Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Governor's Initiatives - Disaster Preparedness

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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

  • Thursday, March 13, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Appeals Denial of Presidential Disaster Declaration for Winter Storms
    Gov. Rick Perry today appealed President Barack Obama’s denial of a major disaster declaration for 15 Texas counties following severe winter storms December 5-9, 2013. The declaration would have provided federal public assistance for recovery efforts.
  • Tuesday, February 04, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Renews Proclamation Declaring Liquefied Petroleum Gas Emergency
    Gov. Rick Perry today renewed the proclamation declaring a liquefied petroleum gas emergency, waiving certain state licensing and permitting regulations for out-of-state carriers and operators. This waiver applies only to liquefied petroleum gas trucks and operators meeting all certification, permitting and licensing requirements of the federal government and another state whose governor has declared or declares a liquefied petroleum gas emergency.
  • Saturday, January 25, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Appeals FEMA Denial of Individual Assistance for Central Texans Affected by Floods
    Gov. Rick Perry today appealed the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) denial of individual assistance for Central Texas counties impacted by the severe storms and flooding between October 30 and November 1.
  • Friday, December 20, 2013 • Austin, Texas • Proclamation
    Gov. Perry Renews Proclamation Extending Drought Emergency
    Gov. Rick Perry has again renewed a proclamation extending drought emergency for specified counties due to the ongoing exceptional drought conditions across the state. The proclamation directs necessary resources be made available to aid response efforts and notes the ongoing strain on water resources.
  • Friday, December 20, 2013 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry: Presidential Disaster Declaration Approved for Three Central Texas Counties
    Gov. Rick Perry today announced that his request for public assistance through a federal disaster declaration for three Central Texas counties has been approved. The governor requested individual and public assistance earlier this month to support recovery efforts in areas impacted by severe storms and flooding between October 30 and November 1. Approval of the individual assistance request is still pending federal review.