Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) Upgrades Regional Notification System

AUSTIN, TEXAS – The Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) is upgrading the regional notification system that powers WarnCentralTexas.org to bring residents emergency and public safety warnings they need to protect their families, properties and selves. As part of the upgrade, CAPCOG recommends that previously self-registered participants update their notification information by using the link inside an email sent through the new Everbridge system.

Current self-registered participants should have received an email from Warn Central Texas using either a noreply@everbridge.net, noreply@everbridge.com or noreply@everbridgemail.com email address. Following the link inside the email will give them access to a user account portal that lets them update multiple voice and text phone numbers as well as email addresses and physical addresses. They can also opt-in to receive particular national weather alerts, such as severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, and flashflood warnings. After updating their notification information, the portal grants them access to make future updates and read active notifications in their area sent by their local governments.

WarnCentralTexas.org is a free public service provided by CAPCOG in conjunction with the region’s cities and counties for individuals living, working or visiting Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson counties. Using this system, emergency responders can send hyper-local, targeted messages to people in specific neighborhoods or streets. Local governments communicate primarily in English, and make every effort where possible to also send critical alerts in Spanish. The notification information is strictly used by local governments to send emergency warnings and opted-in messages.

If a resident receives multiple emails from the system requesting they update their information, it is extremely important they do so using the link in the email. Updating their information will ensure its accuracy letting them continue to receive emergency warnings for their current address and preventing them from receiving the same notification multiple times.
Residents who haven’t registered to receive emergency warnings at WarnCentralTexas.org should do so. It is important to note newer cellphone models receive federal notifications, such as Amber Alerts. WarnCentralTexas.org is a separate system and a critical tool for local first responders to reach the affected public during an emergency. All jurisdictions in the ten-county region can use the system to share critical emergency information events, such as:

  • Evacuations from floods and wildfires
  • Shelter-in-place information during law enforcement incidents
  • Public health and medical emergency messages

About the regional notification system: CAPCOG uses a regional notification system (RNS), WarnCentralTexas.org, as a crucial public-safety tool. The Web-based tool is used by Central Texas governments to alert the public to emergency and optional non-emergency situations. It’s an effective tool for notifying a relatively large number of people in a short period of time. Its current vendor for the RNS is Everbridge. CAPCOG and Everbridge will not distribute any information provided by residents.

About CAPCOG: The Capital Area Council of Governments, governed by elected officials from the ten-county region it serves, has worked for more than 45 years as an advocate, planner and coordinator on important regional issues. Programs and services related to public safety and emergency response, environmental planning, economic and community development and the elderly are delivered at a regional level to leverage funding, maximize cooperation and eliminate duplication. CAPCOG serves Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties.

Elections Administrator Reminds Straight-Party Voters to be aware of ‘Down Ballot’ Items not covered by a Single Click

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson is reminding voters that if they are planning to vote a straight-party ballot in the November election to make sure there are no “down-ballot” elections or issues they want to vote on that are not covered by a straight-party choice.

Straight-party voting only applies to candidates in federal, state, and county-level races. It does not include propositions, bond issues, city council, school board, Austin Community College, and other types of ballot items that are farther down the ballot.

A straight-party vote will choose candidates from that party in races where a candidate from that party is running. If there is no candidate from that party in a particular race, the voter can go to that item and select a different party candidate.

Anderson said, “I encourage all voters who choose a straight-party ticket to scroll down and ensure that there are no other elections they’d like to vote in before they submit their ballots.”

October 9 is the last day to register to vote. Early voting for the November 6 election runs from October 22 to November 2. During early voting, voters in Hays County can vote at any polling place that is convenient to them. On Election Day, November 6, voters must vote at their precinct polling place. October 26 is the last day to apply for a ballot by mail (the application must be received by October 26).

Complete election information is on the County website here.

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Stay Informed with WarnCentralTexas.org

As seen during Hurricane Harvey, natural disasters and other life changing emergencies can happen very quickly, and it’s important to have as much information available, as quickly as possible, to make decisions to keep you, your family and the community safe.

This September, in observance of National Preparedness Month, we are asking all employees to take an active step toward contributing to a disaster ready regional community. Please sign up to get emergency and evacuation alerts in your neighborhood, directly from your local first responders, by phone, text or email. Simply sign up at WarnCentralTexas.org.

The link will take you to the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) regional notification system registration, a service of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson Counties. Using this system, emergency responders in your neighborhood can send hyper-local messages to you neighborhood, street or block.

Additionally, here are links to posters that can be printed and displayed in prominent areas of your departments. Spanish version here.

I encourage each department to display this information in high-traffic areas of your facility(s) and workspaces, both in areas intended for public and non-public (employee only) use.

All jurisdictions in the 10-county region can use the system to share critical emergency information with residents for events, such as:

  • Homes evacuations from floods, wildfires or public health threats
  • Shelter-in-place information during a law enforcement or public health incident
  • Boil water notices or prolonged power outages
  • Options to receive general, non-emergency community messages

It is important to note that newer model cell phones all receive notification from the federal government, such as Amber Alerts. WarnCentralTexas.org is a separate system, and critical tool for local first responders to reach you during an emergency.

While you’re in the system, consider registering your spouse or other family members. Additionally, we encourage you to share this link with neighbors, friends, and colleagues so they can be warned about emergencies.

Thank you in advance for participating in an effort to ensure our Central Texas community is informed and prepared to survive and recover from any emergency event.

Kharley Bagley Smith
Director
Hays County Emergency Services

News You Can Use from the Hays County Local Health Department – January 2017

Medical Director: Charles Anderson M.D. (May be reached through CD/TB Supervisor)
Clinic Director: Clint Garza james.garza@co.hays.tx.us
Clinic Manager: Margie Rodriguez margie@co.hays.tx.us 512-393-5535
Communicable Disease/TB Supervisor: Iris Barrera R.N. iris.barrera@co.hays.tx.us 512-393-5569
TB Program Assistant: Wilma Lewter NCMA wilma.lewter@co.hays.tx.us 512-393-5529
Epidemiology/Communicable Disease: Eric Schneider eric.schneider@co.hays.tx.us 512-393-5525 / Sophia Anyatonwu MPH, CIC sophia.anyatonwu@co.hays.tx.us 512-393-5524

Texas Vaccine for Children Program (TVFC)

Health Care Providers, did you know you can get FREE vaccine for your qualifying patients? Those without insurance, on Medicaid, or in the CHIP program can receive their immunizations from you, through this State program. In addition, your staff receives personalized guidance from our TVFC coordinator, Amelia Flores, regarding immunization up-dates, vaccine storage, and rotating stock. She will visit your clinic and get you set up! If interested, please contact Amelia @
(512) 393-5539 or email her amelia.flores@co.hays.tx.us

ImmTrac

What a great idea! Everyone should be on it! It’s available for children and adults. It’s free and secure. It’s accessible from provider to provider.
For more information and assistance with setting up this valuable tracking system contact:
Josie Gonzales 512-393-5574 josie.gonzales@co.hays.tx.us / Elsira S. De Leon 512-393-5575 elsira.deleon@co.hays.tx.us

Tuberculosis Elimination

HCLHD TB elimination program provides free follow-up for reactive TB tests in addition to free medication and case management for both TB Active Disease and Latent infections. We currently offer three different drug regimens for Latent Tuberculosis Infections: Isoniazid 9months, Rifampin 4 months, and our newest therapy 3HP; an observed dose given once a week for 12 weeks. Public safety is also ensured by our free and required case management of TB patients with Active Disease. The required work-up: positive TB test results and TB400 DSHS reporting form must be sent to HCLHD within one (1) working day for oversight and state reporting. Fax to 512-393-5530

TB400 Reporting form

http://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/disease/tb/forms/default.asp

A Comeback Story: Mumps!!!

Over the past two weeks, local health departments have reported over 70 new cases of mumps throughout Texas. While the majority of the outbreak has been seen in North Texas, individual cases have been reported here in Central Texas too.
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite. This is followed by swollen salivary glands.

Mumps is no longer very common in the United States, but outbreaks do occur. The best way you can protect yourself and your loved ones is to ensure everyone in your family has received a mumps vaccination. We are asking area providers to screen for mumps whenever it can be suspected.

Zika Has Arrived

In early December, investigators identified 4 suspicious cases of Zika infections. All of these patients currently live in the Brownsville area. These patients did not travel to an area/country that has already been affected by Zika, so further investigation was conducted. Investigators trapped and tested mosquitos in the area and were able to catch some that tested positive for Zika. With this, Texas became only the second state to have locally acquired Zika infections.

Also in December, Hays County was notified of our first positive Zika patient. This patient traveled to Puerto Rico in August, where they contracted the virus. They are no longer contagious, and none of their close contacts or neighbors have reported any signs or symptoms of Zika.

Reportable Conditions Updates

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/default.asp
Please fax reportable conditions to 512-393-5530 Attention “Office of Epidemiology”

Helpful Websites

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/tac/
(Texas Administrative Code)

http://www.co.hays.tx.us/about-us-.aspx
(Health Department Information)

http://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/investigation/conditions/
(Notifiable Conditions List 2016)

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