Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2011 Vol. 58 No. 7

TEXAS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BRIEFS, LINKS & TIPS

STATE OPERATIONS CENTER DEDICATED IN HONOR OF JACK COLLEY
The State Operations Center was officially dedicated and renamed the Jack Colley State Operations Center June 16 in honor of the former Chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. In commemoration of his service, a mural with a plaque and photo of Jack Colley now graces the entrance to the State Operations Center.

MITIGATION AND FLOOD GRANTS AVAILABLE
The window is now open to apply for Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) Grants for FY 2012. These grant programs help fund projects that mitigate risk from natural hazards in your jurisdiction. Visit the PDM and RFC page on www.preparingtexas.org  (under the Hot Topics section) for more information. Information for requesting e-Grant access and submitting applications can be found by clicking here for the guidance document.

THIRD WORST DROUGHT
It’s official. The current dry spell from October 2010 to May 2011 is the third worst in Texas history, according to the state climatologist. Droughts in 1918 and 1956 are still ahead of this one. The vast majority of the western half of Texas has received less than two inches of precipitation since December. Experts say Texas has experienced eight droughts in the last 13 years. The National Climatic Data Center, has records of rainfall totals that go as far back as 1895.

For more drought information, see these websites:

ABCs of FEDERAL ASSISTANCE
Federal assistance is provided to help citizens and communities when the disaster exceeds the capability of the state to deal with the event. Federal assistance for individuals and families generally covers uninsured losses and applies only to primary residences, not secondary or vacation homes. Several forms of state and federal assistance are available to individuals and families whether or not a federal disaster has been declared by the president. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may make low interest loans available to homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profits in counties that have 25 or more homes and/or businesses with 40% or more uninsured or underinsured losses. Visit SBA’s Electronic Disaster Loan Application page for more information or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can provide assistance for agriculture and production losses even when a federal disaster declaration has not been issued. Visit the Farm Service Agency’s website for more information. You can also visit FEMA’s website for more information on other assistance you may be eligible for.

NATIONWIDE TEST OF THE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM SET FOR NOV. 9
FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) November 9. The EAS is a national alert and warning system established to enable the President of the United States to address the American public during emergencies. The national test will help the federal partners and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies nationally and regionally. There has never previously been a nationwide activation of the system. Meanwhile, FEMA reminds everyone to build an emergency preparedness kit and have an emergency plan for themselves, their families, communities, and businesses.

TOOLKIT OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY TEXT MESSAGES
A new toolkit of prepared cell phone text messages advising people how to protect their health after a disaster is available now through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These messages support state and local emergency managers in disaster response. Local and state agencies register their interest in using the toolkit by providing contact information to the CDC, so they can receive alerts and updates as the content expands to include health tips for additional types of disasters. More than 400 agencies have registered so far. Visit the CDC Email Updates page for more information.


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