Communication Partner Update 02-18-21 Severe Winter Weather


Kevin McCoy
 

For all of you that have been impacted from Cold, Boil Water, NO water, Iced antennas, fuel shortage, power outage, … I am right there with you.  A lot of lessons learned here for all of us.  So start by giving yourself a pat on the back for pressing on and for being prepared!

Warming Supplies

As always in large disasters – this is requiring resources from Business, Government, and charitable organizations.  Many from Food Banks to City and County government have been doing their best in difficult conditions to meet needs.  While this is a Red Cross view, we are in it together. 

From a Humanitarian perspective it has been very frustrating – the gap between the magnitude of the need, and the ability to supply services with

  •         Travel restrictions
  •         Supply replenishment issues
  •         Lack of preparation

We are all getting a lesson in the cascading failures resulting from Cold and Power outages!

Red Cross in Central Texas is supporting 60 Warming Shelters based on Government requests.  Depending on the Government and Non Government partner requests this can be everything from supplying disaster emergency supplies (Food, water, blankets, comfort kits, cots, Disaster Immediate Response Shelter Trailers, …) to volunteer Manpower.

We have been focusing our efforts on making sure that Texans with medical needs that require power get to safe shelter.

Significant improvement in Power profile (Down from a peak of 4 Million).

Power Status

I think we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of improving weather and power conditions.  The cascade of failures, burst pipes, water systems, transportation, and replenishment are going to take time.

We are also responding to many fires that are space heater, candle, or heating failure related.  Burst pipes and internal flooding is also an issue. 

These home and apartment events are causing a dramatic increase in the Disaster Action Team calls that we are fielding.

Please also keep an eye out for Carbon Monoxide issues with Generators or using cars to stay warm or charge cell phones. 

Winter Weather: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm.html

Boil Water  : https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/drinking-water-advisories/boil-water-advisory.html

Food Safety: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/food-safety.html

Generator Safety: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/power-outage/safe-generator-use.html

Power outage: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/power-outage.html

A big thank you for Winlink Operators who have passed on infrastructure and unmet needs reports.  Please keep it up!  Please use Telnet if you have internet, and clear the HF frequencies for areas that require them.

Best

Kevin KF5FUZ
DST Lead DR 717-21 Central and South Texas 2/21 BLI
American Red Cross serving Central and South Texas Region