Running Head: IMPROVING FLOOD EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS 1 Improving Flood Emergency Preparedness in League City Abstract This paper explores a vital need to the residents of League City in regards to flood emergency response. Based on online research from the City of League City Mitigation Plan, Galveston County Mitigation Plan, and The Council for Excellence in Government, a local flood preparedness campaign focusing on a coordinated community emergency preparedness educational class is recommended.
While there are many resources in place for League City residents in regards to emergency management, a problem lies in the lack of knowledge residents have about this information. This paper examines how a local flood preparedness campaign focusing on a coordinated community emergency preparedness class will improve preparedness in League City. Improving Flood Emergency Preparedness in League City A local flood preparedness campaign with focus on a coordinated community emergency preparedness conference is recommended to assist the residents of League City in the event of a flood.
Floods have been and continue to be the most frequent, destructive, and costly natural hazard facing not only League City, but the state of Texas as well. Flooding accounts for 91 percent of all recorded damages in the State of Texas (Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, 2009). The League City Mitigation Planning Committee (LPMPC, 2010), reports storm surges have the potential to affect up to 90 percent of League City’s footprint.
In the event of such situations, many of the communities’ resources will be unavailable to its residents. The community must be made aware of safe alternatives for shelter, evacuation routes, and the safe way to prepare themselves and property from danger. According to League City’s Mitigation Planning Committee (LPMPC) (2010), the city is evenly divided between two major watersheds and in close proximity to Galveston Bay. As such, League City faces constant threats of flooding.
According to the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management (GCOEM) (2009), in April 2009, League City experienced a flash flood causing over four million dollars in damage. To put this into perspective, the surrounding eight cities which compromise Galveston County, suffered a combined two million dollars worth of damage during the same flash flood. Perhaps with greater public awareness on how to prepare for floods, League City may avoid such collateral damage in the future.
Community Flood Preparedness Conference To facilitate public awareness of resources available to them in times of emergencies, League City’s local government, in conjunction with Galveston County Emergency Management (GCEM), Harris County Emergency Management (HCEM), Emergency Management Association of Texas (EMAT), and the American Red Cross, will facilitate a local flood preparedness campaign. The campaign’s purpose will be to advertise a coordinated flood preparedness educational conference.
The League City Mitigation Planning Committee recognized this as a vital and future goal as well, “A public education program must be developed and implemented to distribute educational materials to the community or conduct equivalent outreach activities that will be used to inform the public” (2010). The target population for this conference will be all residents, public service employees, businesses, commercial/industrial facilities, and construction site personnel within League City.
Information regarding this conference will be distributed via mailings in utility bills, links on the League City website, multiple postings at public service businesses, public service mass calling via switchboard from the Citizen Information Line, advertisement on City TV 16, and correspondence given at all public schools to students. The annual conference will be held the first weekend of March. The three day conference will be open to the public and held at League City’s town hall.
On day one of the conference, there will be information regarding emergency resources, local government plans, emergency alert systems, personal and family preparedness, first aid, volunteerism, emergency kits, communication, and shelter. The public will be able to pick up information that will aid them in day two of the conference. Day two will consist of speakers from the above mentioned agencies. Day two will be the pivotal day of the conference as there will be a two hour “crash course” on flood reparedness. To ensure this “crash course” reaches the vast majority of the public, the live class will be simultaneously broadcasted via pod cast on League City’s website and on League City’s public access channel, City TV 16. Participants and viewers will be encouraged to take notes and return to City Hall on Sunday for a follow-up and wrap-up on all flood emergency preparedness topics. Summary According to The Council for Excellence in Government (2010), the nation’s Readiness Quotient (RQ) ranks a low 4. . It is evident there is a need to improve the preparedness of the public. However, before preparations can begin, the public must be given access to accurate and pertinent information. Preparation therefore requires proactive and not reactive actions. Proactive actions for the community can be reached with the implementation of a local emergency preparedness campaign, focusing on a coordinated flood preparedness conference. References Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, (GCOEM). 2009, October 08). Galveston county hazard mitigation plan update: preparing for a safe and secure future. Retrieved from hhttp://www. gcoem. org/content/view/274/145/ League City Mitigation Committee (LCMC). (2010, July 15). City of league city local mitigation plan. Retrieved from http://www. leaguecity. com/DocumentView. aspx? The Council for Excellence in Government. (2010, August 04). What’s your rq? – national results. Retrieved from http://www. whatsyourrq. org/national. shtml