If you’re like me, you find it hard to believe it is already March!
February went by very quickly and it felt like we lost a week with the winter weather event. I can tell you that week was not lost for those who had electricity, water, or plumbing issues to deal with and it certainly was not lost for the City employees who worked to ensure the City provided service to our residents. That week definitely put everyone in an emergency preparedness mode. Looking back now, were you prepared as well as you could have been or are there some things you plan to change to better handle the next emergency situation? If you are making your “Emergency Preparedness” to-do list, here are a few things you may want to add:
Did you receive City notifications during the severe weather event? If not, now would be a good time to sign up to receive City information. We sent a lot of needed information to residents the week of the severe weather. We used social media, email, phone, Nextdoor and the City website.
If you did not see any of the information the City sent, you can sign up to receive emails and phone calls at highlandvillage.org/StayNotified. There are two tabs on that page – Routine and Emergency Alerts signs you up for notifications that will be sent to your email, landline if you have one, and your cell phone in the event of an emergency or severe weather. The second tab is City & Website Notifications and is where you will sign up to receive email newsletters, the City Manager’s Report, notification of upcoming meetings and events, and other topics. I encourage you to sign up at both tabs so you are ensured to receive important information from the City. If you use social media, follow the City, Parks and Recreation, Police, Fire and Animal Care on Facebook.
Water leaks are still affecting many of our residents and can end up costing a homeowner quite a bit in repair costs as well as water costs. The City has an app that will alert you of a potential water leak and also provides a way for you to monitor how much water you are using. It’s called EyeOnWater and information can be found on the City website by searching “Monitor Your Water Usage.” It’s free to sign up and could end up saving you money.
Do you know where you water shut-off valve is? Most of the homes in Highland Village have a courtesy shut-off for the homeowner to use if needed. If you don’t know where yours is, it is very likely buried in your landscaping. The City utility crews can help you locate your shut-off valve and explain to you how to use it, just give them a call at 972-317-2989 to schedule an appointment.
These are a few of the items to add to your emergency preparedness tool box. The Fire Department also has tips on their webpage at highlandvillage.org to help you prepare for emergencies like severe weather, fire escape planning and other helpful information.
Speaking of severe weather, tornado season is now upon us. The Fire Department has completed the Outdoor Warning Siren system project so we now have two additional sirens to keep everyone in the City notified in the event of severe storms.
You’ll notice these sirens are called “Outdoor Warning Sirens” and not “Tornado Sirens.” This is a common misconception. The purpose of the sirens is to warn people participating in outdoor activities of pending severe weather conditions. When the sirens are sounded people outdoors should seek shelter immediately, tune in to local news/weather, and prepare for a possible emergency. The sirens will be activated in the event of severe weather which includes a tornado warning affecting the City, a visually confirmed tornado by trained spotters, or a severe thunderstorm warning with destructive winds and hail.
The Fire Department tests the sirens the first Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m. unless there is inclement weather. You may sometimes hear the sirens inside of your home or you may not. The best way to be notified of severe weather is to sign up at the Routine & Emergency Alerts tab at highlandvillage.org/StayNotified.
Our Fire Department has been certified as a COVID-19 vaccination provider, and as I write this they have not yet received vaccinations to provide to the public. It is their goal to be able to do that and will provide updates at www.highlandvillage.org/COVID.
Currently Denton County has been able to provide mega sites to vaccinate qualified individuals who have signed up and have an appointment scheduled. The Denton County Health Department has asked for community volunteers to help with traffic flow and paperwork at these vaccination clinics. You can learn more and volunteer to be part of the Medical Reserve Corps by visiting www.mrc.dentoncounty.gov. I have heard people who volunteer say it has been one of the most fulfilling activities in which they have been involved.
Easter is right around the corner and while we cannot have our normal Easter Egg Hunt, the Parks and Recreation Department is planning a fun event for Highland Village residents. This will be a drive up event for Highland Village residents and will take place on Saturday, March 27. Find out more at hvparks.com
This last month we once again had the opportunity to see how much we care for each other. During the winter weather event neighbors helped neighbors, businesses helped other businesses, and City employees worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the community. I am truly blessed to live in this wonderful City and serve as your Mayor.