Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to increase the readiness of the State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) to Level II: Escalated Response for winter conditions ahead of winter conditions expected to impact parts of Texas, with the greatest impacts Wednesday through the weekend.
Representatives from key state agencies from the Emergency Management Council will report to the SOC beginning Wednesday, February 23 at 7:00 a.m. CT to assist with the state’s winter response.
Light snow is expected in the Panhandle and parts of West Texas tonight through Thursday morning. Winter mixing is expected in parts of North and Central Texas starting Wednesday and continuing through Friday. Additionally, extremely cold wind chill is forecast across most of the state on Wednesday and will continue through Saturday morning.
“The State of Texas is taking action to prepare our communities and equip first responders and local officials with the resources to respond and deal with severe winter weather in the days ahead,” Governor Abbott said. “As we continue to monitor weather conditions, Texans are encouraged to follow the advice of local officials and remain alert to changing weather conditions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”
The following entities will report to the SOC:
Texas Public Utilities Commission
Texas Electrical Reliability Board
Texas Railroad Commission
Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife
Texas Department of Transportation
Texas Military Department
Texas A&M Forest Service
Department of State Health Services
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Health and Social Services Commission
TDEM mass treatments
Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation pre-treats major arteries throughout the state in anticipation of hazardous road conditions. Texans are advised to exercise caution on roads which may become difficult to drive.
The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife is readying four-wheel drive vehicles and TPWD aviation crews are on standby, the Texas Military Department is preparing five winter weather packages, and the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force is state is preparing a winter weather package. Energy industry leaders participate in regular calls organized by TDEM.
Texans can visit tdem.texas.gov to find winter weather resources, preparedness tips and information about warming centers.