Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Governor's Initiatives - Disaster Preparedness

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April 28, 2011 - Chief Nim Kidd, Texas Division of Emergency Management

In Texas, we hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, and Texans can be assured that no state is more prepared than ours to handle the full spectrum of threats, including man-made and natural disasters.

Our emergency response team in Texas is second to none, an effort that speaks to the dedication and abilities of our emergency planners, the courage of those who willingly head into danger while everyone else flees, and the essential generosity of our citizens.

The strength of Texas' proven ability to prevent, protect, respond and recover from disasters is a result of leveraging local elected officials (mayors and county judges).  There are 3 individuals responsible for the safety of the citizens of the State of Texas: the Governor, the county judge and the mayor.  The asset of well-equiped, highly trained first responders protect and support their communities.

Action Items

»  Under Governor Perry’s leadership, Texas has adopted the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which provides a standard operational picture to manage incidents effectively for local, state and federal governments.
»  More than 1,300 multi-agency emergency exercises have been conducted in Texas since 2002 to test emergency plans, procedures, training, equipment and facilities and identify necessary improvements.
»  Multi Agency Command Structures have been established in communities across the state to improve communication and coordination during times of disaster.
»  Working with local officials and health care associations, Texas has established a system to identify people with and without disabilities who have access or functional needs during evacuations, their categories of medical needs, and the types of transportation and sheltering these individuals require. Using a point-to-point sheltering system, vehicles are assigned to designated host communities, and the state can track critical these vehicles via GPS as they evacuate.
»  Based on lessons learned from Hurricane Rita, Governor Perry has fostered greater cooperation between the state and private sector. A Fuel Team comprised of representatives from the refining, supply, terminal and transportation sectors coordinates fueling increases in both evacuation areas and evacuation routes. The state has also leveraged partner distribution systems at Wal-Mart, HEB, Home Depot and others to provide ice, water, prescription medicine, food, clothing and emergency materials.
»  Texas does not wait for the storm to hit before evacuation orders are recommended to local officials. Before the 2008 Hurricane Season, contra-flow plans for major highways were examined, and procedures were developed to determine the optimum timing to implement contra-flow in order to improve the success of evacuations. Additionally, comfort stations have been established along evacuation routes to provide assistance to evacuees should their vehicles become disabled.
»  The Rapid Response Task Force assists local jurisdictions with continuity of operations, including Immediate Mass Care, Health and Medical, Search and Rescue, and Communications functions.
»  The Public Works Strike Team supports an impacted jurisdiction, providing assistance with assessments of critical infrastructure such as water/wastewater facilities, storm drains, bridges, building inspections and generator installations.

News & Announcements

  • Monday, October 20, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Statement by Gov. Perry on 43 Texans Removed from Active Monitoring for Ebola
    "With guarded optimism we welcome the news that 43 Texans have been removed from active monitoring for Ebola. Continuous vigilance in confronting this threat and the cooperation of those affected is what has brought us to this point, and we look forward to the day when the remaining individuals can also be removed from active monitoring."
  • Friday, October 17, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Calls for Travel Ban from Ebola Outbreak Countries
    Gov. Rick Perry today announced the first recommendations issued by the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. Gov. Perry created the task force, headed by Dr. Brett P. Giroir, earlier this month to assess the state's readiness and ability to respond to Ebola and other infectious diseases.
  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Statement by Gov. Perry on Second Dallas Hospital Worker Diagnosed with Ebola
    "This is the first time that our nation has had to deal with a threat such as this. Everyone working on this challenge - from the medical professionals at the bedside to the public health officials addressing containment of the infection - is working to end the threat posed by this disease. These individuals are keeping the health and safety of Texans and the needs of the patients as their most critical tasks. Every relevant agency at the local, state and national levels is working to support these individuals."
  • Thursday, October 09, 2014 • Fort Hood, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Visits Troops Deploying to West Africa in Fight against Ebola
    Gov. Rick Perry today visited U.S. Army troops preparing to deploy to the West African nation of Liberia to help combat the spread of Ebola. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control calls this epidemic in West Africa the largest Ebola outbreak in history.
  • Tuesday, October 07, 2014 • Galveston, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Tours Galveston National Laboratory
    A day after announcing the creation of a new task force aimed at combatting infectious disease, Gov. Rick Perry today toured the Galveston National Laboratory at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. On the tour, the governor received an overview of the work the lab is conducting to better understand and respond to pandemic disease. The facility is one of two National Biocontainment Laboratories in the United States and studies infectious diseases such as Ebola.