Depending on where you are, the weather in Texas is going to be interesting today!
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans to monitor weather forecasts and take necessary precautions due to the threat of severe or winter weather in various parts of the state through Monday morning. Travelers are advised to monitor weather conditions along their route before travelling, and avoid unnecessary travel if possible in affected areas.
Texans are encouraged to follow these safety tips in the event of severe weather or flooding:
* When severe storms threaten, the safest place to be is indoors. * Avoid areas already flooded and avoid any fast-flowing water. * Be extremely cautious of any water on roads or in creeks, streams, storm drains or other areas – never attempt to cross flowing streams or drive across flooded roadways and always observe road barricades placed for your protection. (Please note it is against the law to go around barriers.) * Dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground. * Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night. * Stay informed by monitoring weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather in your area.
DPS offers the following tips for staying safe during winter weather:
* Avoid traveling when sleet, freezing rain or snow is predicted, and monitor road conditions by visiting www.drivetexas.org * Monitor local weather broadcasts and follow up-to-the-minute weather conditions, at www.weather.gov/. * Purchase an all-hazards weather radio for up-to-date warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information. * Sign up for your local emergency notification system. * On icy roads, drive slowly and increase distance required for stopping, and avoid using cruise control. Remember that ice often forms first on overpasses. * Watch for downed trees and power lines across roads. If power is out, treat all intersections as four-way stops. * Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip. * Keep your gas tank full.
Winterize your vehicle by checking the battery, windshield wipers (including appropriate freeze resistant-fluid), tire pressure, tire tread, fluid levels, and lubricate door and trunk locks to prevent freezing. In addition, here is a list of emergency supplies drivers can keep in their vehicle:
- Blankets/sleeping bags, extra clothing, gloves and a hat. - Cell phone, radio, flashlight and extra batteries. - First-aid kit and pocket knife. - High calorie, non-perishable food and bottled water. - Bag of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires. - Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and a shovel.
Tornado Watch 571 is in effect until 4:00 PM CST for the following counties:
Texas counties included are Anderson Angelina Austin Bowie Brazos Burleson camp Cass Cherokee Colorado Dewitt Fayette Fort Bend Franklin Gregg Grimes Hardin Harris Harrison Houston Jackson Jasper Lavaca Leon Liberty Madison Marion Montgomery Morris Nacogdoches Newton Panola Polk Rusk Sabine San Augustine San Jacinto Shelby Smith Titus Trinity Tyler Upshur Walker Waller Washington Wharton Wood.
How to prepare and stay safe before, during, and after a tornado:
Before Watch out for dark, rotating clouds. If you see one, take shelter immediately! Listen for a tornado siren. If you hear it, seek shelter immediately! Turn on your TV/radio. You’ll get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions. Avoid unnecessary car trips. You don’t want to be caught outside if a tornado comes. Bring in outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away. These may become a safety hazard.
During Take shelter immediately! Flying debris from high winds causes most injuries. Keep windows closed and stay away from them. Glass from broken windows can injure you. If you’re in a building, go to the basement or lowest floor. That’s the safest location. If you’re in a mobile home, go to the nearest building or storm shelter. Even if tied down, your home can’t protect you. If you’re driving, fasten your seatbelt and go to the nearest building for cover. You’re safer indoors. If your car gets hit by debris, stop, cover your head, and stay below the windows. You’re safer inside the car than outside. If you’re outside, lie down in a low, flat area and cover your head with your hands. You’re safer lying down than standing up.
After Avoid entering damaged buildings. Broken glass and exposed nails can injure you. Keep away from downed power lines and objects touching them. You can be electrocuted. Wear sturdy shoes, long sleeves, and gloves when walking through debris. Stepping on nails and glass can injure you.