Natural Hazards – Natural hazards are any severe weather or climate conditions that occur naturally in our area. Hazards transition to disasters when lives and livelihoods are destroyed. Natural hazards are distinguished between a watch and a warning. A watch means conditions are favorable for a severe weather event. A warning means that a severe weather event is imminent or occurring. The City of Grand Prairie is more vulnerable to natural hazards like flooding, severe thunderstorms and hail.
- Severe Storms: Severe Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that bring heavy rain, lightning and strong winds. Some storms can also bring damaging hail. Hail is frozen rain droplets that fall with a high velocity from the sky. The largest threat for thunderstorms comes in the spring time. Don’t be fooled though, severe weather can occur anytime of the year!
If you can hear thunder:
- You are close enough to be struck by lightning. Take shelter immediately!
- Stay away from metal objects.
- Stay inside a sturdy shelter until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
- If you see any size hail, immediately take shelter!
- Tornados: Tornados are violently rotating columns of air that can cause millions of dollars in damage. These are some of the most dangerous storms in nature. They can range anywhere from 100 feet to over a mile wide.
When a tornado warning is issued:
- Take shelter immediately.
- Get to the most interior room away from windows.
- If you are in a vehicle, do not try to outrun the tornado. Find the nearest building and take shelter.
- Flooding: Flooding is the deadliest natural hazards that we face. It takes more lives each year than any other weather hazard. Just six inches of moving water can knock over an adult. A flash flood will form and move quickly, however normal flooding occurs gradually.
When a flash flood/flood warning is issued:
- Evacuate low lying areas that typically flood.
- Stay away from areas that are already flooded. Never attempt to cross a flooded street. Turn around, don’t drown!
- If your vehicle stalls in high water, evacuate it immediately and call 911.
- If you live in an area prone to flooding, you might be eligible for flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Click the link to find out more.
- Extreme Heat: Texas is no stranger to extended periods of intense heat. High temperatures mixed with high humidity can cause serious heat-related illnesses ranging from cramps to heatstroke. Vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to extreme heat.
When it gets too hot outside, make sure you:
- Use sunscreen.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Stay inside during the hottest parts of the day.
- Winter Weather: Snow days can be fun, but it’s important to stay safe. Freezing rain can cause slippery ice to form on the roadways and sidewalks. This makes traveling extremely dangerous.
If it starts to become a winter wonderland:
- Wear several layers of warm clothing.
- Avoid driving on overpasses and bridges.
- Ensure that all heating elements in your home are working properly.
Man-Made Hazards- Man-made hazards are created when an element of human intent, negligence or threat occurs involving a man-made system. These events can cause a serious disruption to our day to day lives.
- Epidemics: Each year, the United States is affected by multiple epidemics. Our area is especially vulnerable to the Flu and West Nile. If you do not take precautions, one of these nasty viruses could infect you.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Avoid sharing food or drinks when flu symptoms are present
- Cover your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze.
Fight the Bite! Mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths than any other living creature. Worldwide, nearly 4 million people die each year from various mosquito-borne diseases. The City of Grand Prairie performs frequent tests and treatments to keep the mosquito population under control but we need your help! To reduce the chance of being bitten by a mosquito, all residents should follow the “4Ds”:
- Drain any standing water
- Apply DEET insect repellent when outside
- Dress with light long sleeve clothing when outside
- Limit outdoor activity during dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active.
- Terrorism: The Dallas/Ft. Worth area is listed as one of the nation’s top ten terror targets. Terror attacks can happen anywhere, anytime and in a number of different fashions. While our Police Department does a wonderful job keeping us safe, follow these tips to help keep Grand Prairie even safer:
- If you see something, say something.
- Identify an internal room that you can take shelter in case of a terror attack.
- Stay alert and informed about the events that are going on around you.
Fire: Even the smallest of sparks can start a fire. Each year, over 4,000 Americans perish and more than 20,000 others suffer serious injuries because of fires. These tips will help make your home safer:
- Install and test smoke detectors in your home.
- Never leave an open flame unattended.
- Sleep with your bedroom door closed.