Missouri City Launches New Web Site to Assist Its Citizens During Hurricane Season

9 07 2010

With Hurricane Season under way, Missouri City is prepared to provide residents with vital updates on our emergency information website: missouricityready.com.

At the July 6 City Council meeting, Emergency Management Coordinator John Sheffield briefed members on the website, which was launched last year. “We are prepared and ready to respond should a disaster strike,” he said during the presentation.

The site serves as a primary source of public information during any natural or man-made disaster affecting the City, including hurricanes. The website offers tips and strategies for preparing homes, businesses and families for emergencies, links to websites of other emergency management agencies, weather, traffic and other emergency alerts and information on how to take care of special needs or pets during disasters.

Residents can also logon to the site and sign up to receive news releases and notifications via email. A link to missouricityready.com is available on the City’s home page, www.missouricitytx.gov, under the “Quick Links” tab.

Hurricane Preparedness Meeting Scheduled For Fresno, Arcola Residents

9 07 2010

M.A.D.E, in in partnership with The Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management, United Way, and CenterPoint Energy, will hold a town hall meeting for Fresno and Arcola residents to educate residents on hurricane preparedness.

The second annual Fresno/Arcola Hurricane Preparedness and Education Town Hall will take place from 6:30 -8:30 p.m. at MR Massey Bldg MUD 23, 1575 Rabb Road in Fresno.

There will be presentations and discussions by the Fort Bend OEM, United Way, and CenterPoint Energy on their supporting roles before, during and after a hurricane.

For more information, to RSVP, or for vendor inquiries, e-mail made@made101.org or visit website at http://www.made101.org .

God Bless America……..

7 07 2010

Take less than five minutes and listen to this salute to our military forces and our Country:


Governor Perry Announces Formation of Gulf Project

6 07 2010

Governor Perry is forming a coalition to help ensure that the State of Texas is prepared to respond to a large-scale oil spill.  The News Release issued by the Office of the Governor on July 6, 2010 is found below.  The purpose of the project is to make sure Texas never endure the environmental and economic disaster currently occurring in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.

Governor Perry today announced the formation of the Gulf Project, a coalition of energy and environmental scientists, policy experts, academic researchers, private sector research scientists and state officials who will work to ensure Texas never endures the environmental and economic disaster currently occurring in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.

“To keep our status as the energy capital of the nation and preserve our environment, jobs and economy, Texas must become the world leader in developing the next generation in offshore oil exploration safety and response,” Gov. Perry said. “The Gulf Project is an unprecedented collaboration of the state’s top scientists, engineers and researchers, focused on protecting our residents, environment and economy, and solving the unique challenges presented by the next generation of domestic energy exploration and production.”

The University of Texas, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, Rice University, Texas Tech University, Southern Methodist University, the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA), Texas General Land Office and Texas Railroad Commission are participating in the effort, and other experts and institutions of higher education may join later.

A key challenge for the industry is the current inability to test full drilling systems to determine their safety, and to develop proven methods of responding to large-scale oil spills such as the Deepwater Horizon incident. Other nations including the United Kingdom, Norway and Brazil are competing to develop a seafloor testing facility.

Each participating institution is already involved in significant oil and gas drilling research, and already have the facilities – such as Texas A&M’s Offshore Research Technology Center and Rice’s National Corrosion Center – but none is able to test a full drilling system to ensure it can safely operate under all deep sea conditions. Additionally, the Johnson Space Center is home to facilities that can test the safety and reliability of current and next generation equipment, which could be used as research proceeds. 

Governor Perry believes domestic oil and gas exploration remains critical to meeting the nation’s energy needs. Texas’ energy industry continues to fuel the nation, supplying 20 percent of the nation’s oil production, one-fourth of the nation’s natural gas production, a quarter of the nation’s refining capacity, and nearly 60 percent of the nation’s chemical manufacturing. Additionally, Texas’ energy industry employs 200,000 to 300,000 Texans, with $35 billion in total wages.

How State of Texas Prepared for Hurricane Alex

5 07 2010

Good information from KEYE TV on how the State of Texas used the State Operations Center in Austin for response to Hurricane Alex.  More good information on how our State’s newly appointed Chief of the Texas Department of Emergency Management needed to begin his term of office a bit early because of Hurricane Alex.  Now we will wait and see if Tropical Disturbance 16 will call for a re-enactment of the good efforts described below.  This information was reported on June 29, 2010.

KEYE TV received a sneak peek inside the very busy Emergency Operations Center in Central Austin, hours after it opened on Tuesday. The state mobilized a team of emergency responders who are now handling preparations and response for Hurricane Alex.

The command center was in a critical 24 hour time period Tuesday evening that would determine exactly where the storm would make landfall. The responders kept an eye on evacuation routes, were in constant contact with South Texas officials and prepared for what they believed would be the greatest threat of the storm; flash flooding.

Day one at the Emergency Operations Center was anything but the calm before the storm. The responders had less than 20 hours before Alex was expected to hit our coast. 

“This is my first week on the job,” Texas EOC Chief Emergency Manager, Nim Kidd told a room of reporters.

He’s the man in charge and seemed convinced his teams did everything they could, as of Tuesday afternoon.

“The question is going to come, do we have enough resources there,” he asked rhetorically to the group of journalists. “The answer to that is, I’m comfortable with where we are. We have deep ready reserves that we are assembling to send out after landfall. But what we don’t want to do is chase this storm up and down the coast any more than we have to.”

It’s Nim Kidd’s first time to lead the state’s hurricane response efforts. So far, he has overseen the deployment of 100 buses, 25 ambulances and 20 shelters to the Deep South, or nearby, ready to go at a moment’s notice. Kidd also tapped the Central Texas chapter of the American Red Cross to send volunteers with emergency response vehicles to the coast.

“They’ve been trained very well,” Red Cross spokesman, Amir Roohi said about the volunteers. “They’ve been through hurricanes before. They were in the Valley for Dolly and they know exactly what they’re doing and we’re very confident they’re prepared.”

“We have over 500 first responders over there with over 100 boats that are already staged in the area, ready to do water rescue if that situation rises,” Kidd reassured the group.

So now, everyone watches and waits. As of Tuesday night, the command center expected up to a foot of rain to fall on parts of Southern Texas.

Kidd wasn’t supposed to start his new job as Interim Chief of Emergency Management until this Thursday. Obviously, Alex sped up the process. He replaced Jack Colley who suffered a heart attack and died in May. Kidd served as San Antonio’s Emergency Manager since 2004.

Link to KEYE TV News Report:  http://weareaustin.com/fulltext?nxd_id=73835

Baptism by Fire: Nim Kidd

5 07 2010

This is reprint from Mike Ward item printed in Weather Watch, Austin-American Statesman on June 30, 2010:

Talk about arrival by crisis. 

Or, in W. Nim Kidd’s case, hurricane-force winds and deluging rains. 

Kidd, 41, takes over officially tomorrow as the new chief of the state’s Division of Emergency Management, the agency that oversees Texas’ official response to hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and other such disasters.

He started work on Monday, as what was then Tropical Storm Alex began menacing the Texas coastline. By this afternoon, three days into his tenure, the storm had grown into a hurricane — though its path had shifted to the south enough to miss a direct hit on Texas.

“I’m used to it,” Kidd said yesterday during a press briefing about Alex at the Texas Department of Public Safety’s headquarters in Austin. “I was emergency management director in San Antonio … It goes with the job.”

In the past, according to Kidd’s resume, his job has included being sent as a first-responder to New York when the World Trade Center was destroyed by terrorists in 2001 and to the Texas A&M bonfire collapse in College Station in November 1999 that killed 12 and injured 27.

In times of crisis, Kidd will be the front man for the state’s response, the guy who will be applauded if if preparation and relief efforts go well — and guy who’s blamed if they do not.

In recent years, as Hurricanes Rita, Ike and Dolly have blasted Texas, the emergency management chief has also protected the flank of Gov. Rick Perry, the state’s top elected official who oversees DPS and will fade heat if disaster planning fails — especially critical as Perry seeks re-election this fall.

For Kidd, the new job seems a perfect fit — even if he has big shoes to fill.

Kidd replaces Jack Colley, a straight-talking, barrel-chested former military commander who was the state’s well-known and well-liked emergency chief for 12 years. Colley, 62, died of a heart attack in early May.

Kidd had been a San Antonio firefighter since April 1993, had been the Alamo City’s emergency management coordinator and a district fire chief since August 2004. He has also served as San Antonio’s homeland security director.

Before he became a firefighter, Kidd worked as a facilities maintenance manager for H-E-B Stores and for himself and was an H-E-B construction foreman before that.

A graduate of Judson High School in Converse, San Antonio College, Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) in San Marcos, Kidd’s resume shows he is currently working on advanced degrees at Central Texas College and Texas A&M University in Commerce.

He has a long list of emergency-management certifications from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a variety of professional groups, for training in such things as mass fatality management, hazardous materials, terrorist bombings and incident command.

Several came from the state office he now heads.

His resume shows he responded to the World Trade Center terrorist attack in New York in September 2001, as a planning officer with Texas Task Force 1, a specially trained emergency team. He was also a squad officer with the task force when they responded to the Texas A&M bonfire collapse in November 1999.

Kidd has lists numerous citations and awards for his work, including a meritorious certificate from the San Antonio mayor and council.

“I knew Jack well … He was a friend of mine. I worked with him for many years,” Kidd said.

This afternoon, as Kidd directed the state’s ongoing emergency response to the fast-approaching Alex, the memory of his friend remained close.

Earlier this month, the Texas Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to rename the underground bunker at DPS’ headquarters on North Lamar Boulevard the Jack Colley State Operations Center.