Texas Government Code, Sec. 661.907 states that “a state employee who is a certified disaster service volunteer of the American Red Cross or who is in training to become such a volunteer may be granted leave not to exceed 10 days each fiscal year to participate in specialized disaster relief services for the American Red Cross without a deduction in salary or loss of vacation time, sick leave, earned overtime credit, or state compensatory time if the leave is taken:
(1) on the request of the American Red Cross;
(2) with the authorization of the employee's supervisor; and
(3) with the approval of the governor.
(b) The number of certified disaster service volunteers who are eligible for leave under this section may not exceed 350 state employees at any one time during a fiscal year. The Texas Division of Emergency Management shall coordinate the establishment and maintenance of the list of eligible employees.
(c) Not later than the 60th day after the date the American Red Cross makes a request under Subsection (a)(1), the American Red Cross shall prepare a report for the Legislative Budget Board stating the reasons for the request.”
The Ready Texan program provides state employees an excellent opportunity to represent their agency and to provide prompt relief to Texans affected by disasters. Ready Texans are state employees who have become certified American Red Cross disaster volunteers, and are therefore eligible to receive up to 10 days per fiscal year of disaster leave, when activated by the Office of the Governor. These trained state employees provide instant access to local disaster workers, increasing the states’ ability to respond to disasters.
If you would like to take part in the Ready Texan program please begin by filling out the registration form and emailing it to Liza Chigos, Texas State Program manager, American Red Cross. Liza will provide you with further information about the program and guide you through the process.