AUSTIN, Texas -- The City of Austin and Travis County teamed up to commission an after action report on last year’s week long boil water notice.
- Travis County, City of Austin assess response to citywide boil water notice of 2018
- Report lists 161 corrections and areas of improvement
- Report available in its entirety here
The notice came after a historic flood event caused nearby rivers to carry too much debris to be treated well enough for consumption. Austin Water held the city in a boil water notice for six days.
The city's after action report lists 161 corrections and areas of improvement to be considered for future events. Bryce Bencivengo, with the city's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said one big takeaway was having enough people trained in all areas of the office to have a deeper bench when half the office is out handing out water.
"This event started as a flooding event and then moved into something different," Bencivengo said. "We'd exhausted a lot of our personnel resources for the emergency operations center by the time we had gotten to the boil water notice."
Bencivengo said other takeaways from the report included keeping messaging consistent between city and county emergency management teams and using alert technology like Warn Central Texas sooner to give residents more time to prepare as ways to get better.
Residents lending a helping hand made the response to last year's event easier according to the report. Bencivengo said utilizing organizations like Meals on Wheels and neighbors looking out for each other helped in distributing water to the people that need it most.
"The city was really resilient and came together and helped one another," he said. "We heard a lot of people saying, 'Oh, can I take some extra bottled water for my neighbor? She's never gonna be able to get this into her house.'"
You can read the entire after action report here.