Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2010 Vol. 57 No. 2

TEXAS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BRIEFS, LINKS & TIPS

SBA ASSISTANCE CAN BE QUICKER AND FASTER
Remnants of Hurricane Karl caused flooding in the Coastal Bend area Sept. 18-24. Nueces County received a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster declaration, making low-interest federal disaster loans available in Nueces County and the contiguous counties of Aransas, Kleberg, Jim Wells and San Patricio. This allows SBA to provide up to $250,000 in low interest loans per residence for repairs not otherwise covered by insurance. When it’s not clear whether a community would qualify for a presidential disaster declaration, an SBA declaration can open the door to federal assistance for homeowners more rapidly than the lengthy review process required for a presidential declaration. For information on SBA disaster loans, see: http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/SERV_APPLY_FOR_A_DISASTER_LOAN.html

TEXAS FLASH FLOOD COALITION
The Texas Flash Flood Coalition held its annual workshop in San Marcos this year in mid-October. TFFC is an organization dedicated to decreasing the number of deaths due to flash flooding in Texas. Speakers discussed recent flood events resulting from tropical systems that affected Texas this year, as well as research on what causes drivers to risk their lives driving into flooded roadways. The Texas Flash Flood Coalition was formed in the fall of 2007 in response to a large number of flood fatalities. More than 30 representatives of higher education, media, private industry, local, state and federal governments participate. For more information, see: http://floodsafety.org/ and http://tadd.weather.gov/tadd-intro.shtml

TEXAS WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS DAY IS NOVEMBER 10
The National Weather Service and the Texas Division of Emergency Management will be marking Winter Weather Awareness day on November 10. This is an opportunity to boost public awareness on the need to get ready for ice storms, which can cut electric power off for days or weeks. Plan ahead and read up on winter storm preparedness at: /dem/ThreatAwareness/winterstorm.htm

WINTER FIRE OUTLOOK GRIM
The Texas Forest Service is warning about elevated risk of wildland fires for the 2010-2011 winter season. Rains in recent months have produced an above average amount of “fuel” in the form of grass and brush. In addition, La Nina conditions, or cooler temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, are predicted to continue through spring. The National Weather Service said this pattern typically means storm systems that occur will be well to the north of Texas. Little rain and above normal temperatures are likely to produce an “early and active” fire season throughout the Southern Plains states. Learn more about wildfires at: http://txforestservice.tamu.edu/main/default.aspx

DID YOU KNOW?
Ninety percent of all disasters in the United States are not declared as federal disasters. Flood insurance pays for damages even if a disaster is not declared. Nationwide, 25 to 30 percent of all flood claims occur in areas rated at only low to moderate risk of floods. Flood insurance is available to any property owner or renter located in a community participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. Statewide, more than 1,100 Texas communities are enrolled in the regular program. Click on: http://www.flash.org/peril_flood.php

SMALL BUSINESS PREPAREDNESS
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working to develop preparedness plans for small businesses. DHS is soliciting public comment on a private sector readiness certification program. The program is intended to provide small businesses with information and training to help them respond during disasters. Click on: http://www.fema.gov/privatesectorpreparedness

For additional information on preparedness for small businesses, see:
http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/disasterpreparedness/index.html