Summer is Here - Are You Ready?
Can you believe it’s nearly summer time? The kids will be out of school and many of us will be acting on those fun summer plans that we made earlier this year.
Other folks whose summer will be busy include members of the Public Works Department and the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Emergency Management. This month I want talk with you about their efforts as we head into the hottest time of year.
The Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) year got off to a busy start. In March a SPIN informational forum was held to discuss talk about being prepared for severe weather. Then, less than a week later, a nasty set of storms put several tornadoes on the ground in the DFW area. As the storm bore down, months of training and planning went into action. Southlake was very lucky; the City received just heavy rain and no damage to any homes or City infrastructure. Still, the staff manning the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) was busy receiving reports from the ham radio operators, keeping a close eye on the weather radar and keeping Southlake’s residents and businesses informed through social media, Connect CTY and MySouthlakeNews.com. When the storm was over, we counted our blessings and then immediately went to work reviewing what could have been handled better. That information can only help staff be prepared for the next challenge. But as the OEM will tell you, it’s only part of the equation.
The other part of the responsibility lies with you. Ask yourself these questions: Do I have a severe weather safety plan for me and my family? Do I have an emergency supply kit that will sustain me and my family for at least 72 hours? Do I have a NOAA weather radio? If the answer to these questions is no, then please take a moment to visit the City’s website for more information on emergency preparedness. Recent federal statistics indicate that only 57% of people have readiness items in their homes for use in a disaster and less than 50% of households have an emergency plan. Further, more than 42% of individuals say they would need help in a disaster situation. Don’t be part of those numbers, buy or compile an emergency kit, create and communicate a family plan, and most importantly be informed about what’s going on around you. Work with us to create the best possible odds if an emergency strikes.
Public Works has also been busy gearing up for summer. Last year, the DFW area got hit hard by day after day of triple digit temperatures. In Southlake twice a week watering became mandatory, with other communities following suit several weeks later as lake levels hit all time lows. Even though we have been blessed with quite a bit of rain this spring, the drought is not over, and we need to think about the future from a regional perspective.
In early April, the Tarrant County Mayor’s Council passed a resolution that advocated a unified approach to improving efficient water use as well as endorsed a regional approach to making twice a week water restrictions permanent. Time will tell if this line of thinking will remain in place, but for as long as we are in a drought, responsible use of our precious water is a must. Summer is only beginning, and since the situation is changing day by day please help us by staying informed. Look for further communication and the latest information on the drought and water conservation on My Southlake News, our Social Media sites, and in the local papers. As with many other issues, we are working closely with City staff to make sure that the needs of residents and businesses are being met.
The other side of this issue is what’s being done here in Southlake to improve the City’s water distribution. The TW King 30-inch water supply line construction is well under way and when complete will help distribute water more effectively to all Southlake residents. As the pipe is being constructed (with delivery expected sometime this month) crews are tunneling underground in preparation for the pipe delivery. You might have seen work taking place in two areas: State Highway 114 and TW King Road and Randol Mill Bend along FM 1938.
This project has been years in the making, and we’ve used that time to our advantage. Instead of going into debt to pay for this very necessary addition to our water system, the City has budgeted and paid for it using Capital Improvement Project monies. This is an important point. Being fiscally responsible with the City’s monies is paramount to me and the Council. Year after year we work with City staff to ensure we meet the City’s needs. The TW King water supply line project is another example of how responsible planning can work to our advantage.
See you in Southlake.
The most comprehensive source for up to the minute city information can always be found on the City of Southlake page on MySouthlakeNews. Or if you have specific questions you can email Mayor Terrell directly.