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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2016 Vol. 63 No. 7

Texas Emergency Management Briefs, Tips and Links

WARNING TO PARENTS: AAA's '100 DEADLIEST DAYS' FOR TEEN DRIVERS HAVE BEGUN

For teenagers, the summer months mean fun with friends and freedom from school. But they also come with some serious safety concerns.

AAA is warning teen drivers about the "100 deadliest days." That's the period starting on Memorial Day when teen deaths from car wrecks have historically spiked.

The AAA study says nearly 60 percent of all teen crashes involved a distracted driver. Texting is a big problem, but it's not the biggest. Teens are more likely to be distracted by a passenger than anything else.

Cellphones were found to be a factor in just 12 percent of teen crashes, though researchers say the number of teenagers who text and use social media while driving is on the rise.

From Dayton Daily News

FEDERAL FLOOD OFFICIALS IN TEXAS USE TWITTER TO ALERT
Rick Jervis, USA TODAY
7:15 PM. CDT June 01, 2016

Faced with relentless floods, Texas-based federal officials are turning to a new ally in the war on rising water: Twitter.

The U.S. Geological Survey, the federal agency responsible for monitoring river levels, recently launched a pair of Twitter feeds -- @USGS_TexasFlood and @USGS_TexasRain – that give out automated, real-time river levels and rainfall amounts during heavy rains.

The feeds help first-responders and flood forecasters see river gauges in real time and help with decisions ranging from when to evacuate to weekend forecasts.

During last year's Memorial Day deadly floods, officials found themselves without power and turning to Twitter as a way to communicate and share data.

From USA Today

FACEBOOK TESTS HAVING USERS INITIATE SAFETY CHECK
Facebook is experimenting with letting users, not Facebook, initiate Safety Check during a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

In coming weeks, the giant social network will test a version in which users can notify loved ones that they are safe and send an invitation to friends in the area to do the same rather than relying on a team of engineers to pour over real-time data on international crises to pinpoint the ones that merit a Safety Check activation.

Safety Check lets people with one click let family and friends know they are out of harm's way.Facebook pings users in the affected area asking them to update their status on Facebook. Friends can also mark other friends in their network as safe.

If you have friends in the area of a natural disaster and the tool has been activated, you will receive a notification about those friends that have marked themselves as safe. Clicking on this notification will take you to the Safety Check bookmark that will show you a list of their updates.

From USA Today

IT'S FLOODING AND YOU'RE BEHIND THE WHEEL. WHAT DO YOU DO?
Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard, according to the National Weather Service.

It's important not to underestimate the force of powerful, rising water, especially in Florida, which is prone to flooding.

The NWS says many drowning deaths occur during bad floods when vehicles are swept downstream.

Drivers should never ignore the warning barriers during floods.

National Weather Service data shows:

  • Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle-related,
  • The majority of victims are males, and
  • Flood deaths affect all age groups.

From Dayton Daily News

CHILD DEATHS IN CARS LIKELY TO RISE WITH SUMMER TEMPERATURES

A hot car, a distracted parent, a dead child. It happens every summer, but the stories are no less tragic.

Experts and public safety officials urge parents and caregivers to use caution this time of year and never leave a kid behind in a car, because the consequences can be deadly.

Experts on child car deaths say the only way to really reduce the sad toll is to dispel the belief by many parents that such a thing can't happen to them. All it takes is one change in your routine for it to happen.

During the sweltering North Texas summer, when outdoor temperatures can easily top reach triple digits, there's not a lot of room for error -- or absentmindedness.

After a few hours, air in the car can reach temperatures 45 to 50 degrees higher than the air outside. The popular solution of opening windows doesn't help much. In tests, a 1 1/2 inch crack in each window made the car just 2 degrees cooler.

From Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN PD COMES OUT ON TOP IN APP SHOWDOWN

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Government IT leaders from state and local agencies throughout Texas gathered in Austin for the Texas Digital Government Summit, an annual conference presented by e.Republic, the parent company of Government Technology magazine and govtech.com.

Users of the Austin Police Department's app can sign up for alerts, use an interactive crime map or view a department directory for direct connections to specific people like detectives, investigators or the domestic violence unit. Citizens can file police reports, praise officers and link to social media for the latest news from the department (including full press conferences available on YouTube).

Event participants weighed in at the conclusion of the presentations by casting their votes for their favorite app. While each app snagged some votes, Austin PD took top honors.

From Government Technology




TEXAS LAND OFFICE LAUNCHES ONLINE HURRICANE INFORMATION SITE

The Texas General Land Office launched a new Hurricane Preparedness & Planning informational outreach initiative on its website, txglo.org.

The GLO Hurricane Preparedness and Planning initiative is a focused effort to pool local, state and federal resources and begin prioritizing efforts to build a resilient Texas coast. In the world of hurricane preparedness and recovery, information is power.

The goal is to develop a Comprehensive Plan for Texas coastal zone for Flood Risk Management, Coastal Storm Risk Management and Ecosystem Restoration, with specific feasibility-level focus to recommend projects for individual Congressional authorizations.

The Coastal Texas Study encompasses 18 coastal counties along 400 miles of the Gulf Coast. The area contains more six million people. Hurricane Ike was responsible for nearly 200 deaths and $38 billion in damages in 2008.

From the Liberty County Vindicator


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