Knowing where you can get reliable information during an emergency is crucial. During a disaster, unreliable websites and social media can have incorrect, out of date, or even false information. It is important to know ahead of time where you will get critical updates about what is going on in the community.
There are multiple ways to stay informed during an emergency. Austin’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) will send updates to all four of these resources before, during, and after an emergency with important information. Sign up for alerts or follow these sites to stay informed during an emergency:
- Warn Central Texas
- Accessible Hazard Alert System (AHAS) delivers emergency alerts in American Sign Language, English voice, and text for people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, Blind, or Deaf and Blind
- Alerts Page: austintexas.gov/alerts
- Ready Central Texas mobile app: Download for iPhone or Android.
HSEM also is in contact with members of the media during an emergency. HSEM provides information to traditional media outlets and requests this information be relayed to the community. We do this to ensure we are reaching out in as many ways as possible and reaching our community members wherever they are. Tune to your preferred local news station in an emergency.
In addition to local television news stations, HSEM can activate the Emergency Alerts System (EAS) through local radio stations. When activated, local radio stations will play the alert tone followed by the EAS message. News Radio KLBJ 590 AM/99.7 FM is HSEM’s designated EAS activation station that would trigger the alert tone to other signal stations.
You may also consider purchasing a weather radio. These radios provide alerts and broadcast important information regarding severe weather that can give you the lead time needed to take necessary precautions.
In the event of an emergency or disaster, the Alerts page, located at www.austintexas.gov/alerts, will house up to date information from official City of Austin and Travis County departments and sources. These messages often will include immediate actions to take to stay safe. Bookmark the Alerts page to make it easy to find during a crisis.
The Alerts page also includes links to translated versions of the page in 14 different languages. The languages emergency messages are translated in reflect the latest survey and census data to accurately reflect the growing and changing population of our community.
Warn Central Texas
The Capital Area Council of Governments uses a regional notification system (RNS) called Everbridge as a crucial public safety tool. Warn Central Texas covers a 10-county region to include: Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson.
Register here to receive emergency notifications from your local emergency response team. Be among the first to receive critical community alerts regarding natural disasters, weather warnings, evacuation notices, bio-terrorism alerts, boil water notices, and missing child reports.
Austin HSEM partnered with Travis County Emergency Management to develop the Ready Central Texas app for mobile devices. This app is utilized as an emergency preparedness app with updates and news regarding warnings, various preparedness resources, emergency plan checklists, a document library, and more.
The Ready Central Texas app provides:
- News updates and warnings
- Preparedness resources
- Emergency plan checklists to help make sure you have what you need
- Informational videos
- Document library with preparedness materials
- COVID-19 resources from Austin, the State of Texas and the federal government
The app is available on Android and Apple devices and free to download and use.
Austin HSEM and the Travis County Office of Emergency Management have partnered with Deaf Link to launch the Accessible Hazard Alert System (AHAS) for Deaf, Blind, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf and Blind community.
Austin and Travis County AHAS subscribers receive an accessible message in American Sign Language, and English voice and text. The alert message will include information about the emergency and what actions to take. AHAS can send accessible alerting messages to registered residents before, during, and after an emergency or disaster in Travis County.
When an emergency alert or other information is sent through the AHAS program, users will receive accessible alert messages on internet and video capable devices such as computers, cell phones, smart phones, tablet computers, and wireless Braille readers.
Register for these alerts at https://atc.ahasalerts.com/ or by texting AHAS to 737-241-3710.
Follow @AustinHSEM on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) to stay informed on everything from preparedness messaging, imminent and active weather events, and emergencies. All posts are available in English and Spanish.
Austin HSEM is developing a newsletter to highlight our outreach in the community, educate Austinites on emergency preparedness, and feature staff members who put the service in public service. Look for more information on how to subscribe in the coming months!