Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2011 Vol. 58 No. 2

MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF

Penny Redington, Judge John Thompson, & Chief W. Nim Kidd at a conference 
in Austin.

One of our challenges in 2011 is that thousands of planning documents must be reviewed and approved by the Texas Division of Emergency Management Plans Unit. This situation is going to require intense efforts on our part. But we intend to meet the challenge, and we encourage you to work with us as we do so.

Why are so many plans and annexes up for review in 2011? The simple answer is that five years have passed since they were reviewed in 2006. A backlog in plan reviews in the 2005-2006 period were partly a result of requirements involving the National Incident Management System implemented that year by the federal government. In addition, as many of you recall, TDEM responded to Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in the autumn of 2005 and experienced one of the worst wildfire seasons in state history in 2006.

The review and approval process is critical because jurisdictions must meet a specified level of planning readiness to qualify for Homeland Security Grants and Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG).

We have reviewed the records and have identified all local jurisdictions whose basic plan and annex revisions are due this year. We will take the following steps:

  1. We will contact your jurisdiction.
  2. We will identify the plans and annexes that must be submitted for review.
  3. We will work with your jurisdiction to get these plans submitted as early in the process as possible.
  4. We are implementing a new electronic planning review system that should make the process more efficient and effective.
  5. We are conducting planning workshops to help local jurisdictions develop their planning documents.

We hope this new process, with some additional measures we are considering, will enhance our ability to review plans in a timely manner. We hope you will work with us as we continue through this process, and that this initiative may pave the way for regional coordination on a variety of issues in the future.

Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM®


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