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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2017 Vol. 64 No. 6

The 2017 Texas Emergency Management Conference

The 2017 Texas Emergency Management Conference (TEMC) was held May 16-19 in San Antonio, Texas.  Visitors from near and far congregated at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center to engage with others within the emergency management community – state, federal, private, nonprofit and public partners alike.  Emergency managers spent time networking, exhibitors showed off cutting-edge products, and workshop presenters detailed new initiatives and lessons learned.

Text Box: 'We need to train like our lives depend on it, because they do. We need to 
                exercise like everything will go wrong, because it will. And we need to respond like it's 
                our own family, because one day, it might be.'  --Chief Kidd

Opening Ceremony

The 2017 TEMC opening session featured tenured emergency managers from across the state of Texas and neighboring states, who shared insights from their expertise in managing emergencies at the local, state, and federal level. Speakers included:

  • Tony Robinson, regional administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region VI
  • A.J. Gary, director, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management
  • James Waskom, director, Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
  • M. Jay Mitchell, cabinet secretary, New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

The opening session also afforded an opportunity to recognize the inaugural awardees of recognitions and the newly established Texas Emergency Management Hall of Fame. (link to chief's message for the list of award winners)

Exhibit Hall

From tiny drones to giant AMBUS and animal decontamination classes to the remote State Operations Center (SOC), the exhibitor floor was buzzing with excitement all week at TEMC! Private, nonprofit, and government organizations showed off their wares, programs, and skills to emergency managers from across the state and country. Over 150 unique exhibitors participated in this year's TEMC, with 116 booth displays and 36 floor displays filling the exhibit hall.

New to the exhibit hall this year was the joint TDEM and FEMA public assistance (PA), individual assistance (IA), and mitigation help desk. Both TDEM and FEMA subject matter experts were available to assist attendees who had questions about the featured topics.

Workshops & Meetings

There were over 165 workshops and countless meetings held at the TEMC. TDEM staff and guest presenters joined the TEMC to share their knowledge, expertise, and lessons learned with attendees.

Concurrent to the ongoing sessions, the Texas Emergency Management Advisory Committee (TEMAC) and the associated subcommittees took this great opportunity to hold their quarterly meetings and invite the emergency management community to attend. Regional meetings were also held Tuesday - Thursday in the morning to give emergency managers a unique opportunity to discuss issues that are specific to their area. Regional meeting topics included:

  • National Weather Service (NWS) technology
  • Preparedness updates
  • Recovery updates
  • Hurrevac

Emergency Tracking Network

If you were at the TEMC, you probably noticed the Texas State Guard and volunteers scanning badges at the doors of workshops and meetings. They weren't just tracking attendance rates; they were testing the newest version of the Emergency Tracking Network (ETN). ETN version 1.5 was recently released, and the system was fully tested at the conference, showing off its versatility. Fourteen volunteers from the Texas State Guard and 40 civilian volunteers helped test the system throughout the week.

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