Message From The Chief
Welcome to November, Texas! The temperatures should start cooling off here soon, fingers crossed! We celebrate Thanksgiving in November, reminding us of all the things we're so thankful for: living in the great state of Texas, our families, and our first responders who keep us safe. I'd like to remind Texas emergency managers of one more thing we should be thankful for – the amazing mutual aid system we have built here in Texas.
As emergency managers we've heard the terms (or more accurately, the acronyms) a thousand times – mutual aid agreements (MAA), memorandum of understanding (MOU), etc. – but when was the last time these documents were reviewed and updated in your jurisdiction? Where is this documentation stored? Does it contain all the information needed to be eligible for reimbursement if and when the time comes? Take some time this month and review your jurisdiction's mutual aid agreements.
Did you know you can store and manage your mutual aid agreements on preparingtexas.org? It's a quick and easy way to make sure participating jurisdictions have access to these documents when needed. It also provides a backup copy of these vital records (hint* hint*: COOP!).
Three Levels of Aid Automatic Mutual Aid
Agreements that permit the automatic dispatch and response of requested resources without incident-specific approvals. These agreements are usually basic contracts; some may be informal accords.
Local Mutual Aid
Agreements between neighboring jurisdictions or organizations that involve a formal request for assistance and generally cover a larger geographic area than automatic mutual aid.
Statewide Mutual Aid
Agreements, often coordinated through the state, that incorporate both state and local governmental and nongovernmental resources in an attempt to increase preparedness statewide.
Days to Remember in November:
Critical Infrastructure Preparedness Month
Military Family Month
Child Safety Protection Month
November 5 – Daylight Savings Time Ends - Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries
November 17 – Take a Hike Day – Visit a Texas State Park
November 22 – President Kennedy Assassination in Dallas anniversary (1963)
November 23 – Thanksgiving
Chief W. Nim Kidd, MPA, CEM®, TEM®
Follow @chiefkidd on Twitter