MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF
First of all, I would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Texas Emergency Management Conference. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet with many of you in person and to put a face with a name. It was also very helpful to hear your concerns and get your input on our continuing efforts to improve preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation programs for this state.
That being said, I would like to follow up by asking you to take a few moments to do three things.The first is to provide us even more input on our conference by taking our conference survey.
The second is to review your own personal preparedness plans for your home and family. The third is to make sure you have a back-up at work – and that your back-up has a back-up.
As emergency managers and first responders we tend to focus mainly on completing the work before us. I have found that it is less often that we take the time to ensure we have the resources and plans in place to ensure our families are taken care of when we are called away.
Gary Lacox, Fire Administration Department Head with the Texas Forest Service, arrived in the State Operations Center February 24, just before the first large fire outbreak this year. He worked without a day off until mid April. It’s what his job requires him to do. He said he and his wife grew up in southeastern Louisiana where preparing for hurricane season was second nature – and so was having a backup plan.
A backup plan means ensuring our family members with access and functional needs have the medications, supplies and personnel support they need when we are called away. It means ensuring we have set aside extra food, water, medicine and other needed supplies for our children, and that we know who can take care of them when we are called away. It means ensuring we have set aside extra food, water, medicine and other needed supplies for our pets and livestock, and that we know who can take care of them when we are called away.
I urge you and I challenge you to prepare a kit, make a plan and take the needed steps now to finalize your backup plan, including knowing who you can turn to if your backup won’t be able to help you.
Click on the links at the bottom of this article – and share them with your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues – to ensure you and those you care about take the time now to prepare for the unexpected events down the road.
I assure you this, no matter who you are, the time will come when you will need to be prepared. Will you be ready?
Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM®