Hurricane Awareness Tips
Plan and Take Action
Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected.
Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes.
How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe?
You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water,
gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?
Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations
for different situations. Help community members do the same.
Develop and document plans for your specific risks.
- Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan
- Be sure to plan for locations away from home.
- Business owners and site locations should create Workplace Plans
- Make sure schools and daycares have School Emergency Plans
- Pet owners should have plans to care for their animals
- When traveling, always notify family members of your stops in case there is an emergency
In Case Of Evacuation
- Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines to allow for enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home. FOLLOW instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!
- Consider your protection options to decide whether to stay or evacuate your home if you are not ordered to evacuate.
When waiting out a storm be careful,the danger may not be over yet..
Be alert for:
- Tornadoes - they are often spawned by hurricanes.
- The calm "eye" of the storm - it may seem like the storm is over, but after the eye passes, the winds will change direction and quickly return to hurricane force
- Wait until an area is declared safe before returning home.
Summer is Here Beat the Heat
Whether you're working or playing outside in the summer, anybody not accustomed to the heat is at risk for a heat-related illness.
Take steps to protect yourself:
- Wear appropriate clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat
- Take frequent water breaks
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15
- Never leave kids or pets unattended in a vehicle
Mission PD - Back to School Driving Tips
The end of summer means millions of Texas children will soon return to school. The Mission Police Department reminds drivers to be extra cautious as school zones become more active and be aware of school bus safety.
Last year, 663 vehicle crashes occurred in school zones in Texas, resulting in zero deaths and 21 serious injuries. August and September of 2014 alone saw 107 crashes in school zones. The most common factors contributing to these crashes were driver inattention, failure to control speed and failure to yield the right of way at stop signs.
Following these simple tips can help Texas children reach school safely and help drivers avoid costly fines and tickets.
Tips for Driving in School Zones
- Put away your cell phone. Cell phone use is banned in active school zones, and violators face fines of up to $200 in school zones where signs are posted.
- Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones
- Drop off and pick up your children in your school's designated areas, not the middle of the street.
- Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
- Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.
Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School
- Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again before proceeding.
- Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Always obey crossing guards.
- Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle
Cell Phones and School Zones
Across the United States and around the world, cell phones are one of the leading distractions that cause drivers to have accidents. Car accident lawyers in Houston note that these distractions can be particularly tragic when your attention is pulled away from the road in a school zone.
In 2009, a law took effect prohibiting cell phone use in active school zones. The law did not prohibit the use of hands-free devices, emergency calls, or cell phone use while the vehicle is stopped. The law carried a fine of up to $200.
In September of 2013, the Texas Legislature expanded the rules to also prohibit cell phone use not just on the road in designated school zones, but also while operating a vehicle on the property of a public elementary, middle, junior high or high school. This includes driving through school parking lots and drop-off lanes.
The exceptions for cell phone use while the vehicle is stopped, for emergency calls, and using a hands-free device remain in effect.
Stopping for School Buses
Every school day, more than 40,000 school buses are on the roads bringing approximately 1.5 million students to and from school. Whether in school zones or your neighborhood, state law mandates that drivers come to a complete stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped to pick up or drop off students.
School buses operate visual signals to let other drivers know when this is occurring - either flashing red lights or a stop sign that extends from the side of the bus. When drivers see one of these signals, they must stop until either the bus driver resumes motion, deactivates the visual signals, or gives the passenger vehicle the signal to proceed.
The fine for violating this law was recently increased. Previously, the range was $200-$1,000; that was increased to $500-$1,250.
If you don't see a cop and think you can get away with slipping by a stopped school bus, don't be so quick to hit the gas pedal. Some areas are implementing school bus cameras that capture images of those who violate this law, and mail the violators notice of the civil fine.
At Mission Police Department, we strongly encourage all drivers to follow Texas school zone traffic laws not just to save yourself the civil penalties but also to protect our state's children from serious injuries.