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10/23/18 - Types of Hazards in the Texas Panhandle

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Those who live in the panhandle are exposed to many different hazards, both natural and technological.

Natural hazards that are common to the Texas panhandle include, but are not limited to, severe weather (drought, severe thunderstorms and winter storms, tornadoes, flooding), wildfires, seismic activity, and pandemics.

Technological hazards that are common to the Texas panhandle are fires, hazardous materials, agriculture, and miscellaneous hazards. Both the agriculture and transportation sectors make up a large amount of technological hazards here in the panhandle region.

Agricultural Sector

  • The Texas panhandle is the nation’s largest cattle feeding region, with
  • Highly diversified economically with 6 ½ million acres of irrigated farming, agricultural-oriented industry,
  • Oil and gas production with a vast petrochemical complex, and
  • Wind energy generation.

Transportation Sector

  • Major roads: Interstate 40, Interstate 27, U.S. 87/287, and U.S. 60.
  • Railroads: Two major rail yard operations with 100-110 trains per day.
  • Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport:  Four commercial airlines with extensive civilian and military aviation traffic (average takeoffs/landings: 63,000 per year or about 173 per day).

As a result of all these hazards here in the panhandle region, the Office of Emergency Management has to ensure the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) encompasses the five phases of emergency management (mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery).

It is also important for the community to be aware of the different types of hazards and prepare for them as best as they can. To do this, make sure to have:

  • “Go-Kits” (home, car, and work)
  • Evacuation Routes
  • Communications Plan