in Texas, here are some inclement weather preparedness tips to help keep you safe. We all know this crazy Texas weather cannot seem to make its mind up. One week we are enjoying pleasant 70-degree temperatures and the next week we are dropping down to the cold 30’s. In any case, here are some tips to help prepare you for the inclement weather to come. Everyone should consider winterizing your homes, keep flashlights and fresh batteries, updating first aid kits, keeping your animals safe, and driving safely in the ice and snow.

It is important to ensure your home is ready for inclement weather. Some proactive steps you can take include insulating exposed pipes, insulating the attic (if you have one), caulk and weather strip all doors and windows, and gather supplies. Insulating your attic and caulking or placing weather strips to doors and windows will keep the heat inside your house. Insulating exposed pipes and keeping faucets dripping will ensure your pipes do not freeze and or bust.

Inclement Weather Preparedness Blog

Infographic 1: Winterize Your Home (weather.gov 2022)

 

For supplies, it is important to have flashlights, batteries, and at least one first aid kit in case of an emergencies. Keeping these items on hand is crucial in the event of an emergency and is recommended by the National Weather Service. In the event of a power outage, you will want to have flashlights and batteries. Now, let’s talk about pets!

 

People often forget that inclement weather can be harmful to pets. Please remember to keep your animals safe and warm during inclement weather by bringing them into a safe and warm space. Prepare your pets for inclement weather by storing 3-5 days’ worth of food, ensuring you have leashes and collars on hand, and a first aid kit for them.

Infographic 2: Winter Pets (weather.gov 2022)

 

No one likes driving in inclement weather, however, sometimes we need to get essential items. Here are some tips to drive in ice and snow. To ensure you have the best view from inside the vehicle, clean off your car before you take off to ensure you have the best view from inside your vehicle. Warm up your vehicle before leaving to help defrost the inside and outside of your windshield. When driving in snow or ice, it is important to keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles on the road. Keep in mind that it is harder to come to a complete stop on ice or snow. Lastly, drive at a slower mile per hour than usual and do not use the cruise control. When it comes to driving in snowy or icy conditions, you want to do everything you can to stay in control of your vehicle.

Infographic 3: Ice-n-Snow (weather.gov)

Remember to winterize your homes, keep flashlights and batteries, keep an updated first aid kit, do not forget about your pets, and drive safely in the ice and snow. Please take these inclement weather tips into consideration should we experience any more unexpected weather in the great state of Texas.

 

 

 

 

Know Your Location: How to Successfully Call 9-1-1

Know Your Location: How to Successfully Call 9-1-1

Written By Destanie Ontiveros, NCT9-1-1 Communication Coordinator

Know your Location: How to Successfully Call 9-1-1

Calling 9-1-1 can be stressful and overwhelming at times. When there is an emergency and every second counts, it is important that the 9-1-1 caller knows their location. It’s important that you help 9-1-1 help you. In an emergency, every second matters, so knowing your location and being prepared to answer questions can make all the difference. Here is what you can do:

  1. Know your location
  2. Phone number
  3. Type of emergency
  4. Name of those involved

When 9-1-1 telecommunicators receive an incoming call, the first thing they need to know is your location. Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) may not know your exact location. When you call 9-1-1 on a cell phone, the 9-1-1 telecommunicator does not have your exact location. They have your approximate location, which is usually within 100-150 meters of where you are. When 9-1-1 callers tell 9-1-1 telecommunicators their location, they can then send the appropriate first responders needed to the scene. By knowing your location when calling 9-1-1, you are saving time.

If you do not know your exact location, try to identify a mile marker, landmark, or nearby business to describe your location. Remember to stay calm when calling 9-1-1 and know your location as it helps 9-1-1 telecommunicators get help to you sooner. Here is what you can do to be successful in calling 9-1-1:

  1. Stay calm
  2. Wait for the 9-1-1 telecommunicator to ask questions, then answer clearly and calmly
  3. Follow all directions
  4. Do not hang up the call

It’s important to stay calm while talking to the 9-1-1 telecommunicator and try not to let your nerves get the best of you. When you are calling 9-1-1 for help, you are experiencing an emergency. In some cases, the 9-1-1 telecommunicator will give you direction. Listen carefully, follow each step exactly, and ask for clarification if you don’t understand. Always remember, do not hang up the call until directed to do so by the 9-1-1 telecommunicator.

 

NCT9-1-1 TAG Team

NCT9-1-1 TAG Team

What is a TAG Team and what purpose does it serve? The TAG Team stands for Together Accomplishing Goals Team. Part of the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District’s (NCT9-1-1) mission is to educate the public on 9-1-1 awareness. This initiative led to the creation of the TAG Team. The TAG Team is a public group dedicated to the development and sharing of 9-1-1 educational programs and resources. By collectively meeting TAG Team members are able to share ideas, goals, educational resources, and training that will help better serve the public. Speaking of the importance of the TAG Team, let’s talk about what is covered in quarterly meetings.

 

The TAG Team meets every three months to discuss current news pertaining to 9-1-1 public education, resources, goals, and ideas. More specifically, the TAG Team meets to discuss public education items, Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) success stories, and any new and existing public education resources like free teaching materials to help educate the community. The TAG Team works well because we collaborate and share ideas and projects. We also are able to discuss projects and ideas that did and did not work. It is important to remember that every TAG Team can look different and have different goals in mind.

 

Keep in mind, there are different kinds of public educators. Public educators can represent law enforcement, fire and rescue, emergency medical services, and 9-1-1. The TAG Team strives to have a diverse group of public educators that can share different types of public education resources, viewpoints, materials, and training amongst each other.

The TAG Team continues to be successful in bringing together public educators within North Central Texas. Through collaboration, commitment, and innovation, the TAG Team has proven to be instrumental in successful public education and service. With  collaboration,  public educators can successfully plan, create, and execute 9-1-1 public education across the service area.  To learn more about the TAG Team, please visit the NCT9-1-1 website here.

Be Spooky, Not Spooked!

Be Spooky, Not Spooked!

Happy Halloween! Here at NCT9-1-1, we like to celebrate Halloween like everyone else. More importantly, we like to stay safe while celebrating this festive holiday. Halloween is supposed to be fun scary, not dangerous scary. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your kids, pets, and other loved ones safe this spooky season!

 

When it comes to trick-or-treating, everyone should aim to have a spooktacular time! However, we recommend practicing trick-or-treating safety, especially amongst your kids and younger family members. Some things you can do to practice safe trick-or-treating is making sure your trick-or-treaters’ costumes are fire resistant and have reflective tape on them. This will help  keep your little goblins seen by any flashing lights and be flame retardant. To ensure the safety of our kids and loved ones, we recommend the following:

  • Instruct them to never go into someone’s house or car for candy.
  • Take plenty of working flashlights to help see in the dark and an adult to accompany the trick-or-treaters on their Halloween adventures.
  • Have a fully charged phone and know how to call 9-1-1 for help in the event of an emergency.

 

To help teach your kids or any family members how to safely and successfully call 9-1-1, you can use our 9-1-1 virtual simulator app, Learn 9-1-1. The app is a great platform for kids and everyone else to practice calling 9-1-1. To request an account for the app, fill out the Public Education profile request. This form can be found on our website under the resources tab.

 

Our Halloween safety tip for pets is a little bit different than our tips for our trick-or-treaters. For the safety of our furry friends, we recommend securing your pets inside. Whether you are planning on trick-or-treating or staying in to pass out candy, some pets may get overstimulated by all the Halloween excitement, causing them to get scared, run away, scratch, or jump on people. Halloween pet safety is key to enjoying spooky season with your furry friend.

We hope you enjoy this spooky season with these safety tips and tricks. Remember to keep your kids and loved ones protected this Halloween season by preparing their costumes, teaching them how to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency, and remind them to stay out of stranger’s homes and cars. Have a ghoulishly good time this Halloween season and remember to make safety a priority.