Friday, May 27, 2011

FEMA Region 6 Urges You To Resolve To Be Ready During Hurricane Season

Federal Emergency Management AgencyImage via Wikipedia
New website offers preparedness facts, tips and tools
Release Date: May 26, 2011
Release Number: R6-11-070
DENTON, Texas -- Individuals and their families are urged to “resolve to be ready” this hurricane season. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region 6 office has launched a new hurricane preparedness website to help you accomplish that goal. The website features facts about the 2011 hurricane season, as well as tools to help you execute crucial preparedness tasks such as assembling an emergency kit, formulating an individual and family plan and staying informed.
“We urge everyone to get ready now,” said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Russell. “You should not wait until a disaster is imminent; it’s crucial that you take the necessary steps to prepare before a storm hits.”
You can visit the FEMA Region 6 Hurricane Preparedness website by logging onto www.fema.gov/about/regions/regionvi/updates.shtm.
 FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.  

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Legislation Clears the Way for Hidalgo County Water District to Be Dissolved

May 25, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ricardo Lopez-Guerra
              512-463-0578
Legislation Clears the Way for Hidalgo County Water District to Be Dissolved
AUSTIN -  State Representative Veronica Gonzales (D-McAllen) announces
the passage of SB 978 today which allows the City of McAllen to
dissolve the Hidalgo County Water Improvement District # 3 and save
McAllen's taxpayers millions of dollars while guaranteeing
uninterrupted service.
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa authored SB 978 and Representative
Gonzales sponsored the bill in the House. Hidalgo County Water
District # 3 was created almost 100 years ago to service agricultural
landowners, but the area, which is primarily McAllen, became urbanized
and the Water District became obsolete.  Only about 13 agricultural
landowners continue receiving irrigation water from the District, with
the city of McAllen constituting 94% of the total revenues taken in by
the District.  Dissolving the District will allow water to be
delivered at the same level but at a much lower cost to the rate
payers.
"I am very happy with the passage of this bill by an overwhelming
majority.  The Water District has outlived its purpose and this major
victory for McAllen will eliminate an unnecessary layer of government,
and will save agricultural landowners and McAllen residents money by
transferring the duties over to the elected Public Utilities Board,"
stated Gonzales.  "This legislation has been brought three sessions
and the third time was the charm.  I commend Senator Hinojosa for his
outstanding work and dedication to this legislation in the Senate.  It
was a privilege working with him to pass this bill through both
chambers and move it on to the Governor for signature."
"This bill, once signed into law, will increase the services McAllen
residents currently receive and make them available at a lower price,
not to mention that having a more secure and efficient source of water
will allow the city to deal with the droughts and hot temperatures
that we continuously experience in South Texas," Senator Juan "Chuy"
Hinojosa said. "I want to thank everyone who supported our efforts -
especially the hard work of Representative Gonzales on getting over a
hundred votes in the Texas House of Representatives."
"On behalf of the citizens of McAllen, I thank Senator Juan "Chuy"
Hinojosa, Representative Veronica Gonzales, our State Legislature and
everyone who supported the passage of SB 978," commented McAllen Mayor
Richard Cortez.  "Once signed by Governor Rick Perry and when SB 978
becomes law, McAllen residents will no longer be burdened with
unnecessary bureaucracy on future growth and development for the City
of McAllen. We believe the McAllen Public Utility can run the District
much more efficiently and assure homeowners and farmers uninterrupted
water service."
The bill was supported by every member of the Hidalgo County
delegation in the Legislature as well as various McAllen business,
economic organizations, landowners and residents.  City leaders must
now hold a public hearing to determine that McAllen meets various
requirements and then adopt an ordinance allowing the city to accept a
transfer of the district's obligations, liabilities, and assets.
###

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

OK, so Governor Perry was in town

A good time was had by all.

When Disaster Strikes: Emergency Preparedness for Small Business

The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce and UTPA Small Business Development office presented a seminar on what small businesses can do to prepare themselves for and what they can do to ensure a quick recovery after one.

It is important to note that roughly 40% of small businesses do not reopen after a major disaster. Less than 30% of small businesses report having a plan for emergencies. The odds are that your small business, or one that you frequent, may not survive a catastrophe without a plan.

One thing you can do to prepare is to talk to your first responders so they can help you prepare. One aspect of their jobs that has changed over the years is that they spend a lot of time educating the public. They can help you develop a basic needs assessment that you can refine. The day of an emergency is too late to consult with your first responders. Also, don't forget to let your police department know about your business in case they need to contact you for any reason.

Another good tip is that businesses should not let go of old fashioned wired telephone lines. Mobile towers go offline or get saturated during emergencies. Landlines continue to work, even when power goes out.

In terms of insurance, you need to insure what you do, not just what you have. When it comes to property, you must insure the capability of your assets, not so much the market value. Plan not just to replace stuff; plan so that you can continue in business no matter what happens.

There are many things you can do to prepare for disaster and for a quick recovery. You can find out more at http://www.ready.gov and at http://www.texasprepares.org.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Thursday, May 05, 2011

City of McAllen to Receive $1.9 Million to Fund Emergency Communication System

Dear Friends and Neighbors in the 28th District,

I recently received news that the City of McAllen was awarded
$1,940,000 to fund an emergency and public safety communication
system, the Rio Grande Valley Border Interoperability Regional Project
(RGVBIRP). Only seven awards were distributed nation-wide, and I am
grateful to the Department of Homeland Security for granting this
award to my constituency.

As we all know, the violence and unrest in Mexico increases the risk
of violence spilling over to our side of the border. This federal
grant will streamline cross-border communication, giving law
enforcement and emergency responders access to real-time communication
in emergency situations such as natural disasters or national threats.
The implementation of this system will increase coordination and
efficiency among local, state, and federal entities, aiding in our
efforts to keep border communities safe.

As a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, I am
constantly working to increase our border security. This new RGVBIRP
communications system, made possible through the federal grant, will
not only strengthen the security of our country, but also will
increase our emergency preparedness.

Sincerely,

Congressman Henry Cuellar

###

Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Homeland
Security and Agriculture Committees in the 112th Congress.
Accessibility to constituents, education, health care, economic
development, and national security are his priorities. Congressman
Cuellar is also a Senior Whip and member of the Blue Dog Coalition

KGBT on the Road at Speer Memorial Library in Mission, TX

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