Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2011 Vol. 58 No. 11

TEMO BRIEFS

UPCOMING CONFERENCES
Stay up to date on future emergency management conferences and events taking place around the state by visiting TDEM’s Conference Calendar webpage. If you don’t see your organization’s event listed, email the details to TDEM.WEB@dps.texas.gov.

HAZARD MITIGATION GRANTS AVAILABLE
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding is available throughout Texas as a result of the major disaster declaration for the Texas wildfires. The state and FEMA will give priority to wildfire mitigation projects that reduce or eliminate long-term risk from the threat of future fires. Other plans outlining effective and life-saving mitigation projects that foster safer communities will also be considered. All applications for HMGP grants must be submitted by March 23, 2012.

Click here to download the TDEM HMGP Fact Sheet for more information. Interested persons may also contact TDEM Hazard Mitigation Specialist Wendy Kirby via phone (512) 424-5478 or email: wendy.kirby@dps.texas.gov. FEMA provides cost-share grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. FEMA funds 75 percent of a project’s cost, while the state or applicant covers the remaining 25 percent. Visit FEMA's mitigation grant program webpage for more information. To read first-hand experiences about successful mitigation projects and practices, visit FEMA’s Mitigation Best Practices Portfolio webpage

EMERGENCY GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS
Based on extreme drought conditions and unprecedented fire response activity across the state, state leadership has recently committed $5 million to assist volunteer fire departments with expenses and critical needs. An estimated 1,750 fire departments are eligible for a State of Texas Emergency Grant, including Volunteer Fire Departments and Combination Fire Departments (part-volunteer, part-paid) with 20 or fewer paid members. Grant funding is to assist VFDs with their higher than normal expenses and may be used to reimburse departments for Protective Gear and Clothing (PPE), Repairs to Essential Equipment, Operating Expenses (such as fuel, tires, hose, supplies and materials). Applications are due November 16, 2011. Visit the Fire Grants Help website to learn more and download an application. You may also contact the Texas Forest Service Emergency Grants staff via email: tfs@tfs.tamu.edu, or phone: (936) 639-8100 for more information.

REMINDER: NATIONAL EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM TEST NOV. 9
The first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, or EAS, will take place at 1:00 p.m., Central Time, and 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time, November 9, 2011. The broadcasters, along with FEMA and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), have been working hard to ensure both the success of the test and that the public is informed and fully aware in advance. Visit the FCC’s website for more information about the EAS, and download a copy of FEMA’s EAS Informational Toolkit.

TEXAS UNIVERSITIES IMPLEMENT 360 EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEMS
During the past Texas Legislative session, HB 2758 was passed requiring private, public, and independent institutions of higher education to establish an emergency alert system that uses e‐mail, telephone, and any other notification method appropriate to provide timely notification to students and staff. Midland College and West Texas A&M University are two Texas institutions of higher learning that have implemented an EAS system. The law, which went into effect September 1, 2011, requires institutions to obtain personal telephone numbers and e‐mail addresses of all students upon enrollment and staff upon employment in order to register them in the alert system. A student or staff member may elect in writing to not participate. The information collected will be confidential. The alert system must be in place by the spring 2012 semester.


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