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In Houston, Billboards Go Digital This Hurricane Season

Digital billboards like this one can display emergency alerts.
Photo courtesy Clear Channel Outdoor
Digital billboards like this one can display emergency alerts.

The Texas Gulf Coast is preparing for the upcoming hurricane season.

Today emergency and traffic officials tested digital billboards that will provide emergency messages throughout the Houston area.

Drivers saw a message that said, “Emergency Alert: This is only a test.”

In case of an actual emergency, the billboards will light up with important information that can be specifically tailored by each of the three counties where the billboards are currently located.

“The message in Galveston County may be a little bit different from the message in Harris County or Fort Bend County. So the emergency management coordinators who work at the county level in the emergency management offices will determine what messages go where," said Clear Channel Outdoor Vice President of Public Affairs Lee Vela.

Right now there are 11 billboards up and running in the Houston area that are able to display messages. In the next several weeks, four more will go up.

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service is also using technology to help the public prepare for disasters. You can now download e-books to your tablet or phone on topics like preparing for evacuation and what to do after a wildfire.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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