Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2012 Vol. 59 No. 1

Message From The Chief

Message from the Chief

Save The Date

April 2-5, 2012

Texas

Emergency Management Conference
San Antonio, TX

While the Texas Division of Emergency Management has several new projects and initiatives planned for this year, I want to focus your attention on two items in particular: Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs) and the 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference.

Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs)
As local jurisdictions and the state prepare for the 2012 fire season, I want to make local and state agencies aware of FEMA’s Fire Management Assistance Grant program and other considerations for the year. In order for a fire to receive an FMAG declaration, the following are four criteria FEMA uses to evaluate the threat of a fire or fire complex:

  1. Threat to lives and improved property, including threats to critical facilities/infrastructure, and critical watershed areas (i.e. in the past 100 homes has been the marker.)
  2. Availability of state and local firefighting resources;
  3. High fire danger conditions, as indicated by nationally accepted indices such as the National Fire Danger Ratings System;
  4. Potential major economic impact.

Before an initial grant award (funding) to the state under a FMAG declaration can be approved, the state must demonstrate that total eligible costs for the declared fire meets or exceeds either the individual fire cost threshold, which is applied to a single fire, or the cumulative fire cost threshold, which recognizes numerous smaller fires burning throughout a state. Under the cumulative fire cost threshold, assistance will only be provided for the declared fire responsible for meeting or exceeding the cumulative fire cost threshold and any future declared fires for that calendar year.

What does this mean? The individual fire cost threshold for Texas in 2012 is $1,634,461 (25,145,561 – Texas’ population X 5% X $1.30). A declared individual fire that meets this threshold would be funded. The cumulative fire cost threshold for Texas in 2012, is $4,903,383 (3 X the individual fire cost threshold – as stated above). A declared fire that put the state over that threshold and any future declared fires for the calendar year would be funded as well.

To become eligible for this assistance, I urge first responders to report their fire costs through the Texas Forest Service (TFS) reporting system to help ensure all FMAGs are funded. The responsibility and importance for local responders to enter their firefighting costs into the TFS website cannot be overemphasized. If you have problems or questions, contact the help desk number at (979) 458-7306. You can also click the ‘contact us’ link at the bottom of the webpage.

Save the Date: 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference
TDEM will host the 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference April 2-5 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. I ask that you please save the date for this event. The conference presents an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues in the emergency management community before you need to work with them in an actual disaster. From severe drought to wildland fires and mitigation to recovery, this year’s conference will focus on some of the most relevant subjects yet. We’ve listened to your feedback from the 2011 conference survey, so be sure to check out the changes we’re making to the registration and workshops, while keeping those elements that received rave reviews. Visit the TDEM Conferences webpage and stay tuned to your inbox for more information.

Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM®
Follow @chiefkidd on Twitter

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