COLLEGE STATION – A grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is funding training to help communities bolster their resilience and their ability to recover from a major disaster. The grant was awarded to the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), which provided 25% in matching funds. The $350,000 grant will cover the costs of providing disaster recovery courses in five states over the next two years.
TEEX will provide face-to-face, on-site training in Disaster Recovery for Senior Officials and Disaster Recovery Public Assistance Programs to communities in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas that were impacted by FEMA-declared disasters in 2017. Federal Disaster Declarations in 2017 were issued for Hurricane Harvey, tornadoes, severe storms and flooding.
“In 2017, there were 16 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in the United States,” said Tony Crites, Associate Director of TEEX’s Infrastructure Training and Safety Institute. “This set a record of annual spending on disasters that exceeded $300 billion. The courses TEEX has developed will help take some of the mystery out of recovery and allow communities to better manage the recovery process.”
Trained facilitators will deliver the four-hour course, Disaster Recovery for Senior Officials, which helps senior leaders in the community make key decisions that help the community and local businesses to effectively prepare for and recover from disasters.
TEEX instructors and facilitators will also deliver the 12-hour Introduction to Disaster Recovery Public Assistance Programs, which provides front-line staff in the jurisdiction with information on how to apply for funding assistance and successfully administer recovery assistance program funds.
A free online Disaster Recovery Awareness course is available 24/7 on the TEEX website. This course provides basic information about recovery resources available to improve community resilience and prepares individuals to participate in recovery planning prior to a disaster.
All three disaster recovery courses are designed for participants across a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the community who play a role in disaster recovery, from emergency responders and emergency managers to officials from public works departments, utilities, hospitals, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
TEEX’s Infrastructure Training & Safety Institute is reaching out to local leaders and emergency management organizations in areas with Federal Disaster Declarations in the five-state EDA Region VI, and will soon begin offering the classes to qualified communities who request the training.
Training in disaster recovery is vital to our nation’s resilience, said TEEX Deputy Director Al Davis, who also serves as Chair of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC). TEEX operates the National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (NERRTC), which is a founding member of the NDPC.
“Recovery training has long been an identified area of concern at both the national and state of Texas levels and beyond,” Davis said. “We are extremely grateful that the leadership of the EDA recognized the need for recovery training and put their trust and confidence in TEEX to develop and deliver the courses.”
Learn more about Disaster Recovery Training