Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2010 Vol. 57 No. 3

TEXAS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BRIEFS, LINKS & TIPS

SAVE THE DATE: 2011 TEXAS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
Mark your calendars! The Texas Division of Emergency Management will host the Texas Emergency Management Conference April 26-29, 2011 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. Save the date and visit the conference webpage for more information.

G-235 EMERGENCY PLANNING COURSE REVISED
For many years, emergency management professionals throughout Texas have attended the G-235 Emergency Planning course. The course has been revised, and beginning in January 2011, will be presented as G-235A – Advanced Emergency Planning. The new course emphasizes local planning concepts while providing state and federal foundational material, and includes a Basic Plans and Annexes workshop. Attendees may bring their jurisdiction’s respective plans and receive one-to-one and small-group assistance from the TDEM Plans Unit staff. Read the course description on the Preparing Texas website.

G-720 MITIGATION GRANTS WORKSHOP REGISTRATION OPEN
The Texas Division of Emergency Management’s Mitigation Section will offer the G-720 Mitigation Grants course twice in 2011; March 22 - 23 in Walker County, and July 28 - 30 in Austin. This course provides overviews and contact information for the five FEMA Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant programs; the Texas Department of Rural Affairs (TDRA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) / Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Emergency Watershed program; and the Public Assistance program. It will provide the “how to” guidelines for anyone creating or managing mitigation applications or projects under these programs. Each class has a 30 student capacity. Registration must be completed through Preparing Texas. Early registration is encouraged. Classes with fewer than 15 students may be canceled one week prior to the event. Register today to reserve your seat. No prerequisites required.

WINTER ICE AWARENESS
Is your community prepared for ice storms? Here’s an important message from the TDEM Public Information Section: When power lines weighted with ice sink down to touch other objects, they can charge cables, chain link fences and even tree limbs with electricity. Make sure your residents know to contact the local power company for assistance. Another important safety message about ice storms or any other severe power-cutting weather event is: never operate generators or other fuel-powered devices inside a home or an enclosed space like a garage. Carbon monoxide can build up inside enclosed spaces, causing sickness and death. For more information, visit the American Red Cross website and TDEM’s Winter Weather Awareness page.

FLOOD INSURANCE: YOU GOTTA HAVE IT
As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), your residents are eligible to purchase flood insurance. Most insurance policies do NOT include coverage for damage from floods – yet two inches of water in a home can cost a homeowner more than $7000 in repairs and replacement. New land development can increase the risk of flooding – even if your area has not previously been subject to floods. Encourage residents of your community to purchase flood insurance. State and local officials can visit FEMA’s NFIP page for more information.

RECOVERY FACT: DID YOU KNOW?
It is not possible to provide a “sound bite” to media on the total cost of a disaster to a community or area immediately after disaster strikes. Why? Too many moving parts. Some damages are repaired with no reporting required. Some damages are covered by insurance. Goods, services and labor are provided by a multitude of voluntary agencies, including those working with Long Term Recovery Committees. Total costs of replacing roads and bridges or mitigation measures may not be known for months or years. Example: A $1 million city building is destroyed, but the city is partially repaid by $900,000 in insurance – leaving $100,000. If FEMA pays 75 percent of the uninsured loss, the city – and the community – has only “lost” $25,000.


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