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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2017 Vol. 64 No. 10

Message From The Chief

As the holiday season approaches, we are reminded of the importance of family. In the aftermath of Harvey, it is vital to recognize the importance of not only our family and friends, but of our community as a whole. I often mention "It Only Takes One" when referring to the potential impact of hurricanes to Texas. Hurricane Harvey made landfall not just once, but three times, and from Rockport to Port Arthur, we are recovering from a historic storm. Texans experienced catastrophic wind damage, devastating flooding, and sadly, loss of life, but in true Texas fashion, the quick actions of responders significantly lessened damage and danger to many across the state. Deputy director Tom Polonis perhaps put it best: "We threw everything but the kitchen sink at this thing!" Texans have been challenged unlike ever before, and it takes everyone coming together – state and federal partners, first responders, emergency managers, volunteers, and neighbors – to rebuild Texas stronger than ever. Thanks to all the hard work of these individuals and communities as we continue to support the Lone Star State!

Fire Prevention Week

Do you know what else is a real "treat" for a firefighter? October 8-14, Fire Prevention Week! This year's Fire Prevention Week theme is "Every Second Counts, Plan 2 Ways Out!" Fires and fire safety are always on the minds of emergency managers but should also be on the minds of every household, especially those with small children. Be sure to practice regular fire drills with your family (including your pets), have a family communication plan, and remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least twice a year.

Check out these other fire safety links!

Sparky the Fire Dog's Website
Smokey Bear's Website
National Fire Protection Association

Cybersecurity Awareness Month

During the month of October, we observe Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Technology continues to enhance our daily lives and the safety of our community, but it also comes with risks. We have experienced several cybercrimes in Texas that directly impacted the emergency management community and our ability to maintain public confidence. Emergency management tends to leave cybersecurity to the information technology department, but these worlds are becoming more blurred. Emergency managers need to be aware of the risks of a cyberattack and what we can do to mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from these events. If you're not already aware of what your jurisdiction is doing to address cybersecurity, I challenge you to get involved this month.

Check out these cybersecurity links to help get you started:

FEMA's Cybersecurity Guidance
FEMA's IS-523: Resilient Accord – Exercising Continuity Plans for Cyber Incidents
DHS Cybersecurity Training & Exercises
TEEX Cybersecurity – Vulnerability Testing and Assessment

Other days to remember in October:

National Crime Prevention Month
October 1 – Texas General Land Office Opening Anniversary (1837)
October 4 – Laredo Smallpox Outbreak Anniversary (1898)
October 5 – Dallas Health Museum Opening Anniversary (1949)
October 15 – White Cane Safety Day
October 16 – Boss's Day
October 25 – Texas State Fair Opening Anniversary (1886)
October 27 – Navy Day
October 31 – Halloween

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