Texas' Emergency Response Team is Second to None. Governor Perry cautions against removal of critical disaster recovery air assets from Texas
Monday, April 02, 2012 ♣ San Antonio, Texas
Governor Rick Perry thanked first responders and emergency management officials for their ongoing efforts to protect Texans' lives and property in times of emergency, most recently during the worst wildfire season in Texas history. The governor spoke at the 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference, where he also cautioned against a proposal by the U.S. Air Force to relocate eight C-130 aircraft currently based at the 136th Airlift Wing in Fort Worth. The C-130s play a critical role in disaster response efforts in Texas and across the entire Gulf Coast.
"Texas has developed one of the most effective and efficient emergency response teams in the nation, and having the necessary plan, people and resources at the ready is critical in situations, like the recent wildfires, where every minute counts," Gov Perry said. "The Air Force's proposal to uproot eight C-130's from Fort Worth would strip the entire Gulf Coast of an invaluable tool in our preparedness efforts, severely hindering emergency response in a region that sees a wide variety of severe natural disasters."
During the most recent wildfire season, more than 5,000 structures and almost four million acres across Texas were destroyed, with 1,300 homes in the Bastrop fire alone. More than 39,000 homes in the direct line of the fires were saved thanks to the tireless efforts of Texas emergency management officials. Governor Perry has reissued his wildfire disaster proclamation monthly since Dec. 21, 2010.
Governor Perry also highlighted the importance of the 136th Airlift Wing's C-130s, which can mobilize in a matter of hours to respond to disasters in Texas and other Gulf Coast states. The governor, along with the entire Texas Congressional Delegation and the governors of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, are urging the Air Force and Department of Defense not to relocate the aircraft from Texas to Montana, as has been proposed.
Since 2005, these C-130s have flown more than 400 storm response sorties in Texas and along the Gulf Coast, including during hurricanes Katrina, Ike and Gustav. They have also transported more than 3,000 passengers and delivered more than 900 tons of emergency supplies.
"We gather this week to reflect on our response during the most recent wildfires, revisit our planning efforts for the upcoming hurricane season and give thanks to those that give so much to keep Texas the most prepared state possible," Chief Nim Kidd, Texas Division of Emergency Management said. "This conference allows us to learn from the past, plan for the future and ensure we are all working together to protect our communities."
The Texas Division of Emergency Management hosts the annual conference, which brings together representatives from more than 30 agencies on the Governor's Emergency Management Council, along with officials from local, state and national governments, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, Texas Military Forces, voluntary organizations and private sector partners. Attendees discuss school safety, public health, ambulance response safety, law enforcement support, fire management, hurricane evacuations and hazardous weather preparations, among other topics. Officials from higher education, public education, healthcare, border and port security, transportation and cyber security are also scheduled to attend.
- Most recent disaster proclamation (–Click).
- Letter sent by Governor Perry and Gulf Coast governors regarding the relocation of C-130s (–Click).
- More information on how Texans can prepare their homes and families for emergencies (–Click).
- More information about the Texas Division of Emergency Management or the Emergency Management Conference (–Click).
Texas Science Fair Winners Awarded Scholarships to 2012 Governor's Science and Technology Champions Academy
Monday, April 02, 2012 ♣ Austin, Texas
Governor Rick Perry has announced more than $111,000 in scholarships for winners of the 2012 ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair, which was held last week in San Antonio. The scholarships will allow students to attend the fifth annual Governor's Science and Technology Champions Academy this summer at the University of Houston.
"The Science and Technology Champions Academy offers students the opportunity to think outside the box and get hands on experience in science outside of the classroom," Governor Perry said. "As technology continues to evolve, ensuring Texas children are competitive in scientific fields will help prepare them to succeed in the global workforce, and will help keep Texas on the forefront of innovation."
Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar presented medals to the senior division winners, who also received scholarships for the entire cost of the residential summer camp. In addition, teachers who mentored the students also will receive scholarships to attend a related professional development workshop.
"We are pleased to continue our support for the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair and the Champions Academy," Commissioner Alcantar said. "These activities encourage our future workforce to pursue science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, the foundation for success in many high-demand careers."
This year's academy will include study in engineering and science fields, with a particular emphasis on energy and aerospace. It will feature learning opportunities at Space Center Houston, including meeting with aerospace experts from the NASA Johnson Space Center.
Nearly 1,000 middle and high school students who qualified at regional competitions competed in the Texas Science and Engineering Fair. Winners from the senior division advance to the International Science and Engineering Fair competition in Pittsburgh, Pa. in May.
Texas State Operations Center Activated as Severe Weather Impacts North Texas. State resources on standby for rapid deployment
Tuesday, April 03, 2012 ♣ Austin, Texas
The Texas State Operations Center activated remotely from San Antonio, where the 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference is being held this week, and Governor Rick Perry is urging all Texans to closely monitor conditions and reports, and heed all warnings from local officials as severe thunderstorm and tornado conditions are expected to continue through the early evening. He is closely monitoring the severe weather threat in North Texas and receiving regular updates from his staff and Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd.
"These devastating tornadoes show how quickly Mother Nature can strike in our state, and underscore the importance of heeding warnings and instructions from local officials, and always being prepared to act in cases of emergency. I urge everyone in affected areas to stay off the roads as much as possible, and allow emergency workers and first responders to do their jobs quickly and safely. I have been in close communication with Chief Kidd, and our state emergency response teams are activated and stand ready to assist local areas in need of support," Governor Perry said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by the destructive tornadoes and storms that impacted the Dallas-Fort Worth area this afternoon."
Emergency management officials are closely following developments, including staff from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Task Force 1, Texas Forest Service, Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Military Forces, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the National Weather Service, American Red Cross, and other members of the Texas Emergency Management Council.
Local officials from impacted areas are also at the convention center in San Antonio and in constant communication with local officials on the ground who are responding to this weather event. Currently, resources from neighboring communities are assisting the impacted areas under the Texas Mutual Aid System. At this time, no state resources have been requested by local officials, but the state stands ready to rapidly deploy resources if needed to assist.
Governor Perry Presents Wildland Firefighting Teams with Governor's Award for Historic Preservation
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 ♣ Austin, Texas ♣ Speech
It's indicative of the wide range of challenges we face here in Texas that even as we honor a group of individuals for their noble efforts during last year's wildfires, we're dealing with the aftermath of a round of entirely different disasters.
Yesterday in North Texas we got another sobering reminder about how quickly nature can turn on us and the devastation that can result when storms like that hit highly-populated areas.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area was hit by up to 13 tornadoes that tore across multiple cities and counties and affected a large number of families across the region.
I'll be heading up to Dallas tomorrow to see the damage first hand, and talk to first responders on the scene.
While we're thankful there has been no reported loss of life at this point, we know a lot of North Texans are digging through the wreckage of their homes...and businesses, and our thoughts and prayers are with all of them today.
In any disaster like this, Texas is blessed with an emergency response team that's second to none, as our courageous first responders on the front lines execute plans developed and honed through years of trial and experience.
We have to constantly plan and prepare for all types of disasters because for all the ample blessings nature has bestowed upon our state, few states have to face her fury on so many fronts.
The individuals here today being honored for their valor during last year's wildfire season know all about nature's fury.
In the midst of a season that saw nearly 4 million acres of Texas consumed by wildfires, these individuals, this team, helped protect some of the most historically valuable structures in our state.
Working on very little food, and even less sleep, they worked diligently to protect historic structures in Possum Kingdom, Bastrop and Davis Mountains State Parks.
The buildings they protected represent a connection to our state's past, and thanks to their efforts will stand for generations to come.
They are worthy recipients of this year's Governor's Award for Historic Preservation, as awarded by the Texas Historic Commission, and a fine example of the sort of selfless sacrifice that we see in Texas whenever danger strikes.
The noble tradition of neighbor helping neighbor lives on, just as I know it's continuing throughout North Texas today.
So, it's now my honor to present this award for a job well done.
Governor Perry Tours Tornado Damage in North Texas
Thursday, April 05, 2012 ♣ Lancaster, Texas
Governor Rick Perry toured tornado damage in some of the hardest hit areas of North Texas, and met with emergency management personnel and local officials who continue to assess the impact and damage of this severe storm system.
"Texas has an emergency response team that's truly second to none. Time and again they have been prepared to move into action the moment danger presented itself, and it's because of the swift response by local officials following these tornados that no lives were lost." Governor Perry said. "We continue to see Texas neighbors helping neighbors and communities coming together in the face of adversity."
"As people across the country watched the impact of these storms unfold on television Tuesday, the residents and local leaders of North Texas saw firsthand the devastation caused by the tornados that swept through these communities," Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd said. "Even more incredible than the power of these storms was the rapid response by local officials and emergency responders to protect the residents in their communities."
The Texas State Operations Center immediately activated remotely from San Antonio, where the 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference was being held. Preliminary damage assessments from the American Red Cross indicate that nearly 650 structures have been affected by Tuesday's tornados, with 200 destroyed and more than 100 sustaining major damage. Oncor has restored power to more than 39,000 North Texans who lost power during the storms.
Governor Perry Appoints Four to Select Committee on Economic Development. Names Epperson presiding officer
Thursday, April 05, 2012 ♣ Austin, Texas
Governor Rick Perry has appointed four members to the Select Committee on Economic Development and named James Epperson Jr. of Dallas presiding officer for terms to expire at the pleasure of the governor. Pursuant to House Bill 2785 of the 82nd Legislative Session, the committee will make recommendations to the Legislature on economic development policies for the state.
Epperson is senior vice president of AT&T Strategic and Employee Communications. He is former president of AT&T Texas and Oklahoma. He is a board member and executive committee member of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Epperson received a bachelor's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Stacey Gillman Wimbish of Houston is president of Gillman Companies. She is chairman of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association, a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association and Subaru of America National and Regional Dealer Council, a certified member of the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals, and past chairman of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association. She is also underwriter for the Ramsay Gillman Charitable Golf Tournament. Gillman Wimbish attended the University of Texas, and is a graduate of the General Motors Marketing Educational Services Dealer Management program and National Automobile Dealer Association Dealer Candidate Academy.
Maher Maso of Frisco is mayor of the City of Frisco, and manager of Maso Asset Management. He is a member of the National League of Cities, and the league's Community and Economic Development Steering and International Council committees and Youth Participation Advisory Network. He is also a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition and the North Texas Commission, and a board member and past chairman of the Collin College Education Foundation. He is a member of the Regional Transportation Council, International Conference of Shopping Centers, Metroplex Mayors Association, Mayor's Youth Council and the Memorial Day Committee, and chair of the Team Frisco NCAA Division I Football Local Organizing Committee. Maso received a bachelor's degree from the University of Phoenix and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Carlton Schwab of Austin is president and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Council. He is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council and Texas Legislative Conference Advisory Committee, and a member and chair of the International Economic Development Council State Associations Committee. He is also a member of the Austin College Athletic Lettermen Association, and a past member of the Austin College Alumni Board and Texas Wine Industry Advisory Board. Schwab received a bachelor's degree from Austin College and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Governor Perry Issues Disaster Declaration for Three Counties in North Texas
Thursday, April 05, 2012 ♣ Austin, Texas
Governor Rick Perry issued a disaster declaration for Dallas, Tarrant and Kaufman counties, which incurred widespread damage from multiple tornados that ripped through North Texas on Tuesday. The governor is reminding homeowners in impacted areas of important new consumer protections signed into law last year to prevent dishonest contractors from taking advantage of families trying to repair their homes.
"As communities begin to rebuild, my office is working to clear the way so that all needed resources continue to be available for local authorities dealing with the aftermath of this storm," Governor Perry said. "In addition, all who have suffered damage to their home should be mindful of those that might attempt to swindle them out of money for repairs. Thanks to a new law passed last year, families have additional protections from unscrupulous contractors, and are not required to provide full or partial payment to anyone before work begins."
House Bill 1711, which was passed and signed by the governor last year, outlaws the practice of dishonest contractors demanding full or partial payment before beginning work on a home damaged in a storm following a disaster declaration. The new law was passed in response to unscrupulous contractors targeting vulnerable Texans in the wake of disasters like Hurricane Ike, telling storm victims they needed full or partial payment before they could begin work, and sometimes never showing up again.
Preliminary damage assessments from the American Red Cross indicate that nearly 650 structures have been affected by Tuesday's tornados, with 200 destroyed and more than 100 sustaining major damage.
- Governor's disaster proclamation (–Click).
- Full provisions of HB 1711 (–Click).
- More information on preparing for severe weather threats (–Click).
— Please Share Your Comments on this Posting —