AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 44) – Governor Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to increase the readiness level of the Texas State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) to Level II (Escalated Response).

This was done to coordinate the state’s response to severe storms expected to impact communities across Texas on Friday. Severe storms with damaging winds, strong tornadoes, large hail, and potential flash flooding are forecasted for much of the eastern half of Texas through late Friday night. 

“The State of Texas continues readying resources to protect Texans against severe weather threats impacting our state, and we urge Texans to heed the guidance of their emergency officials to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” said Governor Abbott. “State and local officials are working around-the-clock to ensure resources are swiftly deployed to respond to impacted communities over the course of these storms.”

The TDEM has agency representatives from the following Texas Emergency Management Council agencies staffing the SOC to coordinate any requests for state assistance from local officials:

  • Texas Department of Transportation
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
  • Texas A&M Forest Service
  • Texas Department of State Health Services (Texas Emergency Medical Task Force)
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Texas Public Utility Commission
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Texas National Guard
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

On Thursday, ahead of the impacts from severe weather, Governor Abbott ordered the activation of state resources to assist local officials in responding to severe weather and flash flooding threats.

Once storms have passed and only when it is safe to do so, Texans are encouraged to report any damage to homes and businesses using the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) damage survey at damage.tdem.texas.gov. The information provided in the survey helps emergency management officials gain an understanding of damages which have occurred and also helps officials determine if the state meets federal requirements for various forms of disaster assistance – as well as identify any immediate resource needs.

Texans are also urged to follow these severe weather safety tips.