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Offices Closed for Christmas: All county offices will be closed on Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25, for the holiday. This includes parks offices, public works, courts and all other administrative offices. Offices will re-open Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Ready for the severe side of spring?

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Blooming flowers, singing birds, and budding trees are sure signs of spring, but so are heavy rains, gusty winds, and power outages. It may be said that we need to learn to take the good with the bad, but taking action now to reduce the negative consequences of spring disasters, can certainly make this a better season for you and your family.

"Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, everyone will take a little time to think about what they can do to be ready for the challenges that come with spring in Texas," says Will Allen, Collin County Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator.

Preparations for property damages, power outages, and communication disruptions possess some of the most critical steps residents can take to ensure safety during and recovery after disasters of all kinds. 

"Our citizens should ensure their insurance policies have been updated," Allen reminds us. "Family members should have a communication plan that includes identifying a meeting place and time, if cell phones fail to work."

Perhaps one of the most widespread and common occurrences associated with severe weather are power outages. You don't have to be in the path of a tornado to feel the effects of a corresponding power outage. Even a short duration outage, for people needing medical care, can be in a life threatening situation if they are unable to receive dialysis, oxygen, or other life-sustaining treatment.

If an outage lasts more than a few hours, the preparedness steps you take in advance, can help offset the dangers and inconveniences that go hand in hand with food going bad, lack of water, and the loss of television, radio and phone, just to name a few.

A wide variety of sources are available to help guide you through disaster preparations.

For example, fema.gov, ready.gov, and the American Red Cross all have tips to help you through the challenges of spring's severe side. For more information you can contact your local government agency, or Collin County's Office of Emergency Management at (972) 548-4383.