A groups of TIPI researchers at UT Austin are working on several projects related to communicating flood risk to Texans. It is important for us to raise awareness of the importance of getting prepared.
If there is anything that the year 2020 has reminded us of as we continue to respond to the challenges brought by Covid-19, it is the importance of being prepared for a disaster, whether that may be in the form of a global pandemic, wildfire, or hurricane.
Texas is no stranger to disasters. Just this year it braced for impact to receive Hurricane Hanna and Hurricane Laura—both unleashing wind gusts over 100 mph and causing devastating damage in the surrounding areas. One of the major threats natural disasters bring to the state of Texas is the danger of flooding, which is the number one risk in the Austin area. While we can’t stop a disaster from happening, we can be proactive in taking measures to prepare.
In 2003, FEMA launched Ready Campaign with the goal to promote preparedness by educating and empowering Americans for natural and man-made disasters. The month of September is National Preparedness Month, a time when each one of us can actively become engaged in preparing ourselves, family, and community for an emergency or disaster.
This year’s theme Disasters Don’t Wait, Make Your Plan Today, is a reminder of how unpredictable disasters can be and the importance of being prepared. As a college student away from home, preparing for disasters can be daunting, but with universities safely re-opening across the state, it is more important now than ever to become familiar with the hazard potential in your area and start preparing.
National Preparedness Month is divided into weekly themes with additional resources:
- Week 1 September 1-5: Make A Plan
- Week 2 September 6-12: Build a Kit
- Week 3 September 13-19: Prepare for Disasters
- Week 4 September 20-26: Teach Youth About Preparedness
Don’t wait to take action! Become familiar with resources provided by The University of Texas and scratch off an item from your preparedness list:
- Become familiar with UT’s Emergency Preparedness plan
- Know your flood risk by accessing Flood Factor
- Sign up for Travis County’s Emergency Notification system
As we all know too well this year, disasters don’t wait—so make your plan today!
TIPI UT Flood Education Team:
Dr. Keri K. Stephens (PI) and Dr. Sharon Strover (faculty), Nancy Carlson and Kendall Tich (graduate students), Theresa Sibi (undergraduate student), and Assistant Professor at University of South Carolina, Dr. Brett W. Robertson