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Building 310, Suite 165
Austin, TX 78744

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In the News: News from June 2018

CAPCOG uses EDA funding for new disaster recovery, resiliency projects

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

CAPCOG is taking on two projects; one that will support the region’s over-all disaster resiliency, and one that will help stimulate economic activity for jurisdictions within the Hurricane Harvey FEMA disaster declaration.

Using U.S. Department of Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant funds, CAPCOG will work with jurisdictions in Bastrop, Caldwell, Lee and Fayette counties to identify economic development opportunities that either aid in their economic recovery from the effects of Hurricane Harvey or improve their economic resiliency. CAPCOG will help navigate such economic projects from ideas to fruition by connecting them with the appropriate funding mechanism. EDA, whose regional office is in Austin, has been awarded a large amount of supplemental disaster recovery funding to be allocated in Harvey-affected areas. 

Within the same EDA grant, CAPCOG will launch a regional GIS portal allowing emergency response personnel to access regional data sets in a live and secure environment. The portal will allow for jurisdictions to share mapping data as quickly as it is developed, making it easier to respond and recover from disasters that cross jurisdictional boundaries. The project will enhance the capabilities of WebEOC, a virtual tool used by emergency personnel to share incident information across jurisdictions and track the allocation of local resources, by providing more robust mapping data to the communication tool.

> Read about the CAPCOG Planning and Economic Development Division.

Homeland Security, RLEA offer School Safety Symposium

Monday, June 25, 2018

The CAPCOG’s Homeland Security Division and Regional Law Enforcement Academy are planning a symposium on response techniques and preparedness for school shooting incidents from 9 to 11 a.m., Monday, July 30 at the CAPCOG offices, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 155 in Austin. The symposium will provide information to leaders from school districts, police departments, emergency management teams, and emergency medical services about recognized best-practices used statewide to mitigate school shootings as well as allow participants to experience an active shooter in a school environment with CAPCOG’s use-of-force simulator.

Hays County Director of Emergency Services, Kharley Smith, will speak about their county’s school safety protocol program, a program that was recognized by Governor Greg Abbott during his efforts to look at solutions following the Santa Fe High School shooting. The county’s program provides instruction and training to every school district and law enforcement agency in the county on any type of dangerous or potentially dangerous situation as well as conducts response drills annually at every campus. A Citizen’s Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) trainer, David Burns with the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, will discuss strategies and guidance for individuals surviving an active shooter event and how local jurisdictions can educate their communities on using these strategies. CRASE was developed by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University. 

A draft agenda will be posted at capcog.org by July 13.

> Register for School Safety Symposium.
> Sign-up to take part in a use-of-force simulator demonstration.

Commute Solutions grows with CAMPO aid, helps seniors and workforce development

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) included in its 2019-2022 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) $250,000 to support CAPCOG’s Commute Solutions program that will help expand efforts for reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips, connecting seniors to transportation options and allowing others to reach workforce development opportunities throughout the region in FY 2019. The funds will be Category 7, Transportation Demand Management (TDM) category funding.

“Regional TDM programs like CAPCOG’s Commute Solutions program have an important role to play in improving transportation and quality of life in the region,” said Andrew Hoekzema, CAPCOG Regional Services director. “We look forward to being able to use these funds to enhance our ability to deliver results for the region’s residents.” CAMPO’s approval of federal funding will bring the program in line with similar programs in other large Texas metros. The funding will help enhance project coordination with regional transit partners to increase Commute Solutions participation and further planning and implementation of TDM initiatives

> Get more details about Commute Solutions.
> Participate in Commute Solutions.

EMCs, fire officials promote WarnCentralTexas.org as part of wildfire safety

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The national “Ready, Set, Go!” program tells residents to reduce wildfire risk by taking earlier actions, such as clearing brush from around homes and packing evacuation “go kits” which contain items such as important documents, medications and food. It also states residents should remain aware of wildfire news and information. “In Central Texas, residents can receive immediate emergency information directly from emergency responders by registering for alerts at WarnCentralTexas.org,” said Williamson County Emergency Management Director Jarred Thomas. “These warnings often provide incident information and instructions such as when it’s time to ‘Go!’, or evacuate your home.”

Thomas was one of several fire and emergency management officials from the CAPCOG ten-county region who recently encouraged residents to prepare for the 2018 wildfire season during a press conference in May. The officials promoted two national preparedness programs and stated each can be enhanced by the regional Warn Central Texas program.

Austin Fire Department’s Lt. Steve Gibbon said 449 wildfires already have occurred in the Austin area in 2018 and as development continues throughout the region it is important to promote the Firewise USA program which teaches communities to work together to reduce wildfire risks. “All of our residents should adopt the Firewise USA practices,” Gibbon said.  “In this region’s case, that also includes telling your neighbors to sign up for local warnings through WarnCentralTexas.org.” The WarnCentralTexas.org alert system is provided by CAPCOG and serves the ten-county region.

> Learn about Ready, Set, Go!
> Learn more about Firewise USA.
> Read about the CAPCOG Homeland Security Division.

Workshop shares household hazardous waste collection tips

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Household hazardous waste (HHW) management experts will share best practices for conducting community collection events during a free CAPCOG workshop scheduled for 9 a.m., Friday, June 29. The workshop will be at the CAPCOG offices, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 301, Suite 165 in Austin.

“From underestimating turnout to failing to correctly track and report materials collected, jurisdictions can make mistakes when conducting HHW events,” said Ken May, CAPCOG regional programs coordinator. “This workshop will help them maximize their collections, follow regulations, and save money on the disposal of materials by providing invaluable knowledge from industry leaders.”

Workshop attendees also will learn about coordinating their event with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, how to plan the logistics of collection events, and best-practices for local governments’ contracting of HHW events.

> Register to attend.
> Learn about CAPCOG's Solid Waste Program.

Public hearings, input to shape Harvey recovery funding

Monday, June 11, 2018

CAPCOG is drafting a Method of Distribution (MOD) for the 2017 Hurricane Harvey Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocations totaling $17,234,948 for the four disaster identified counties — Bastrop, Caldwell, Lee, and Fayette. It is seeking public input from elected officials and residents to better ensure the MOD reflects the communities’ needs and desires for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Local Infrastructure and Local Buyout and Acquisition program allocations.

> Read the draft MOD.

The first of two public hearings about the MOD was conducted on May 30 in Bastrop. The second hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 19 and will seek input about a draft version of the MOD. It will take place in the Bastrop County Annex’s County Commissioners Courtroom on the 2nd floor, 804 Pecan Street in Bastrop. The draft MOD will be available on capcog.org and at the CAPCOG offices by June 13. CAPCOG will accept written comments about the MOD through 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 27. Comments can be submitted by email to khadnot@capcog.org or through mail addressed as Attn: CAPCOG Hurricane Harvey CDBG-DR Comments, CAPCOG, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310 Suite 165, Austin, Texas 78744.

> Submit comment.
> Learn about CAPCOG's Homeland Security Division.

CAPCOG to hold local government flood grant strategy meeting

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Floods have impacted the CAPCOG region in recent years causing extensive damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, and disrupting the lives Central Texans. Hurricane Harvey caused serious flooding in four counties in the CAPCOG region and caused as much as $125 billion in damages across the state. Current grant opportunities from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) could help local jurisdictions in the region enhance their ability to reduce flooding risks by developing more accurate, comprehensive, and quantitative risk assessments, analyzing issues such as building damage, economic impact, debris generation and shelter requirements for potential flood scenarios, and develop plans for mitigating risks.

CAPCOG is inviting local floodplain administrators to coordinate a regional strategy for pursuing these grant opportunities at a 1:30 p.m., Friday, June 15 meeting. TWDB’s Flood Protection Grant applications are due on July 11, and letters of intent for TDEM’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program are due June 30.

> Contact Craig Eissler, CAPCOG GIS program manage,r for more information.

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