Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2011 Vol. 58 No. 8

TEXAS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BRIEFS, LINKS & TIPS

NEW LOOK FOR TDEM WEB SITE
The Texas Division of Emergency Management has launched its newly designed Web site with the goal of making the site more attractive and easier to navigate. Rotating banners on the homepage highlight timely news and feature stories. Tabs below the rotating banners provide General Info, information for the general public, and Division Info, information of use to jurisdictions. A Disaster Information section in the top right corner of the homepage provides easy access to disaster-related information. The TDEM Councils and Committees pages can be found by visiting the Councils and Committees page (a link to this is on General Info tab on the homepage) and on the About Us page. Look for the drop down menu with a listing of the councils and committees. Questions? Email TDEM.WEB@dps.texas.gov.

MITIGATION FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR WILDFIRES
As a result of an add-on requested by the state in the wake of the federal wildfire declaration, funding for mitigation projects will be made available statewide. FEMA originally designated 45 counties to be reimbursed for emergency protective measures taken to fight wildfires between April 6 and May 3. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, created to help reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters, provides grants to states, local governments and certain nonprofit organizations to implement long-term solutions to reduce the potential for future damages. While available statewide, priority of funding goes to declared counties.

APPLICANT BRIEFINGS BY WEBINAR
For the first time, TDEM Recovery has been holding wildfire disaster applicant briefings by Webinar. The briefings are held for declared counties and eligible entities within the counties.  The twice weekly briefings allow the Recovery Section to provide a convenient forum to busy officials so that questions on assistance programs and paperwork required can be answered.  TDEM District Coordinators and Recovery Section personnel are also available to help, but the Webinar provides one-stop shopping, which allows information to be efficiently disseminated to a large audience. For more information, contact: Wendell Allen Public Assistance Officer, Texas Division of Emergency Management. Office: 512.424.7818. For a video that explains the applicant briefing process, view TDEM’s Applicant Guidance Video Part One and Part Two.

WILDFIRE APPLICANT INFORMATION
Local officials interested in more information on assistance and reimbursement for wildfire costs for 45 counties in the federal disaster declaration can check these helpful links on the TDEM Web site. The information is intended to brief applicants on some of the basics. Visit the main DR-1999 webpage for more information. In addition, there is a direct link on the DR_1999 page to an Applicants’ Briefing PDF Slideshow.

TxETN Wins the TASSCC Excellence Award
The Texas Division of Emergency Management and Texas Department of State Health Services have been awarded the Texas Association of State Systems for Computing and Communication (TASSC) Excellence Award for 2010. The award recognizes organizations that have implemented a technical application significantly improving internal operations, customer service, or communications. The award will be presented to TDEM and DSHS at a luncheon on August 9th in San Antonio at the TASSCC Annual Conference.

Texas Emergency Tracking Network (TxETN) is a collaborative project to track all evacuees under state care -- whether general population or medical -- into a common statewide database. The network shares data between four evacuee tracking systems which operate in different functional and/or regional areas. The late TDEM Chief, Jack Colley, initiated the project in 2009 after Hurricane Ike, identifying that although evacuee tracking had progressed dramatically, it still failed to track individuals between systems. Though TDEM and DSHS jointly funded the project, many entities participated in the collaborative effort including the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council, Sabine Neches Chief’s Association and UT Center for Space Research. TxETN links ESI’s WebEOC, Radiant RFID’s EvacCenter, Intermedix’s EMTrack and SNCA to exchange specific data elements.

NIMSCAST
Eligibility for homeland security grant funds require jurisdictions to fulfill their annual compliance objectives and metrics by the federal deadline date of September 30, 2011. Each jurisdiction that has adopted the National Incident Management System (NIMS) is responsible for determining the NIMS training that staff members should complete. NIMS training is available to state, territorial, tribal, local jurisdictions and voluntary agencies. This year, no new training objectives have been added to the current NIMS requirements. However a few new objectives have been added to the NIMS Capability Assessment Support Tool (NIMSCAST). These new NIMSCAST objectives include:

  • Explanation boxes. The “none applicable” or “No” responses need to include a brief description in the boxes provided.
  • Inventory response assets section. This takes users to the NIMS National Resource Typing Definitions and NIMS Resource Center. This section is not required by those individuals who already have resource typing software, but that should be explained in the boxes provided.
  • An implementing NIMS ICS forms section that takes users to the ICS Forms and NIMS Resource Center.

The NIMS Capability Assessment Support Tool (NIMSCAST) should be used to track NIMS compliance for your jurisdiction. For NIMSCAST account information, contact your region’s Council of Government (COG) NIMSCAST point-of-contact.

If you have additional questions, please contact TDEM Planners: Melanie Moss, telephone: (512) 424-7054 or Gabriela Stermolle, telephone: (512) 424-5989.

All NIMS-related courses can be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI) website.


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