In Case of Emergency: Grab Your Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone and Stay Informed

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Chances are you’ve never found yourself thinking, “Hmmm, my schedule’s pretty light this week. This would be a good time to get that natural disaster out of the way.” Emergencies--much like visits from your cousin, his wife and their kids who somehow maintain a 24 hour a day, Tasmanian devil-style sugar rush--never come at a convenient time.

Complicating matters is the fact that emergencies don’t happen very often--which is good, of course--but it also makes them all the more dangerous. Your memory tends to round off the jagged edges, and you find yourself thinking, “Oh, Ike really wasn’t so bad…” Then there are those emergencies that, frankly, you would just rather not think about, and that is the absolutely worst thing you can do. You need to have a plan. You need to have the supplies on hand. You need to know where to get the latest and most reliable news and information.

The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has created the Regional Joint Information Center (JIC) and it is your best source for timely and accurate information when emergency conditions exist in the greater Harris County area. The JIC is a collaboration between regional emergency management partner organizations designed to keep you informed before, during and after emergencies:

Before:
Emergency Essentials checklist 
Evacuation Plans
Sign up for email and text notifications from Harris County Alerts
Houston Transtar real-time traffic
Together Against the Weather information to help people with access and functional support needs from  (link), email and text alerts (link).

During:
Up-to-the-minute news via HCOHSEM's Facebook, and Twitter feeds
National Weather Service
Harris County Flood Warning System

After:
Comprehensive contact information for county, city, and outlying municipal governments in the region
CenterPoint Energy Power Outage Tracker

There is a ton of other information on the website, including
Amber Alerts
School Alerts
Ozone Levels

You owe it to yourself and your family to be prepared. The Harris County Regional Joint Information Center will help you prepare for any emergency whether it be a natural or man-made disaster, or a health or terrorist threat.