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State of Texas
Texas State Representative Shawn Thierry
News Release
Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Rep. Thierry Calls for Creation of an Interim House Committee
To Improve Hurricane Preparedness and Responsiveness in the Wake of Harvey

Austin - In a letter to Speaker Joe Straus, Representative Thierry (D-Houston) submitted interim charges solely focused on tackling the state's ability to prepare for, and respond to, potential weather-related catastrophes. Going further, Rep. Thierry calls on the Speaker of the House to create a select interim committee to work on advancing logistics, laws, safety protocols, and examine the oversight of all aspects of pre- and post-hurricane operations in Texas.

"The devastation that we endured from Hurricane Harvey is beyond what anyone could have imagined or anticipated. Clearly, there are lessons that we should learn from during this aftermath. I strongly believe that the legislature should act now to develop additional systems and operational procedures in order to minimize loss and damages  in the future." said Rep. Thierry. 

 The six recommendations in Representative Thierry's interim charges cover a broad range of issues for improvement and ares of innovation:

  1. Examine the efficacy of creating a separate emergency telephone number (other than 911), and/or a text messaging system that is specifically dedicated to responding to request for rescues (i.e. home and vehicle) during mass flooding.
  2. Study the feasibility of a statewide website and database with the names, information, and/or location of people rescued.
  3. Study the efficacy of the state’s post-disaster debris management plans to deter price gouging of contractors and examine the feasibility of increased state funding for disaster debris removal
  4. Study innovative and environmentally sound methods for debris disposal operations to promote recycling, reuse, and energy recovery, including, but not limited to, the viability of generating biomass fuel from disaster debris.
  5. Study whether the existing emergency evacuation plans for licensed nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and senior group homes should be statutorily revised or modified to increase the safety requirements for “sheltering in place” directives and during mandatory evacuation orders.
  6. Study innovative methods to minimize or avoid flooding and recommendations on the safe release of excess water from dams and reservoirs.

"The magnitude of Hurricane Harvey's destruction in the City of Houston, and other cities around our great state, is still difficult to even describe.  Our residents are  'Texas Strong', but as prudent lawmakers, we should roll up our sleeves now to figure out smarter, innovative ways to ensure that our laws and public policies adequately protect our residents from future natural disasters. I sincerely hope that the Speaker will grant my interim charge requests and also exercise his power and authority to create The Select Committee on Natural Disaster Response, Preparedness & Oversight." remarked Representative Shawn Thierry.




Remembering Jim Guidry Mihovil for Navigation District


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