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Governor unveils plan to make disaster recovery run smoothly

Posted at 6:06 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 19:55:42-05


Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts will be on the agenda when the state legislature convenes next month.

Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott unveiled a list of recommendations to better prepare Texas for the next storm.  It provides recommendations based on lessons learned before, during, and after Harvey.

“This report is a roadmap for Texas and the legislature, as well as the local communities going forward,” said Abbott.

The roadmap is more like an atlas. 178 pages full of recommendations to speed up recovery after the next natural disaster.

While Port Aransas officials haven’t read the entire report yet, they support the recommendations made during the governor’s press conference.  In fact, they believe Port A is ahead of the game.

Among the plan’s key points; creating a statewide recovery task force which encourages cities and counties to have certified Emergency Managers on staff.

Port A’s Planning Director is already certified Emergency Manager.

“I have that background, I have that training, and those skill sets, I think I can say for the city, were extremely invaluable at the time of the disaster,” said Rick Adams, Port Aransas Planning and Development Director.

Part of that task force would be a group of experts who would deploy to disaster areas quickly, making recovery efforts run smoother.

“Having a group of people that can assigned to assist us, that would be consistent through the significant part of that heavy lifting would be great,” said Adams.

The plan also calls for a state-level disaster relief case management system.  State officials also plan to pitch the idea of a universal relief application to federal officials.

“A universal form like that would just save immeasurable amounts of time, and it would avoid confusion,” said Adams.

Several of the recommendations would require the approval of state lawmakers.

The report can be read in its entirety here.