North American Influenza (Swine Flu) Information

27 04 2009

H1N1 Flu - Lab, jpgThe Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management has assembled a North American Influenza (Swine Flu) information page for citizens living or working within Fort Bend County.

The resource page lists any specific updates for Fort Bend County, along with links to other Fort Bend County emergency resources, State health resources, The Center for Disease Control, and updates from private citizens.

Please visit the information resource page, bookmark it, and share it with your family and friends.

Of course, sign-up for emergency alerts from the Office of Emergency Management, and plan on attending the 2009 Emergency Preparedness Workshop later this week.

Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management North American Influenza (Swine Flu) information

Hurricane Names for 2009

16 04 2009

With any luck, we will not hear any of these names used much this summer:hurricane-ike-batters-cuba

Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate,

Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda

Failure is Not an Option – Ed Freeman

10 04 2009

ed-freemanEd Freeman passed away at the age of 80 on August 29, 2008 and was honored with obituaries in newspapers across the country.   In March 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution designating the U.S. Postal Service facility, located at 103 West Main Street in McLain, Mississippi, as the “Major Ed W. Freeman Post Office.”  McLain was the hometown of Freeman, a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

In July 2001, some 36 years after the fact, Freeman, a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, had been awarded the nation’s highest military honor for actions taken on November 14, 1965. The citation, presented by President Bush in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, read as follows:

Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army, distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary intrepidity on 14 November, 1965, while serving with Company A, 229th, Assault Helicopter Battalion, First Cavalry Division Air Mobil (ph).

As a flight leader and second in command of a 16-helicopter lift unit, he supported a heavily engaged American infantry battalion at landing zone X-ray in the Idrang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The infantry unit was almost out of ammunition, after taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy force.

When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone, due to intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman risked his own life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire, time after time, delivering critically needed ammunition, water and medical supplies to the Paceeds (ph) battalion.

His flights had a direct impact on the battle’s outcome by providing the engaged units with timely supplies of ammunition critical to their survival without which they would almost surely have experienced a much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area, due to intense enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing life- saving evacuation of an estimates 30 seriously wounded soldiers, some of whom would not have survived, had he not acted.

All flights were made into a small emergency landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter where heavily committed units were perilously holding off the attacking elements. Captain Freeman’s selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance and intrepidity were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a superb example of leadership and courage for all of his peers.

Captain Freeman’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

For additional information about Ed Freeman:

Missouri City Seeking Grant Funds for Officers and Tasers

9 04 2009


The Texas Government Insider reports that the City of Missouri City council members recently authorized the police department to apply for a $308,447.75 federal grant to pay for hiring 10 additional police officers and a $77,438 federal grant to buy tasers, related equipment and training for officers on proper use of the stun guns.

Police officials will apply to the Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Recovery Program grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to cover the cost of hiring 10 officers and purchasing five fully equipped patrol cars, said Police Captain Larry Capps. If awarded, the grant will pay 100 percent of entry-level salaries and benefits for three years for each of the approved positions. The city also must agree to retain any new officers hired under the grant for a minimum of 12 months after the three-year funding period ends, he said.

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance program of the U.S. Department of Justice has allocated $77,438 to Missouri City from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, said City Manager Frank Simpson. If approved, the non-competitive grant will permit the police department to purchase 84 hand-held tasers, two replacement cartridges per unit, two training cartridges for each officer, 42 replacement batteries and USB download kits and training.

2009 MidCoast Hurricane Conference

8 04 2009

A couple of days ago, I promoted attendance at the May 1st Fort Bend County Emergency Preparedness Workshop (see 04-05 Blog entry).  Today, I am going to tell you about another conference taking place in the near future.  The 2009 MidCoast Hurricane Conference will be held at the Victoria Community Center (Victoria, Texas) on April 30th.   This conference is being put on by the American Red Cross and has a theme this year of “Together We Prepare.”  Sessions will cover food safety during emergencies; HEB’s Emergency Preparedness Program; Donations Management; and a 2009 Outlook on the Hurricane Season, presented by the National Weather Service.

I am honored to have been invited to be the Keynote Speaker.  I will be presenting information on Fort Bend County’s Response and Recovery from Hurricane Ike.  If time allows, and in honor of the conference’s theme, I may discuss our efforts to “prepare together.”  I am very proud of the efforts we have made over the last few years to make sure our many different agencies are prepared to handle crisis situations.  During Hurricane Rita, and especially during Hurricane Ike, all Fort Bend jurisdictions and agencies worked together to provide quick, coordinated and comprehensive response.  By networking, and “preparing together,” we provided the framework for melding a patchwork of jurisdictional and agency response into a coordinated County response.

For more information on the MidCoast Hurricane Conference, here is the information:

More on Recall of Pistachios

8 04 2009

For an update on the recall of pistachios:

2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

7 04 2009

Noted Hurricane Forecasters Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray (Colorado State University)  forsee average activity for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.  As of April 7, 2009, their Extended Range Forecast anticipates an average probability of a major hurricane landfall in the United States.  The forecast is available at the following link:

Specifically, the 2009 Forecast projects 12 Named Storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes.  For those of us along the Gulf Coast, Klotzbach and Gray indicate a 31% probability for at least one major hurricane (Category 3-5) to make landfall along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville.  It is interesting to note that the average for the last century is 30%).

The next update from Klotzbach and Gray will be on Tuesday, June 2nd.  These seasonal updates will be available at the web link listed above.