Comal Emergency Management and Emergency Operations
The emergency management program for each Texas County is mandated under Texas Government Code 481.02, requiring that counties identify and address potential hazards and associated responses to specific events. The Texas Government Code allows for a county to develop a program or to participate in an inter-jurisdictional program with a local city.
Emergency Management Coordinator
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Hazard Mitigation Planning Process
State, tribal, and local governments engage in hazard mitigation planning to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters, and develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazard events.
This page describes the general process to develop or update a hazard mitigation plan. The mitigation planning process is slightly different for state, tribal, and local governments, but regardless of the plan type, there are four core steps in completing a hazard mitigation plan or plan update.
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The scope of this discussion will focus on the general responsibilities of the Comal County Emergency
Management program and the associated Hazard Mitigation.
In Comal County, the goals of emergency management:
- Identify potential threats to the community through a hazard’s assessment survey. The assessment is used
to prioritize threats and identify responses through the County Emergency Operations Plan (Plan). Specific hazards are discussed in Annexes attached to the plan. These Annexes are then reviewed annually. The Plan and Annexes include specifics to the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery from disasters most likely to affect the county. Local police, fire, public works, and other county resources then routinely practice these documented response scenarios
- Develop coordinated responses and agreements with private and volunteer agencies, keep updated lists of resources, and assign roles for various groups to assist the County during emergency events. The EMC also develops hazardous material inventory (Tier II) as well as coordinates and interfaces with operational response plans with other governmental agencies, volunteer groups, industry, and health organizations
- Develop, coordinate, and conduct County training exercises, assist with exercises developed by industry and volunteer organizations, participate and conduct routine training for Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff, and coordinate specialized training for County resources such as first responders
- Prepare and maintain a departmental budget for maintenance of departmental equipment and submit training milestones for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds as well as obtain and administer emergency management and homeland security grants
- Oversee the operational capability of the EOC, upgrade and equip the EOC as necessary to ensure operational function, plus activate and maintain emergency warning system
- Activate the EOC as needed and support response efforts in the field and warn the community when a threat is identified
- Conduct public outreach to provide warning materials and announcements; brief the radio, television, and newspaper entities on emergency matters; and present information to civic organizations, schools, churches, and community centers Inform the county judge and governing body of the jurisdiction regarding the preparedness status and emergency management needs
Hazards may be natural or manmade, most commonly consisting of threats such as severe weather events, wildfires, and acts of terrorism. Naturally occurring hazards such as flooding and wildfire are the events most likely to occur. Terroristic activities, although relatively new to the United States, are more spontaneous than seasonal threats and more difficult to anticipate.
Hazard mitigation planning is what emergency planners use to identify potential threats to a county or local community and apply resources or coordinate efforts to address those issues. A few of the current mitigation plans identified for Comal County include receiving and housing coastal communities evacuating from Gulf Coast hurricanes, evacuation and rescue of flood victims from local severe weather events, and wildfire events occurring in rural portions of the county.