Emergency management is a means of responding to large scale emergencies or disasters that might impact University Park. The overall purpose of Emergency Management is to coordinate the activities of various city departments responsible for continued operations during disasters, coordinate inter-local agreements for resource utilization, communicate with state and federal agencies, and provide education and training. Ultimately, the purpose of emergency management is to increase the city's capabilities to respond to a hazard or incident and prevent or reduce the impact of the various hazards on the city.
Emergency management is based on an "all hazards" model that is broad in scope and applies to all city departments. The city’s emergency management plan has four basic tenets:
Mitigation: Actions taken before an event occurs to prevent or lessen the impact the event has on life and property. Some examples of mitigation:
Preparedness: Activities, actions, procurements, planning, training and inter-jurisdictional cooperation designed to increase response readiness to identified hazards.
Response: Mobilization of resources to meet the needs of the city in response to the nature of the disaster. Mobilization includes local, county, state and federal resources as necessary. Response is usually associated with the period of time immediately after the event and necessary to ensure life safety.
Examples include: Fire and EMS services, search and rescue, debris removal, public works activities and law enforcement.
Recovery: Long term mobilization of support operations in returning the city to its pre-event condition. This period is usually when social services and volunteer organizations tasked with relief efforts ramp up their efforts with the following in mind – "the greater the magnitude of the disaster, the greater the recovery effort."
Helpful web links:
City of University Park - Outdoor Warning Siren System
The system is comprised of 6 sirens located throughout the city for emergencies that may include tornadoes, high winds, civil defense and hazardous materials. The sirens are activated from the 911 center at city hall.
The Outdoor Warning Siren System is designed to warn residents who are outside only. With today’s air-conditioned and well insulated homes and our well built vehicles, the sirens may not be heard by those inside.
Residents are encouraged to purchase a weather alert radio and sign up for Code Red, a free severe weather notification service.
The City’s policy and criteria for activation of the outdoor warning sirens was developed in coordination with the National Weather Service. It is generally consistent with criteria used in the surrounding cities in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
Outdoor warning sirens may be activated to notify residents for a number of reasons, including (but not limited to):
Once activated, the sirens sound a steady tone for at least three minutes. Depending upon the weather conditions, the system may be continually activated until the danger has passed. An "all clear" message is not sounded.
When you hear a outdoor warning siren immediately seek shelter indoors:
Turn on your radio or television or listen to your weather alert radio.
Go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor of the building. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
Stay away from windows and doors. Get under something sturdy such as a table and if possible, cover yourself with a blanket or sleeping bag.
It is strongly recommended that residents designate a shelter area for their home in advance and practice going to that area as a family.
If you are in an office building during a severe storm, seek shelter on the lowest level of the building. You can also use the fire escapes or restrooms as shelter areas. Likewise, remember to designate your shelter area in advance; there will be less confusion during severe weather if the location is pre-determined.
Don't call 911 to ask why the outdoor warning sirens have been activated. Only call 911 if you have an emergency to report for Police, Fire or EMS assistance.
City of Dallas siren activations:
There may be times when the City of University Park does not activate its outdoor warning sirens and the City of Dallas does. Based on the activation criteria, each situation is carefully evaluated by the UP emergency management staff using the latest information. Since Dallas surrounds University Park, UP residents may hear some Dallas sirens activate. University Park's outdoor warning sirens will only be activated if the threat concerns University Park.
UP outdoor warning siren system test:
The system is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m., weather permitting. In the event that inclement weather is in the immediate area or forecast, the test may be postponed until the next scheduled test date.