2012 SHOWCASE AND EXERCISE
TDEM and many other state agencies and organizations plan, train, and exercise year round to be prepared for hurricanes and other disasters. On June 1, the first day of hurricane season, TDEM along with other state agencies and organizations participated in an exercise at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. More than a dozen state and federal agencies gathered for Texas Governor Rick Perry's review.
"It's not, 'If we're ever going to have another hurricane,' it's going to be, 'When we're going to have that hurricane,'" the governor told media and first responders. "They're projecting between nine and 15 hurricanes during this season, but it only takes one."
Spread out across an open tarmac at the airport, emergency vehicles, equipment, medical and rescue technology presented a sort of "show and tell" of the current and future of disaster readiness in Texas.
Equipment included mobile command centers, bus sized ambulances for multiple patient transport called “ambuses”, rescue boats, air boats, field kitchens for providing meals, mobile hospitals and veterinary hospitals, and heavy roadway equipment. Texas Military Forces showcased a C-130, a Chinook, and a Blackhawk helicopter.
This diverse group of agencies and organizations work together during a disaster to protect and assist Texans before, during, and after times of disaster. Bringing these groups together to practice mobilization for a catastrophic event ensures increased capability during an actual event. Practice makes perfect.
"Vigilance is something that over time starts to wane, and we need focusing events to give us windows of opportunity to get that message out," said Kidd. "That's what I hope we're doing here today."