Texas has experienced its share of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and wildfires in recent years. And now the world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disasters and emergencies will happen, and counties are the first line of defense when they do.
While the next storm cannot be stopped and the timing of the next disaster is unknown, counties are prepared to navigate the challenges that come with these perils and to serve their constituents.
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Watch this video about the role of the county judge in a disaster
- Emergency housing after disaster is essential. The state can prioritize addressing housing needs immediately after a storm, connecting residents with housing quickly, and prioritizing damage appraisal and grants or loans for housing for low to moderate income workers.
- Debris removal is essential to securing communities. Counties often lack sufficient local reserves to adequately respond to this immediate need. A disaster reilef fund could provide immediate support to local entities, pre-qualify debris removal contractors, and pool debris removal assets to ensure proper allocation.
- A strong state and local partnership saves time, money, and most important of all, lives. We need a streamlined system that cuts out bureaucratic hurdles, provides timely and accurate information, and empowers local communities.
Houston Chronicle, May 11, 2020
Houston residents may apply through the Texas General Land Office for federal aid to repair their Harvey-damaged homes, a step state officials say will speed up a process that has lagged under city control. The development comes less than three weeks after Land Commissioner George P. Bush told Mayor Sylvester Turner that he is moving forward with a takeover of federal funds granted to the city for its homeowner assistance program...
Houston Chronicle, Mar. 11, 2020
The state of Texas is appealing a denial of more than $100 million in federal disaster funding for public facilities and other infrastructure damaged by Tropical Storm Imelda. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott initially requested a presidential disaster declaration for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a half-dozen East Texas counties — including Harris, Montgomery and Jefferson counties...