The primary purpose of this blog is to focus on emergency management. Of course, we want to pay special attention to Fort Bend County and its efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for its citizens and businesses. The Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management coordinates disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities to provide the safe environment noted above. So, you might ask, why does this blog sometimes feature articles on economic development and population growth? Because the construction of more housing, the locating of more businesses, and the arrival of new families has a direct effect on emergency management activities in the County.
Our County is now the 10th largest county in Texas having experienced a 57% rate in growth over the last decade. The efforts of our elected officials and the business community in Fort Bend County have caused this expansion which has created more jobs, more tax dollars, and dynamic business centers to create opportunity and diversity like no other place in Texas. Day in and day out, our population of almost 700,00 enjoys a fantastic environment for working and going to school and playing in a County which is the envy of most others, not only in the State of Texas, but in the nation.
On March 26, 2015, The Texas Tribune published an article about the growth of Texas’ population and the clear trend that the suburbs in metropolitan areas are demonstrating the quickest growth. The article was written by Alexa Ura. The reporter indicates that three of the State’s counties ranked among the fastest-growing areas in the United States based on recently released demographic information released by the United States Census Bureau. Ura writes that “Fort Bend County, home to about 652,000 people in 2013, grew by 4.7 percent and ranked as the sixth-fastest-growing county. Southwest of Houston, Fort Bend has been called the most ethnically diverse county in the U.S. because its population comes the closest to having an equal division of the nation’s four major ethnic communities — Asian, black, Hispanic and white. The county comprises several Houston suburbs, including Sugar Land and Richmond.” Additionally, Lloyd Potter, the State of Texas demographer estimates that “Fort Bend County would eventually outgrow the suburb label given the rate of its population increase.”
However, this creates a challenge—— to paraphrase from familiar scripture—– “though we are blessed in Fort Bend County, much is required to make sure that our beautiful landscapes, historic landmarks, and stable community is not devastated by natural or man-made threats.” Fort Bend County, through the leadership of County Judge Bob Hebert and the Commissioners Court, recognizes the need to improve the quality of life in our County through economic development, but also the charge to, not only protect the safety of our citizens, but also to instill confidence that Fort Bend citizens can go about raising families, conducting business and living their lives without abnormal fears from those who wish us harm, or the unpredictability of natural disasters.