Texas business and local government partner for disaster preparedness and response
| 08.01.2007 | 09:06:34 | Views: 3119 | ID:
August 1 '07: Texas businesses and state/local governments are working together to help bolster overall preparedness efforts since Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005. Under direction from the state's Division of Emergency Management, response officers from retailers and government officials are "conducting mock drills alongside" each other, the Houston Chronicle's story appearing in My San Antonio.com reported.
According to the Chronicle, Texas DEM head Jack Colley "and Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw have cultivated direct relationships with retailers after watching Louisiana and Mississippi dial FEMA in vain for food, water and other aid. ... These large retailers, including Wal-Mart, H-E-B and Home Depot, are part of the state's emergency prep team, invited to brainstorm and solve problems about the best way to respond to a disaster."San Antonio-based food retailer H-E-B Emergency Management Coordinator Justin Noakes told the Chronicle, "Speed to action is a huge asset that we bring to the partnerhsip. We don't need a governor, a statewide or a local emergency declared, to move. All we need is a telephone call from an official." And Earl Armstrong, FEMA regional office spokesman in Denton said, "It seems like that would be a natural fit. ... We supplement the state and local efforts and if they can get it, that's just one last thing we don't have to coordinate for. If that gets supplies to people who need it, that's great."
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