OFFICIALS DISCUSS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Atascocita Highlights Emergency Services
Harris County, Texas – The growing population in northeast Harris County prompted emergency officials to gather to discuss strategies that will benefit the residents of Atascocita.
The unincorporated area of Harris County known as Atascocita has been one of the fastest growing communities in Texas and the United States for the past few years. Since 2004, Atascocita’s population has almost doubled from about 37,000 to almost 69,000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) strives to provide support to our all our jurisdictions and emergency partners,” said Harris County emergency management coordinator Mark Sloan. “It is important that we all work together to meet the needs of Harris County residents.”
Following Hurricane Ike, Atascocita Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) officials recognized potential vulnerabilities in the mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery in the unincorporated areas of northeast Harris County, including Atascocita (ESD46) which moved them to sign on to the Harris County Basic Plan.
"The Emergency Services District (ESD) Board of Directors as well as the AVFD leadership recognize that in order to ensure the maximum degree of readiness in times of emergency and to provide the citizens with a level of service they are entitled to, we must continue to work closely with Harris County as well as our other public service and safety partners,” said AVDF Chief William Bivens.
A 2009 Interlocal Agreement with Harris County provided that ESD46 establish an emergency management program for the mitigation, preparation, response and recovery phases of comprehensive emergency management.
In addition to adopting an emergency plan, Atascocita now has a dedicated emergency operations center (EOC), emergency management staff, state of the art weather monitoring system and communication interoperability with the HCOHSEM, the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and surrounding jurisdictions.
A new community wide alert notification system is giving Atascocita the ability to reach the masses via text, email, the web, Facebook (www.facebook.com/AVFDTX) and Twitter (@AVFDOEM). To subscribe for alert notifications text AVFDOEM to 888777 or sign up at www.nixle.com.