Regional Planning for Homeland Security
In June 2002, The Governor's Office requested that all Councils of Governments develop regional homeland security plans as part of a state planning initiative. Planning at the regional level was chosen due to the scale and scope of potential weapons of mass destruction incidents and the geographic size of Texas.
FY 2013 Homeland Security Grant Program
CAPCOG is accepting requests for projects to be funded through the Homeland Security Grant Program's fiscal 2013 round. Funding may be limited and will focus on sustaining capabilities developed during prior funding cycles; projects designed to build new capabilities may not be approved by the state.
Learn more about the application process at an informational workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, March 18, 2013, at the CAPCOG Agave Room, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 165, Austin, TX 78744. Use the training entrance.
Workshop attendance isn't required for funding eligibility, but the session will provide an overview of the grant program, the process of identifying projects for funding and ways to prepare the project worksheets. For questions, contact Cindy Hood. > Go
Regional Mutual Aid
CAPCOG has worked with stakeholders and elected officials since 2003 on the issue of regional mutual aid. Stakeholders including jurisdictions and multiple response disciplines have provided input on mutual aid from legal consideration and reimbursement issues, to disaster operations realities that impact the provision of mutual aid. CAPCOG shared a tiered mutual aid template with jurisdictions at the beginning of 2004 which was favorably received across the region as indicated by the 90% adoption rate. The mutual aid agreements had a companion document called the CAPCOG Mutual Aid Plan which contained regional details about mutual aid provisions. In 2006, CAPCOG simplified and updated the tiered regional mutual aid agreement to a universal agreement for all political subdivisions. This agreement provides a framework for the sharing of critical resources among CAPCOG jurisdictions in responding to natural or man-made emergencies. The CAPCOG Mutual Aid Plan was transitioned into the Capital Area Regional Response Plan.
Regional Response Plan
In 2005, the Governor's Division of Emergency Management (GDEM) entered into an agreement with the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC) to develop Regional Response Plans for the State of Texas. Regions are defined by utilizing the current 24 Council of Governments (COG) boundaries. The purpose of these plans is to ensure a Regional Unified Command and address specific, technical issues pertaining to equipment, responders, and communications. Once completed, these plans are scheduled to be exercised under the direction of GDEM and NERRTC .
The Capital Area Regional Response Plan (CARRP) describes a coordinated system for requesting, locating, and mobilizing local government resources with the 10-county CAPCOG region and the 11-county region served by the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Committee (CATRAC) in response to an emergency situation affecting any county in the region. In the event of a catastrophic incident affecting much or all of the region, this plan addresses mobilization of all available local government resources in the region and coordinating deployment of those resources within the first few critical hours before substantial state, federal, or distant local resources can arrive. The plan was developed by the CAPCOG HSTF and the CATRAC in cooperation with the GDEM. The plan was adopted by the CAPCOG Executive Committee and the CATRAC in April 2006. Each County Judge and Mayor in CAPCOG received a copy of the plan in July 2006.
Contact Ed Schaefer for more information.
Communications Interoperability Planning
The Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) created a regional interoperability workgroup in late 2004 as a subcommittee of the CAPCOG Homeland Security Task Force (HSTF). This workgroup, currently named the Long-term Telecommunications Interoperability Committee (LTI), includes representatives appointed by their respective county judges from the 10-county area as well as additional regional and state communications stakeholders. These representatives develop workable solutions for achieving communications interoperability within the region, following the framework established by the Texas Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP). LTI is tasked with identifying interoperable communications needs, setting communications funding priorities, and making recommendations on needs, priorities and funding allocations to HSTF.
The CAPCOG Long-Term Interoperability Plan was created and approved in January 2006 as a mandate from the Texas Governor’s Office of Homeland Security to address workable solutions for achieving and maintaining Level 4 communications interoperability. The CAPCOG Long-Term Interoperability Strategic Plan for Communication Projects was developed and approved in May 2008 to address additional interoperability priorities. As part of the national priorities in communications interoperability through the Office of Communications (OEC), every state in the nation had to prepare a statewide interoperability plan. Regional Interoperable Communications Plans (RICPs) were mandated by the state as an update to the 2006 plans. In March 2010, CAPCOG adopted the CAPCOG Regional Interoperable Communications Plan.
Download six important documents about communications interoperability planning in Texas and the CAPCOG region:
Texas Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan, 2010
Radio Communications Interoperability Plan, 2009
Statewide Interoperability Channel Plan
CAPCOG Interoperability Plan, 2006
LTI Strategic Plan for Communications Projects, 2008
CAPCOG Regional Interoperable Communications Plan, 2010
Contact Ed Schaefer for more information.
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
On March 1, 2004, after close collaboration with state and local government officials and representatives from a wide range of public safety organizations, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued the NIMS. It incorporates many existing best practices into a comprehensive national approach to domestic incident management, applicable at all jurisdictional levels and across all functional disciplines.
The NIMS represents a core set of doctrine, principles, terminology, and organizational processes to enable effective, efficient and collaborative incident management at all levels. To provide the framework for interoperability and compatibility, the NIMS is based on a balance between flexibility and standardization.
- Command and Management includes the Incident Command System (ICS), Multi-Agency Coordination Systems (MACS) and Public Information Systems.
- Preparedness addresses Planning, Training, Exercises, Personnel Qualifications and Certifications, Equipment Acquisition and Certification, Mutual Aid, and Publications Management.
- Resource Management establishes systems to describe, inventory, request and track resources, and the methods to activate these systems prior to and during an incident.
- Communications and Information Management asserts the need for accessible and interoperable communications and information sharing.
Supporting Technologies On-going development of science and technology is integral to continued improvement of the NIMS, and cover such items as voice and data communications, information and display systems.
CAPCOG continues to assist with interpreting current NIMS guidance and provides tools for local jurisdictions to meet NIMS requirements. FY2005 was a start up year for NIMS implementation and full compliance with the NIMS was not required for jurisdictions to receive FY 2005 grant funds. However, in order to receive FY 2006 preparedness grant funding, the minimum FY 2005 compliance requirements must be met. Applicants will be required to certify as part of their FY 2006 grant applications that they have met compliance requirements.
To reference the NIMS compliance schedule: NIMS Implementation Activity Schedule
To view the preparedness grant programs that are impacted by compliance with NIMS standards:
As part of the NIMS compliance, state, territorial, tribal and local level jurisdictions should support NIMS implementation by completing various NIMS courses. Various courses are offered online via the FEMA Independent Study Program at http://training.fema.gov/IS/.
Two of the basic level courses, IS-700 National Incident Management System, An Introduction and the IS-100, An Introduction of the Incident Command System, can be taken on-line at the FEMA Independent Study Program or can also be presented to a jurisdiction by CAPCOG.
Advanced NIMS training is intended for persons who will serve as command or general staff in an ICS organization, select department heads with multi-agency coordination system responsibilities, area commanders, emergency managers, and multi-agency coordination system/emergency operations center managers.
For more information about Advanced NIMS training for ICS-300 and ICS-400, visit the FEMA Fact Sheet at:
Texas Regional Response Network (TRRN):
A key component of NIMS is resource management. In November 2004, the TRRN was adopted as the Statewide Mutual Aid Database. The TRRN allows jurisdictions to list all equipment that is available for mutual aid response to other jurisdictions. Equipment purchased through the State Homeland Security Grant Program is subject to special conditions per the subrecipient agreement with the State Administrative Agency. As such, jurisdictions wishing to be eligible for preparedness grants are mandated to identify all equipment in TRRN.
To view information about accessing TRRN, link to the following document entitled Getting Started: TRRN
Contact Ed Schaefer for more information.
There are currently 4 Strike Teams within the CAPCOG region, whose primary purpose is to provide highly technical response to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) events within the CAPCOG region. The teams are comprised of personnel from hazardous material, law enforcement and medical disciplines, and are located in: Hays County, Travis County, Williamson County, and the City of Austin. In addition to these four teams, the Austin Police Department Bomb Squad provides a response with all team deployment as does the Regional Mobile Communication Vehicle.
The Strike Teams will only respond to incidents that are categorized as catastrophic weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or terrorist attacks. A detailed screening and dispatching procedure has been developed in an effort to ensure these resources are utilized to their fullest capabilities. For more information, please visit the website for the Regional Strike Team Equipping and Training at www.r-e-s-e-t.org.
Regional Mobile Command Vehicle
The Regional Mobile Command Vehicle (RMC-1) is a regional asset for immediate on scene support of a catastrophic incident in a CAPCOG county. The capabilities of RMC-1 include both communications and mission capabilities. RMC-1 can be used for patching interoperability frequencies/talk groups, data support using broadband capability, video support, and limited command post capacity. Emergency Management Coordinators are able to request this asset based on regional protocols.
Contact Ed Schaefer for more information.
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an emergency preparedness program supported by the federal government that trains citizen volunteers to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. CERT Teams are organized under the leadership of a local jurisdiction and receive specialized training that enhance their role to provide critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT teams also help with non-emergency programs to help improve the safety of the community. Within CAPCOG, CERT teams are associated with City of Austin OEM, City of Cedar Park, City of Pflugerville, City of Sunset Valley, Bastrop County, Fayette County, and Hays County. Refer to the national website at http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/index.shtm to learn more about CERT.