Important - State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR):
In March 2013, the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) rolled out their new program for those citizens who are disabled, have access issues, or have other functional needs. It replaces another program that was primarily designed for those citizens needing transportation from the coastal evacuation zones in the event of a hurricane. The new STEAR program is designed for State wide use and is now available to all jurisdictions on a voluntary basis.
The City of Live Oak has agreed to participate and the Office of Emergency Management will oversee it. At the present time citizens may sign up by calling 211, the Texas Information Referral Network (TIRN), also known as the United Way Help Line. The on-line registration web site is complete and should be up and running shortly. In addition, registration forms are available in the Office of Emergency Management.
The best way to sign up is to simply dial 211, and tell the call taker that you want to sign up for the STEAR program.
The new State wide program will blend nicely with our current City program to assist those citizens who have disabilities, access issues, or may need transportation in the event of an emergency.
Additional information regarding the program is available under the STEAR Program tab on the left side of this web page or you can contact the Office of Emergency Management.
Reminder - Weather Watches and Warning issued by NOAA:
The National Weather Service (NWS) has the responsibility to issue all weather related statements, advisories, watches and warnings for all types of weather. The Austin/San Antonio office of the National Weather Service is located at the New Braunfels Airport and operates around the clock, 365 days per year. They are one of many that make up the Southern Region including the states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas, with their headquarters in Fort Worth.
The Austin/San Antonio office along with the Regional Operations Center in Fort Worth provides daily weather forecasts to all jurisdictions. On a weekly basis a conference call/webinar is conducted from the Regional Operations Center and all jurisdictions and agencies within the region may participate.
Local weather bulletins are issued by the Austin/San Antonio office and are broadcast by the media and through NOAA Weather Radios, available at reasonable prices from most electronic stores. As such the City does NOT sent out weather bulletins. There are many other sources available to obtain weather information such as the internet and through apps on smart phones. In addition some severe weather warnings are broadcast through the cellular phone system. Known as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) they are part of the new technology provided that you have an up-to-date phone and you are in the area affected by the warning.
The Texas Electric Power Grid:
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the electric grid for approximately 85% of the State of Texas, including the San Antonio/Bexar County area. A recent press release announced they were well prepared for the Winter months and they do not expect any problems with the grid. They noted that recent upgrades should prevent any problems like those that occurred a couple of years ago during a very cold period when power levels dropped and rolling blackouts were necessary around the area.
For further information visit their web site at www.ercot.com or you can download an app for your smart phone. Go to the app store and type in ERCOT.
Reminder - Texas Preparedness Web Site:
The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) has a new web site that is designed to help citizens get prepared for various disasters and it includes numerous videos on various subjects. The site is www.TexasPrepares.org and a direct link is provided here and on the opening page of the Emergency Management Section of the City Web Site. Links are also available to other sites.
The wildfire danger around the State has diminished somewhat however here in South Texas and in the Metrocom area it is still very dry. This includes areas within the City of Live Oak. There have been a few fires around the area and we have had a few minor grass fires in the City adjacent to some of the roadways. Unfortunately we are now in another wildfire season. Fall and Winter are another primetime for wild land fires to occur. All citizens are encouraged to be extra careful, including having a family back yard BBQ. Follow the weblink above for more information regarding how to protect your family and property from the effects of a wildfire.
National Terrorism Advisory System:
This new terrorism alert system is now reflected on the right hand side of the opening page of the Emergency Management Section of the City web site.
For additional information regarding the new National Terrorism Advisory System visit the Department of Homeland Security's web site at www.DHS.gov/alerts.
"If you SEE something - SAY something:
In conjunction with the new National Terrorism Advisory System, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has come up with a slogan that seems to blend in nicely with the program. ALL citizens are asked simply - "If you SEE something - SAY something." Report any suspicious activity to our police department dispatch center at 653-0033. In the event you believe it is an emergency situation call 911.
Reminder - Connect CTY Telephone Alert System:
This telephone system is designed to provide the City with a reliable means of communicating with our citizens and the business community. The primary purpose of the Connect CTY telephone system is to provide critical information in the event of an emergency however it can also be used to pass along other important information such as water outages and street closures, and to inform citizens of upcoming events like important meetings and maybe the next movie in the park. While some folks may not be interested in hearing about these events we ask that you simply disregard those calls.
As a matter of information emergency messages from the City will begin with words to that affect such as "This is an urgent or emergency message from the City of Live Oak." If you hear that please pay close attention to the message. Please remember that the City has limited capabilities in notifying the general public of an emergency, especially in the middle of the night. Citizens are not watching TV or listening to a radio and statistics now say that more than 25% of the population no longer have a land line at their home.
For additional information on this program citizens can click on the Connect CTY icon on the opening page of the Emergency Management Section or under the City Services Section on the opening page of the City Web Site. Citizens may include up to 3 telephone numbers, including cellular numbers, into the system, e-mail addresses, and test messaging numbers as well. There is a direct portal to the system and then follow the simply directions to update your information.
Any questions pertaining to the Connect CTY telephone system should be directed to the Office of Emergency Management at 653-9140, Extension 379.
Reminder - American Red Cross Volunteers:
The American Red Cross is always looking for volunteers to support their many programs to include disaster response and shelter and mass care operations. If you're retired or just someone with some extra time and if you would like to donate your time to a very worthy cause, consider volunteering with the local chapter of the Red Cross.
You can contact them at 224-5151 or stop by their local offices at 3642 East Houston Street, during normal business hours. For additional information you can also visit their web site at www.saredcross.org
The loss of power is always a major inconvenience for everyone! Generally speaking power outages are caused by severe weather, traffic accidents, and sometimes equipment failure. In addition, and on rare occasions, rolling blackouts may occur when a major malfunction occurs or when power requirements exceed the available power supply within the power grid. Click on the link above to learn more.