TEXAS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BRIEFS, LINKS & TIPS
TDEM HIRES TWO NEW DEPUTY ASSISTANT DIRECTORS
The Texas Division of Emergency Management has two new Deputy Assistant Directors. Tom Polonis has been hired as the Deputy Assistant Director for Response and Shari Ramirez-MacKay has been hired as the Deputy Assistant Director for Services. Polonis served 34 years with the San Antonio Police Department. He was Deputy Incident Commander during Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and was a key leader in development of the San Antonio Type 3 Incident Management Team as well as the Alamo Regional Command Center. Polonis retired from SAPD in 2010 and became Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of San Antonio.
Shari Ramirez-MacKay most recently was the Department Fiscal Planning Manager for the San Antonio Office of Emergency Management, overseeing a more than $40 million Homeland Security Grant budget and a multi-million dollar general fund budget. Ramirez-MacKay volunteered to work with the City of San Antonio’s Type III Incident Management Team, and quickly filled the role of the Finance/Administration Section Chief for the Alamo Type III IMT as well as the Finance Section Chief for the Alamo Regional Command Center.
FLOOD SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK
There is no greater way to save lives in Texas than to increase public awareness about the dangers of driving into water across a road – especially at night when visibility is poor. The National Weather Service and the Texas Division of Emergency Management will highlight the dangers of flash floods to Texas drivers during Flood Safety Awareness Week March 14-18. But it’s critical to emphasize flash flood safety all year round. Younger, bolder drivers especially need to be reminded they could lose their lives – or their cars by driving into water across a road. Visit TDEM’s Flood Safety Awareness page for more information.
FCC PROVIDES FACT SHEET FOR EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS
The Federal Communications Commission Consumer Fact Sheet explains three basic communications components used during an emergency: 911, the emergency alert system and radio/cable TV updates. It also explains what emergency personnel, telephone service providers and broadcast systems must provide the public during an emergency. The section for persons with speech and/or hearing disabilities includes suggestions for working with their communications providers, as well as what is required of Video Relay Service and Internet Protocol Relay Service providers for their subscribers. Visit the Disability.gov website for more information.
ENGAGING THE WHOLE COMMUNITY: COMPREHENSIVE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE
FEMA recently updated its Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG 101) which helps members of the emergency management community work toward ensuring that no members of the community are forgotten when it comes to emergency planning. FEMA wants all members of a community taken into consideration when plans are made – and encouraged to share responsibility in taking actions to protect themselves. That includes individuals with access and functional needs, children and owners of household pets and service animals. Read FEMA’s guide on Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans for more information.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS SITES AND CHILDREN
Want to learn more about the needs of children when planning for evacuation and sheltering? Want to learn how you can help children themselves learn more about disaster preparedness? A number of links can help you with additional information.