LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Deep East Texas Emergency management officials received training Wednesday at Pitser Garrison Convention Center.
The Texas Department of Public Safety hosted the workshop for 20 emergency management officials from Angelina, Tyler and Nacogdoches counties as well as the cities of Lufkin, Corrigan, Livingston and Onalaska.
With a new batch of elected officials taking office this month, DPS took time today to remind local leaders of resources available in case there is an emergency.
The new mayor of Livingston Judy Cochran said this information is vital for leaders who may be faced with a disaster recovery.
“I think again, the resources are there at different levels that the city will contact the county, the county will contact the district and go on up to the governor," Cochran said.
Texas state law requires newly elected officials such as a county judge or mayor to have plans in place just in case a disaster happens.
“We take this responsibility seriously, we know that when something happens people are going to look to us for answers and for help. And we are doing everything we can to be prepared,” said Jason Arnold, City of Lufkin.
Assistant City Manager and Emergency Management Coordinator Jason Arnold said open channels of communication between local and state responders are vital.
“So the trick is that the more we learn and the more we go through these different events and incidences that you just can’t be prepared enough. Communication is key,” Arnold said.
A recent example of quick action, involves the tar loop incident of 2017 as reports of cars with tars started developing.
“You know when the tar incident happened, our police officers were able to shut down the loop in just a miraculous time, something we hang our hats on, we were prepared to do that,” Arnold said.
Legislators in Austin will be looking at responses to Hurricane Harvey during this session. Disaster plan requirements for elected officials could change based on that debate.
The two hour workshop reviewed policies and procedures put in place should any emergency such as a hurricane or tornado take place.