TEXAS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BRIEFS, LINKS & TIPS
READ IT, WEEP AND CHECK YOUR EMERGENCY PLANS
Hurricane season is just around the corner and some sources are already predicting an above average hurricane season for 2011. Hurricane guru Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University is predicting 17 named storms, of which nine will be hurricanes and five will be major hurricanes. This and more is outlined in the Department of Atmospheric Science report. In addition, the private forecaster Accuweather is predicting there will be 15 named tropical storms, eight hurricanes with three of them major hurricanes.
TIFMAS ROLE IN FIREFIGHTING
TIFMAS, or the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, is a partnership involving several fire fighting organizations. That includes the Texas Forest Service, Texas Fire Chiefs Association, State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals' Association, Texas State Association of Fire Fighters and Texas Commission on Fire Protection. The program includes training, qualification and mobilization systems to make statewide use of local resources. TIFMAS is a product of Senate Bill 11 enacted in 2007. It is a voluntary process and does not require departments to send resources to incidents. Since this current winter wildfire season began in November 2010, Gov. Rick Perry has requested the activation of TIFMAS strike teams four times to respond to Texas wildfires. This current fire season marks another major activation for TIFMAS. It previously was activated during Hurricane Ike and on April 9, 2009, when nearly two dozen wildfires raced across the state, burning more than 150,000 acres including two entire towns in Montague County. Visit the Texas Forest Service’s TIFMAS Web page to learn more.
CRITICAL WILDFIRE MESSAGES FOR YOUR COMMUNITY
There are two critical messages for the public during this year’s unprecedented wildfire season. The first is: When you are told to evacuate, don’t wait – get out as rapidly as possible. The second is: Don’t drive into smoke on the road. Wildfire safety messages can be found on TDEM’s Wildfire Awareness page. And, if you are interested in keeping up with the latest information on wildfires and fires in Texas, visit TDEM’s Wildfire Information Links page, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Texas Fire Chiefs Association, the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association and the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.
FEMA 2011-2014 STRATEGIC PLAN
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released its Strategic Plan for 2011-2014. The plan outlines FEMA’s focus to foster a whole community approach to emergency management. FEMA also released Publication #1, which it considers to be its capstone doctrine and defines FEMA’s history, mission, purpose, and ethos.
WHAT TO DO WHEN THE SHOOTING STARTS
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had announced a new Independent Study Course titled: Active Shooter, What You Can Do (IS-907). This is a free, online training course developed to provide the public with guidance on what to do if they find themselves in a situation where an individual is attempting to kill people in a confined and crowded area. This new online training is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI). The course takes about 45 minutes and explains what do when confronted with an active shooter and law enforcement officials responding to the scene. And, another related online FEMA course that may be of interest is IS-906 - Workplace Security Awareness. For more information on DHS critical infrastructure protection and resilience programs visit: www.dhs.gov/criticalinfrastructure.
OF INTEREST TO TEXAS VOLUNTEERS
The Texas Division of Emergency Management’s State Voluntary Liaison, Anna Tangredi, reminds volunteers and members of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters to save these dates: May 24-26 for the 2011 National VOAD Conference in Kansas City, Mo., and the 2011 Citizen Corps/Texas VOAD Conference June 20-22 at the Omni Hotel in Austin.
2011 HURRICANE WORKSHOP IN HOUSTON
The Houston/Galveston National Weather Service Hurricane Workshop: “Ready or Not” takes place at the George R. Brown Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat., June 4. It will feature discussions of Hurricane Carla and Tropical Storm Allison. This workshop is FREE and targeted to the general public, so activities are offered for both adults and children.