Through a presidential declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has made federal disaster aid available to the State of Texas and has set up a Joint Field Office to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding during the period beginning on May 4, 2015. As part of the overall assistance, the Texas Silver Jackets team is focusing on how to best support the Joint Field Office and the recovery efforts for not only the current declaration event but for events to come. There is a mutual understanding that team members representing several federal and state agencies can always improve on the collaborative process to provide mutual support in helping communities recover faster and build back stronger.
Dorie Murphy, Deputy Chief of Emergency Management from the USACE Fort Worth District, said that the team has agreed to hold a collaborative meeting this summer to identify best practices and areas of technical support for the state during the flood recovery period. Some of the topics and activities they expect to address include:
Complete a survey of damages while examining the effectiveness of past mitigation projects to determine what worked and didn’t.
Develop an efficient and effective process to collect high water marks in a post-disaster environment.
Coordinate community education and outreach to mitigate future disasters with the assistance of several agencies while reducing redundancies.
Streamline the delivery of GIS products for future flood events and identify the GIS expertise among the multi-agencies.
The team agrees that agencies are most effective if they collaborate as a Silver Jackets team not only during the mitigation and response phase of emergency management but also during recovery.