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June 22, 2016

HPD, Other Agencies Invite Citizens to Severe Weather Campaign Workshops

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Acting Police Chief Martha I. Montalvo joined area agencies recently to announce the kickoff of a severe weather and emergency preparedness campaign aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities in future severe weather events.

The educational campaign, dubbed "Turn Around Don't Drown," focuses on flood safety with information from the HPD, the Houston Fire Department, the City of Houston Office of Emergency Management and the Harris County Flood Control District.  The campaign will include a series of informational workshops, presentations, brochures and promotional safety giveaways.

HPD has purchased 2,000 "car escape tools" to be distributed to citizens at the presentations, while the supplies last.  The Houston Police Federal Credit Union and Yellow Cab Greater Houston Transportation Company will also purchase steel-tipped car escape tools to be distributed with other giveaways at the workshops.  Ready Houston has also provided promotional giveaways for the event.

Mayor Turner said the campaign aims to encourage citizens to wait, and not venture out on the roadways in severe weather events.  "The best approach is always to stay home but if you should find yourself in a car in rising water, we want you to know what to do to save yourself.  Don't become our next flood-related fatality.  Make your plan now!," said Mayor Turner.

HPD Acting Police Chief Montalvo urges motorists to heed warnings and any traffic barricades in the roadway.  "When we say Turn Around Don't Drown, that also means to not drive around any barricades our officers or city officials placed in the road.  They're doing that for a reason and that is to keep drivers safe and away from high water and danger," Acting Chief Montalvo said.

Scheduled workshops presented by campaign partners are: 

  • City Hall/Legacy Room - Thursday June 23, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Jewish Community Center (Meyerland) - Tuesday, June 28, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 
  • Sunnyside Multi-Service Center - Wednesday, July 13, 10 a.m. to Noon.
  • Magnolia Multi-Service Center - Wednesday, July 20, 10 a.m. to Noon. 

The first workshop on June 23 will be live-streamed on the HPD YouTube channel and placed on the HPD website to be viewed by the public and those unable to attend other presentations.

A new flood safety brochure with valuable information and photos is available on the HPD website at  The brochure and a copy of the campaign poster are attached to this news release.