President’s Message - May 2017
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President's Message - May 2017
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President’s Message - May 2017

The extremes of Texas weather were on full display as April came to a close. In the area around Canton, Texas a series of strong tornadoes devastated communities with at least 4 fatalities, countless injuries, and significant damage. At the same time in the Texas Panhandle region, a rare spring winter storm blanketed the area with light to moderate snow accumulations and extreme winds, causing travel issues and wide spread power outages. In the meantime West Texas continues to experience critical fire danger, inching closer to the federal threshold for Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) and coastal communities continue to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Such are challenges that face emergency managers in Texas.

While it remains to be seen if any of these incidents will rise to the level that federal assistance is made available, it is important for emergency managers to stay informed on the transition of leadership at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Last week, the Trump administration named Brock Long as the nominee for FEMA Administrator. A brief review of Mr. Long’s bio indicates 16 years of experience with FEMA in hurricane preparedness, with the State of Alabama as the Director of Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency, and most recently as a vice-president with Hagerty Consulting supporting emergency management projects. In addition, the Trump administration named Thomas DiNanno as the nominee for FEMA Assistant Administrator. Mr. DiNanno brings 20 years of experience in government and private sector with a focus on critical infrastructure protection.

In a couple of weeks, many of us will come together at the 2017 Texas Emergency Management Conference. This will be another great opportunity for emergency managers to come together to learn from our shared experiences. As part of the conference activities, EMAT will be conducting a meeting of the Board of Directors. A couple of topics that will be at the top of the list are EMAT membership, TEM processing, and continued improvement of organizational communication. I know that I speak for all of the Board members when I say that we also look forward to visiting with each of you on items of interest to the profession and EMAT. Hope to see you in San Antonio!

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