Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2015 Vol. 62 No. 9

Message From The Chief

Texas Emergency Management Digest cover page, Summer Edition 2005.

Texas Emergency Management Digest cover page, Summer Edition 2005.

There’s an adage that surfaces around the emergency community from time to time, “Know what you don’t know.” On the surface, the adage may have little meaning. But its intended meaning is a little more insightful: be prepared for anything, especially for what you can’t predict.

Every incident and disaster presents its own unique and often unexpected elements and consequences. And that incident or disaster that had been the worst yet, just may be another record waiting to be broken.

Ten years ago this month, the then-Governor’s Division of Emergency Management had been ramping up for hurricane season. Because early predictions called for above-average activity for 2005, and the 2004 hurricane season had been severe, resolve and vigilance were high. Spawning 15 named storms, including six major hurricanes, 2004 had been the costliest hurricane season on record in the United States. Florida had been hit particularly hard, so Texas along with other states sent personnel to Florida to help with recovery efforts there.

There is little doubt that emergency responders and planners in Texas in 2005 were prepared for the hurricane season. But few of them, if any, probably would have predicted what was about to occur beginning that September.

Preparedness isn’t just about large-scale, record disasters. It includes being prepared for potential hazards—large and small, obvious and unexpected—in your home, in your neighborhood and community. According to FEMA, 60 percent of American adults have not developed an emergency plan or practiced what to do during a disaster, even though most of us live in areas that have experienced severe weather-related disasters.

September is National Preparedness Month.


We set aside this month to remember the challenges we have overcome and to reinforce the need for all of us to be prepared for disasters and emergencies.

I encourage all Texans to commit to doing at least one of the following simple tasks:

  • Learn about emergencies or hazards in your community and the proper response.
  • Sign up for local text alerts and warnings for your smartphone.
  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make an emergency communications plan.
  • Get involved in preparedness in your community.

Remember, preparedness is not a destination, it is a journey, and we are all on it together. #TEXASPREP

Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM® TEM
Follow @chiefkidd on Twitter

Additional links:
2015 National Preparedness Month
America's PrepareAthon!
Community Emergency Response Teams (PDF)
Volunteer in Texas
Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

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