Carmen Apple, District Coordinator, Texas Department of Public Safety/Texas Division of Emergency Management presented details to the Commissioners Court regarding disaster recovery information. She provided a brief on elected officials’ responsibilities and how to request assistance during emergencies or times of disaster. In the past, the county would submit a request through a database that was built through another jurisdiction. Apple said that they started working toward getting Hardin County moved over to a state server to make the request process easier. They have been working together for about a year on this transition and are now in the final stages of the project. The move to a new server is at no cost to the county.
Disaster assistance was discussed; specifically, transportation for evacuation. Apple says they activate the state bus contract about 120 hours out from an anticipated disaster. The buses have to go to San Antonio first to be inspected to ensure that they are safe to transport evacuees. Apple noted that next June there will be a Region 2 full scale evacuation exercise. According to Apple, Region 2 consists of the area of Lufkin down to Houston. They will be bringing in transports to Jack Brooks Regional Airport and setting up transportation at Ford Park. Apple says the scenario will be played out as they would in a real emergency situation.