Office of the Governor Rick Perry

RP57 – Relating to implementing recommendations from the Governor's Task Force on Evacuation, Transportation, and Logistics.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006  •  Executive Order

BY THE
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
Executive Department
Austin, Texas
March 21, 2006


WHEREAS
, the Governor’s Task Force on Evacuation, Transportation and Logistics was appointed to document the lessons learned from the Hurricane Rita evacuation, identify key challenges of urban area mass evacuations in Texas, and recommend improvements to state, regional, and local evacuation planning and execution; and
WHEREAS, the Task Force conducted public hearings across Texas to gather and document input from stakeholders to develop recommendations; and
WHEREAS, on February 14, 2006, the Task Force issued a final report containing recommendations to improve the State’s ability to plan and execute mass evacuations in the five key areas: command, control, and communications; evacuation of people with special needs; fuel availability; traffic flow; and public awareness;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following:


  1. Direction and oversight. The State Director of Homeland Security shall ensure this executive order is carried out in a manner consistent with the report and recommendations of the Task Force.

  2. Command, control, and communications.To improve command, control, and communications during mass evacuations, the Emergency Management Directors (County Judges and Mayors) within each of the state’s 24 Councils of Government shall establish a Regional Unified Command Structure (RUCS), and appoint a single Incident Commander for the Regional Unified Command Structure. Each Regional Unified Command Structure will be responsible for preparing for and responding to catastrophic events within the region. Each Incident Commander will be the operational commander within the region during a disaster response, including a mass evacuation. An Incident Commander will serve a term of not less than one year. The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall oversee the implementation of the Regional Unified Command Structure throughout the state. Each Regional Unified Command Structure shall be established no later than April 18, 2006, and the composition of regional unified command, to include the name and qualifications of the Incident Commander, shall be provided to the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management no later than April 20, 2006.The Texas Department of Public Safety shall provide to each Regional Unified Command Structure a senior-level commissioned officer with appropriate staff to represent the State as each Regional Unified Command Structure prepares for and responds to a catastrophic event within the region.
    The Texas Department of Public Safety shall assume responsibility for command, control, and communications, as well as other operational tasks as directed by the Governor, during evacuations and other disaster response operations that involve multiple Regional Unified Command Structures.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall create eight Regional Response Teams (RRT) to support multi-jurisdictional operations during catastrophic events.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall develop a statewide hurricane evacuation and shelter plan to save lives and reduce the vulnerability of Texans in the event of disasters.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall oversee the implementation of regional response and evacuation plans throughout the state.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall coordinate with independent school districts and public colleges, universities and university systems to provide transportation assets and facilities to enable the execution of state and local evacuation and shelter plans.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall develop policies and procedures to reimburse school districts and public colleges, universities and university systems for evacuation, shelter, or transportation-related expenses in the event that the Texas Legislature or United States Congress designates funding for this purpose.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall direct an annual hurricane evacuation exercise to test the readiness of state and local evacuation and sheltering plans in the event of a disaster.

  3. Evacuation of people with special needs.To ensure the safe and efficient evacuation of Texans with special needs in the event of a disaster, I hereby direct the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management to coordinate with the Department of State Health Services, the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, and other appropriate state agencies to define the term “special needs,” and develop a statewide evacuation and shelter plan for persons with special needs.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall coordinate with the Department of State Health Services, the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Governor’s Committee on Persons with Disabilities, other appropriate state agencies, local governments, and appropriate stakeholder groups to develop criteria for evacuation plans for all special needs facilities, to include both licensed and unlicensed facilities.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall ensure local jurisdictions and Regional Unified Command Structures approve evacuation plans maintained by special needs facilities.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall develop and implement a statewide database to assist in the evacuation of the special needs population, with coastal jurisdictions as a priority. RUCS shall be responsible for collecting and providing information for the statewide database.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall develop and implement a plan to address the evacuation and sheltering needs of individuals with companion animals.

  4. Fuel availability and distribution. To improve fuel availability and distribution during a mass evacuation, I do hereby direct the Texas Department of Transportation to coordinate with the Texas Oil and Gas Association and other industry partners to develop a plan to address fuel availability along major evacuation routes and establish a fuel operations function in the State Operations Center to coordinate the distribution of fuel prior to and during evacuations.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall work with local officials to ensure locally developed evacuation plans address fuel availability during an evacuation.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall establish procedures to distribute fuel in a prioritized manner during an emergency.
    The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management shall develop policies and procedures to reimburse local governments and other support entities for evacuation-related fuel costs in the event that the Texas Legislature or United States Congress designates funding for this purpose.

  5. Traffic control and management.To improve traffic control and management during a mass evacuation, I do hereby direct the Texas Department of Public Safety to assume traffic management authority over designated evacuation routes during multi-jurisdictional evacuations in order to move large populations and heavy traffic in a highly-coordinated manner.
    The Texas Department of Transportation shall coordinate with the Texas Department of Public Safety to develop contra-flow plans for major hurricane evacuation routes as identified by the Task Force on Evacuation, Transportation and Logistics.
    The Texas Department of Transportation shall implement short and long-term solutions to reduce congestion on the one-lane section of U.S. Highway 290 at Brenham, Texas, during an evacuation.
    The Texas Department of Transportation shall prioritize for implementation the infrastructure projects recommended in the March 2005 Report to the Governor on Texas Hurricane Preparedness, which address obstructions on evacuation routes during mass evacuations.
    The Texas Department of Public Safety shall coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Customs and Border Patrol to expedite the flow of traffic through checkpoints on major hurricane evacuation routes and assist in developing traffic management plans to accommodate increased volume at checkpoints during evacuations.

  6. Public awareness. To increase public awareness, I do hereby direct the Public Utility Commission to work with utility companies that are regulated by the Commission and serve counties in hurricane evacuation zones to include hurricane preparedness and evacuation-related public awareness information in monthly billing statements prior to and during the hurricane season each year.

This executive order supersedes all previous orders in conflict or inconsistent with its terms and shall remain in effect and in full force until it expires by statute or it is modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding governor.
Given under my hand this the 21st day of March, 2006.
RICK PERRY(Signature)
Governor
Attested by:
ROGER WILLIAMS(Signature)
Secretary of State

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