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  Flood Preparedness


Are You Prepared For The Next Flood?

Were you prepared for the Flood of June 9, 2010? The Guadalupe River provides us with beautiful surroundings and recreation, but it can also turn into a raging torrent within hours when heavy rainfalls combine with the steep terrain upstream. Not knowing what to do can cost your life!

Here is a good web site to track hurricanes. You can zoom in and out by using your roll function on your mouse, drag the map around and roll over one of the icons on the map and see more specific data for that location.
Give it a minute to load or delete the advertisement.
www.ibiseye.com

Are you familiar with past flooding in your neighborhood? If not, talk to your long time neighbors. The flood of 1998 is the worst we have experienced since Canyon Lake was built, but an even higher flood is still possible.

Do you have a plan for what to do when the next flash flood threatens?

Do you know what the emergency sirens mean?

Do you know how river flows in cubic feet per second (CFS) relate to flooding in your area?

Do you know where to get information during a flood event?

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) has prepared and recently updated the Interim Flood Preparedness Plan and a flood guide, Staying Safe. These can be downloaded HERE or go by GBRA at 933 East Court Street in Seguin to pick up printed copies. These contain critical information to help you safeguard your property and your family. More information is available by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

You must personally determine when safety precautions and even evacuations are necessary for you at your individual location.

We strongly recommend that all waterfront property owners and all who are affected by high water events use multiple means of communication to keep themselves informed. These multiple sources of information include:

  • TV, regular and cable weather forecasts, news, crawl notices and warnings;
  • Weather radar on multiple websites, such as on mysanantonio.com
  • NOAA Weather Radio weather advisories, watches and warnings;
  • KWED, 1580 AM continuous coverage in emergencies;
  • High Speed Call-Up System from the Guadalupe EMC: It "reads" "Emergency Call" on your caller ID; so don't hang up;
  • Flood Sirens: steady tone (this siren rotates so listen closely) at 10,000 CFS and wailing tone (goes up and down) at 20,000 CFS; (tested every Saturday around Noon).

Don't depend on just one source of information, use multiple sources. The worst thing you can do is call police and fire departments, GBRA and other groups which are monitoring and providing emergency services during disasters. You will tie up their telephones and manpower, slowing down their response to those who are in immediate need of emergency assistance.

Another little known fact is that many cell phone towers are not backed up by battery power. This means that if power fails in an area, cell phone reception may also be down.

Have a high water evacuation plan in place with your family. Predetermine a meeting location should you be separated in an emergency. Don't forget your pets need a shelter also.

 

NEW GUADALUPE COUNTY
EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEMS

Guadalupe County, working in conjunction with the Bexar Metro 9-1-1 Network District and other jurisdictions in Guadalupe, Comal, and Bexar counties, has added a self-registration portal to the Emergency Notification System (ENS). ENS works similar to the familiar "Reverse 911" system but also allows a citizen to add their cell phone, work phone, and mobile devices to the database which drives the ENS. Once a citizen registers their device(s) into the database, it will allow the citizen to receive emergency notifications on those device(s).

This is a very important upgrade as an ever increasing percentage of the population is forgoing the traditional landline telephones in favor of becoming "cell phone only" users. Prior to the upgrade the database was limited to land-line telephones only. If a citizen was away from home, or did not have a land-line telephone, they would not receive emergency notifications. This upgrade gives officials the ability to reach ENS registered citizens with warnings and critical information in the event of a flood, tornado, hazardous material release, or similar event at their registered location.

ENS activations are made on a geographic basis and only those addresses within the target area will be called. For mobile device users, the address used during an activation will be the address they enter during the self-registration process. The upgraded system also permits a person to register more than once thereby allowing multiple addresses to be registered as long as the addresses are within Guadalupe, Comal, or Bexar County. This allows you to register both a home and work address. You could also register the address of an elderly or invalid friend or relative. A different email address is required for each location registered but you can use the same contact phone number. All information entered is for emergency notification purposes only and will be kept confidential and not be sold or shared with any outside entity.

To register use the "Tri-County Alert" link on the Guadalupe County Emergency Management web page, or:
http://www.co.guadalupe.tx.us/guadalupe2010/emgmt/tricountyalert/tri-county.htm

VERY IMPORTANT: For the time being this does not replace the database of Guadalupe River waterfront residents kept by the Office of Emergency Management. . .but it will eventually. We want to give everyone plenty of time to self-register on the new system before discontinuing use of the old system. We encourage all residents, especially those on the waterfront, to register as soon as possible.




Recent floods and tornadoes in the Mid-West and South remind us that disasters can strike at any time. We have had our share of flooding along the Guadalupe River and probably will again in the future. While our flood events are not near the scale of what has taken place elsewhere, it can be just a devastating for individuals directly affected. Here are some tips to dealing with disasters mentally after they strike:

Things to remember when trying to understand disaster events  

* No one who sees a disaster is untouched by it. 

* It is normal to feel anxious about you and your family's safety. 

* Profound sadness, grief and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event. 

* Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover. 

* Focusing on your strengths and abilities will help you to heal. 

* Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy. 

* We each have different needs and different ways of coping. 

* It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain. However, nothing good is accomplished by hateful language or actions. 

 

Ways to ease the stress  

* Talk with someone about your feelings-anger, sorrow and other emotions-even though it may be difficult. 

* Don't hold yourself responsible for the disastrous event or be frustrated because you feel that you cannot help directly in the rescue work

* Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional healing by staying active in your daily life patterns or by adjusting them. This healthy outlook will help yourself and your family. (i.e., healthy eating, rest, exercise, relaxation, meditation.) 

* Maintain a normal household and daily routine, limiting demanding responsibilities of yourself and your family. 

* Spend time with family and friends. 

* Participate in memorials, rituals and use of symbols as a way to express feelings. 

* Use existing support groups of family, friends and church. 

* Establish a family emergency plan. Feeling that there is something that you can do can be very comforting. 

Source: The Center for Mental Health Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

 For more information check out This Link.

 


How Does The Flood of 2010 Compare?


GBRA reports that the water flow at the McQueeney Dam peaked at 46,000 cfs (cubic feet per second). That places the flood level above the 2004 level, approaching the 2002 level. For comparison, the 1998 flood was over 200,000 cfs. The good news is this flood was of much shorter duration than the one in 2002. Normal water flow can range from about 200 to 5000 cfs.


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Friends of Lake McQueeney   P.O. Box 781, McQueeney, Texas, 78123