Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2011 Vol. 58 No. 12

Texas Emergency Management Briefs, Tips and Links

GARY JONES: THE END OF AN ERA
FEMA Region 6 Deputy Administrator Gary Jones has announced he will retire at the end of this year. He has served as the Region 6 Deputy Administrator for the past 17 years. A native of Arkansas, Jones began his career with the Arkansas Department of Health in the 1970s, and went to work for FEMA in 1983. During his time with FEMA, he notes having responded, in a leadership role, to more than 300 disasters including such major events as Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Georges, the Oklahoma City bombing, Tropical Storm Allison, the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “I have been blessed in my 46 year state and federal career,” Jones said. “All of the positions I have held during those years have helped to serve our American people in some way.” Click here to read more about his life and career and view photos of him over the years.

HARRIS COUNTY RECEIVES TWO EXCELLENCE IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AWARDS
The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) is the proud recipient of two Excellence in Emergency Management awards. The Emergency Management Association of Texas (EMAT) honored HCOHSEM for providing timely and accurate emergency information through its Regional Joint Information Center (JIC) website and for its Business Commodities Plan, which is designed to help support local government response efforts during an emergency. Through a collaboration of various public, private sector and non-profit partners, the JIC disseminates important and life saving information into every corner of the community.  The Business Commodities Plan was created to work in conjunction with the Harris County Points of Distribution (POD) plan. It establishes how businesses and government can work together to provide the necessary assistance specific to the needs of the community affected by disaster. The Excellence in Emergency Management Awards recognize outstanding state and local emergency management projects, activities and campaigns that further the goals of saving lives and protecting property by mitigating, preparing for, responding to, or recovering from disasters and emergencies in Texas. HCOHSEM was recognized at EMAT’s annual conference in Odessa.

HAYS COUNTY CERT TO RECEIVE AWARD
The Hays County Community Emergency Response Team has been selected as one of four teams to receive an award in the national 2011 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards program. Winners were selected in 13 categories of awards and special individual awards. Recognized in the “Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives” category, Hays County CERT was named as one of three Honorable Mentions. Nationally, there are more than 1,100 registered CERT organizations affiliated with state, county and community sponsors. Texas, with 103 registered CERTs, has the largest state representation in the national program. The awards recognize accomplishments that took place during the award period of Jan. 1, 2010 through June 1, 2011. Hays County CERT was established by Commissioners Court in April 2003 and is organized under the leadership of Hays County Office of Emergency Management. Since its formation, Hays County CERT has grown from a handful of volunteers to nearly 100, serving all sections of the county. It has supported a large number of emergency operations including providing rehab for firefighters in major structure and wildland fires, managed and operated shelters for hurricane victims, and assisted in searches for evidence and missing persons searches as well as assisting with special events.

TEXAS ETN A 2011 IAEM AWARD WINNER
Texas was represented well at the 2011 International Association of Emergency Management Conference. The Texas Emergency Tracking Network walked away with this year’s IAEM-Global Partners in Preparedness Award for its cooperative data-sharing project. The award recognizes programs or processes that demonstrate innovative, multi-participant involvement between local governments/governmental entities and private sector businesses, non-governmental organizations/non-profits, or individuals which have resulted in effective and efficient incident management, emergency management or homeland security processes. Project partners include the Texas Department of State Health Services, Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council, Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, Sabine-Neches Chief’s Association, University of Texas Center for Space Research and Radiant RFID, LLC. Read more about the awards and winners by visiting the IAEM 2011 Award Winners webpage.

NEW ONLINE BASIC PIO COURSE
EMI has announced it is now offering IS29 Public Information Officer (PIO) Awareness, an online course designed for new or less experienced state or local PIOs or those who have that role as a secondary function. The online course covers basic information about the role of a state or local PIO and provides an orientation to the public information function and the role of the PIO in the public safety/emergency management environment. Individuals who need a basic awareness of the public information function can click here to take the course online. When they have completed it, they can take the online test, fill out the student information and submit the test for scoring. FEMA’s EMI Independent Study (IS) office will notify them via email of the results. For further enrollment information, users may contact the IS office via email independent.study@dhs.gov or call 301-447-1200 or toll free at 800-238-3358, (ext. 1200).

HELP YOUR PLANTS SURVIVE THE TEXAS DROUGHT
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has launched a new website to provide more information about water conservation and help the public survive the drought. Ron McQueen, Meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says Texas is experiencing the worst one-year drought on record, and adds that the state is heading for its second La Niña winter in a row, which means there is a greater likelihood of having a warmer and dryer winter season. To that end, TPWD states it developed the website, aptly named, “The State of Water: Drought Survival Kit,” as an online resource to provide more information for Texans to know how to help wildlife, save your yard and cut your water bill. Meteorologists say the end to the drought won't come anytime soon, so Texas Parks and Wildlife Department created its virtual survival kit.

NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE HAZARD REDUCTION PROGRAM
FEMA and the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) will host multiple sessions of the E-74 Webinar: Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage until February 2012. This free, FEMA-sponsored 1½ hour webinar describes the sources and types of nonstructural earthquake damage and effective methods individuals and organizations can implement before the next earthquake to minimize future injuries and property losses from nonstructural risks. Save the date for one of the webinar offerings below. View the webinar flyer for more information, or for questions or additional information, email fema-nehrp@dhs.gov.

West Coast Event  - Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm PST
Webinar Link: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nehrp-webinar/
Audio: Dial 1-(888) 387-8686, Conference ID:  5416036

Central U.S. Event - Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CST
Webinar Link: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nehrp-webinar/
Audio: Dial 1-(888) 387-8686, Conference ID:  5416036

Pacific NorthWest Event - Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm PST
Webinar Link: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nehrp-webinar/ 
Audio: Dial 1-(888) 387-8686, Conference ID:  5416036

SAVE THE DATE: 2012 TEXAS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
The Texas Division of Emergency Management will host the 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio April 2-5. Each year, TDEM hosts this premier event that brings together thousands of emergency management and law enforcement professionals, local elected officials, private sector partners and more from across the state. The conference provides a full spectrum of emergency management-related workshops, trainings and exhibits from a wide array of vendors. More information about the conference will be distributed in the weeks ahead.


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