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Austin deploys emergency preparedness app for citizens

The app will provide resources and information for citizens across the Central Texas area to better prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies, as well as coronavirus updates.

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City of Austin wants to help the community increase their emergency preparedness
City of Austin wants to help the community increase their emergency preparedness

The US city of Austin is deploying an emergency mobile app to provide resources and information for citizens across the Central Texas area to better prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies, as well as coronavirus updates.

 

In a separate announcement, the city is rebranding and making improvements to its bike-share programme, designed to aid the long-term mobility goals laid out in the Austin Strategic Mobility plan.

 

Emergency preparedness

 

The City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Travis County Office of Emergency Management have partnered in the Ready Central Texas app, which is free to download from the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

 

The mobile app has a news section, preparedness resources, emergency plan checklist, informational videos, a document library, and Covid-19 resources from Austin, the State of Texas and the federal government.

 

“As we conclude National Preparedness Month, we are excited to give the community another tool to raise their emergency preparedness for emergencies that can happen in our community,” said Juan Ortiz, director of the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security Emergency Management. “We hope the public will download the app and take the time to make an emergency preparedness plan for their family or household.”

“Our goal is to continue to provide multiple avenues for the public to be prepared so when disasters strike they can take immediate action to ensure they and their loved ones are safe”

This mobile app is another tool for Central Texans to be prepared for and alerted about emergencies. Residents are also encouraged to register with Warn Central Texas to receive critical local alerts for natural disasters, weather warnings, evacuation notices, and more by text message, phone call or email.

 

“We believe this is another great tool for the public to get information about Covid-19 and other emergencies that can strike in Central Texas,” said Eric Carter, chief emergency manager for the Travis County Office of Emergency Management. “Our goal is to continue to provide multiple avenues for the public to be prepared so when disasters strike they can take immediate action to ensure they and their loved ones are safe.”

 

Rebranding bike-share

 

Under a new management partnership between the City of Austin and Capital Metro, AustinBCycle is being rebranded as MetroBike. As well as new colours and signage, the BCycle app is being integrated with CapMetro’s app.

 

The update follows the new partnership approved in June between Capital Metro and the City of Austin to use the bike-share system to improve its connection to transit and aid the long-term mobility goals laid out in the Austin Strategic Mobility plan.

Future service improvements include: expanding the BCycle fleet and number of bike stations, including areas outside of the downtown core; providing better first- and last-mile options to the transit; and fully electrifying BCycle’s fleet.

 

More than 200 e-bikes are on loan in Austin from BCycle/Trek as a pilot project demonstrating the increased use of the system when e-bikes are available to riders.

 

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