2013 TEXAS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
The 2013 Texas Emergency Management Conference was held last week at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio, where the emergency management community gathered to discuss best practices and lessons learned in emergency management.
The four-day conference attracted nearly 3,000 attendees from across the state to participate in emergency management workshops, presentations, training sessions and exhibits. Conference participants include representatives from local, state and federal law enforcement, border security and port security, transportation and cyber security, as well as firefighters, emergency medical personnel, Texas Military Forces, volunteer organizations and private sector partners. Attendees also included officials from higher education, public education, health and medical care, and public officials from local, state and federal government. Representatives of more than 30 state agencies on the Governor’s Emergency Management Council are also participating in the conference.
The opening session was highlighted by keynote speaker, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw. He was joined by officials including TDEM Chief W. Nim Kidd, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service Director Tom Boggus, the Adjutant General Major General John Nichols, Texas Department of State Health Services Director Doctor David Lakey, and Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council Executive Director Eric Epley.
This year’s conference attracted over 125 exhibitors including Intrado, Texas Task Force 1, JTF, DPS SWAT, BCFS, the San Antonio Fire Department and more. Over 180 workshops were offered with topics ranging from Emergency Management Planning to Mass Care to Fire as a Weapon. Many groups such as the EMPG Steering Committee, TEMAC, and EMAT utilized this opportunity to hold meetings.
Every year TDEM solicits feedback via an online survey. The conference planning committee uses this survey to improve the conference from year to year. This year the addition of a Smartphone App improved schedule accessibility and the ability to view last-minute changes in real time. A new attendee tracking system will assist in ensuring emergency management topics presented in workshops meet the needs of the attendees. Finally, a new and improved workshop selection process opened the conference to new, timely presentations from across the state.
Planning for the 2014 conference is already underway. The 2013 conference survey should be out soon. Please take a few moments to respond and help us improve the conference. Questions, suggestions, concerns and more can also be submitted to the planning committee via email: TDEM.CONFERENCE@dps.texas.gov.