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

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2013 • Austin, Texas • Proclamation
    Gov. Perry Files Disaster Declarations for Three Counties in North Texas
    Gov. Rick Perry has filed disaster declarations for Ellis, Hood and Johnson Counties as a result of last week’s tornadoes. This declaration will help ensure a speedy and efficient recovery process, and will open the door to additional federal assistance that these counties may qualify for.
  • Monday, May 20, 2013 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Texas Task Force 1 Deploying to Oklahoma
    Texas Task Force 1, the state's elite search and rescue team, was activated this evening to assist local officials and first responders in Oklahoma following today's tornado outbreak.
  • Monday, May 20, 2013 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on Oklahoma Tornado Damage
    The images emerging from Oklahoma today are a terrifying reminder of how quickly the force of Mother Nature can devastate entire communities. Our hearts are heavy for all Americans who have been affected by the recent outbreak of storms across our country. State emergency assets in Texas will remain on alert and stand ready to help our neighbors any way we can.
  • Monday, May 20, 2013 • Austin, Texas • Proclamation
    Gov. Perry Again 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, May 17, 2013 • Austin, Texas • Speech
    Gov. Perry’s Remarks on the Granbury Storm Damage
    Gov. Rick Perry today toured the communities impacted by Wednesday’s deadly tornadoes. He was joined by state and local officials to discuss damage response and recovery efforts.