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Congressman John Ratcliffe

Representing the 4th District of Texas

Rep. Ratcliffe hosts Emergency Management Summit

October 13, 2016
Press Release
Officials discussed how to enhance response strategies in Northeast Texas

Paris, Texas – The Office of Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) hosted the first-ever Emergency Management Summit this week to help emergency management professionals in Texas’ 4th District prepare for major weather disasters requiring federal assistance.

Local emergency managers and county fire marshals from across all 18 counties in Ratcliffe’s district were invited to network, exchange ideas and lessons learned, and engage in candid conversation with representatives from federal agencies during the day-long Summit held in Paris, Texas.

“As Northeast Texans, we’re all too familiar with the destruction and devastation that can be wreaked by natural disasters and severe weather. In fact, we’ve already faced four separate emergencies requiring federal aid since I’ve been in Congress,” Ratcliffe said.

“I’ve certainly been inspired by the resilience our communities have shown in the wake of the disasters we’ve faced, and I realize that this powerful endurance was enhanced by collaboration between volunteers, first responders and folks at all levels of government. The Emergency Management Summit allowed professionals from across the region to combine their experiences and expertise to ensure we’re as prepared as possible when the next emergency strikes.”

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) speaks to emergency management officials at Summit

In addition to open conversation at the Summit, Mark Fox of the National Weather Service discussed how integrated warning teams work together during severe weather to provide update on a variety of communications platforms. Then, Grayson County Emergency Manager and Vice Chair and Texas Emergency Management Advisory Committee Member, Sarah Somers, discussed the legal requirements that must be met by emergency managers when issuing emergency notifications to include people with disabilities, as well as promoting safety of individuals who are deployed to ensure accurate and timely warnings during disasters.

Additionally, KXII Chief Meteorologist Steve LaNore discussed the region’s projected weather outlook after the past several years of tumultuous weather patterns; City of Rowlett Emergency Management Specialist Ed Balderas discussed the lessons learned from the tornadoes that hit Northeast Texas last December; and Mark Right from FEMA discussed an overview of the agency and its available services during disaster response efforts.

Attendees included city and county emergency management professionals from: Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Rains, Rockwall and Upshur counties; and a representative from the Ark-Tex Council of Governments, which includes: Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River and Titus Counties.

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