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    Legislative Services

    Texas is 254 counties strong. That's a lot of experience and know-how state lawmakers can rely on when making public policy decisions. County officials across Texas are ready to help.

    Publications | August 21, 2023

    Emergency Preparedness

    Return to County Legislative Issues

    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.

    Watch this video about the role of the county judge in a disaster

    Key Points
    • 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.