WASHINGTON -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell joined FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson at the National Community Emergency Response Team conference today in Galveston, wrapping up a two-day trip to Texas.
The conference brings together volunteer emergency managers engaged in community emergency response across the country.
Criswell delivered the keynote address and recognized the CERT volunteers for their impact to their communities. CERT members are often the first to assist their community after a disaster and continue to support after the state, federal and voluntary agency response.
“You bring together the partners, you steer the ship through the first few hours of a disaster,” said Criswell. “You staff the shelters and find the food, so no one goes hungry. You are the first ones in and the last ones out. You stay to finish the job during the many, many months of recovery.”
These emergency managers often remove impediments to response and recovery efforts following a disaster.
Prior to the CERT conference, the Administrator met with faith-based leaders from the Houston area and staff from the Texas Division of Emergency Management as part of a roundtable to discuss lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey and how to better coordinate for future events.
Administrator Criswell also visited with members of the Harris County Flood Control District and local officials. During the meeting, officials demonstrated their flood forecast dashboard which was improved using FEMA hazard mitigation grant funding after Hurricane Harvey. The system measures rainfall amounts and monitors water levels in bayous and major streams, providing real-time information to the community.
HOUSTON -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell interacts with faith-based and community leaders during her visit to Houston. (FEMA photo by Daniel Rojas)
HOUSTON -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell listens as members of community and faith-based organizations describe how they continue supporting survivors and community groups to help the Houston-area’s recovery, almost five years after Hurricane Harvey. Criswell updated the group on important FEMA programs and acknowledged that disaster response and recovery efforts require additional work to provide emotional and spiritual care to those impacted during disasters. (FEMA photo by Daniel Rojas)
HOUSTON -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell tours the Harris County Flood Control District’s Flood Forecast Dashboard at its Transtar Regional Coordination Facility. This new technology helps the district monitor 188 gauge stations across Harris County bayous and their tributaries to view potential flooding during heavy rainstorms. FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provided funds for this project following Hurricane Harvey. (FEMA photo by Daniel Rojas)
GALVESTON, Texas -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell delivers the keynote address at the National CERT Conference Thursday in Galveston, to finish her two-day trip to southeast Texas. Criswell recognized many tribal members in attendance as well as CERT volunteers from across the nation. (FEMA photo by Daniel Rojas)