- Community and Citizen Preparedness
- Hurricane Harvey Method of Distribution
- Regional Notifications System (WarnCentralTexas)
- Regional Preparedness & Plans
Citizen Corps is FEMA’s grassroots strategy to bring together government and community leaders to involve citizens in all-hazards emergency preparedness and resilience. The goal is to have all citizens participate in making their communities safer, stronger, and better prepared for preventing and handling threats of terrorism, crime, and disasters of all kinds. The Citizen Corps Program benefits first responders by creating well trained, better informed, and better prepared citizens to take care of themselves and others during times of crisis – allowing first responders to address the most critical needs. There are five different citizen corps programs which include Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Fire Corps, Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), USAonWatch-Neighborhood Watch, and Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS).
Through Homeland Security Grant Program funds, the CAPCOG Region has funded a position to coordinate the citizen corps programs located in the 10-county region and identify activities for citizen preparedness. Residents interested in learning more or becoming more involved in a local program, contact a local citizen corps program listed below:
- Bastrop County CERT
- FireCAP, Inc.
- VIPS and Neighborhood Watch
- Burnet County CERT
- Hays County CERT
- City of Austin CERT
- City of Pflugerville CERT
- City of Cedar Park CERT
During a disaster, residents must be prepared to survive on their own for at least three days. Be ready for an emergency by making a disaster kit, creating a family plan, and staying informed. Information about all those self-preparedness tools at ready.gov and texasready.gov.
CAPCOG drafted a Method of Distribution (MOD) for the 2017 Hurricane Harvey Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocations in the Local Infrastructure Program and the Local Buyout and Acquisition Program. The document will propose how to distribute funds to foster long-term recovery, emphasize a focus on the permanent restoration in infrastructure, and to use local buyout and acquisition of land and property to remove Hurricane Harvey survivors out of harm’s way. The MOD is for those jurisdictions in CAPCOG counties affected by Hurricane Harvey, 2017 FEMA Disaster 4332 — Bastrop, Caldwell, Lee, and Fayette counties. CAPCOG anticipates the region receiving $4,305,474 of infrastructure and $12,929,474 of acquisition program funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CAPCOG has already created a draft version of the MOD based on public input.
CAPCOG’s most affected areas can be seen in the map below from The Texas General Land Office.
MOD Allocation Formulas and Data
To allocate the funds in the Housing Acquisition Assistance Program and the Infrastructure Assistance Program, CAPCOG relied on formulas that multiply relevant variables by a weighting factor. The full formulas and weights for each program are outlined in the MOD Data Explanation document
Several FEMA sources contributed to the determining the allocations. CAPCOG has compiled the sources so they can be reviewed along with the MOD Data Explanation document. Contact CAPCOG to view the documents.
Public comments on the regional MOD were taken from Aug. 20, 2018 to Sept. 3, 2018. Residents were welcomed to contribute any input or comments.
The Capital Area Council of Governments uses a regional notification system (RNS), WarnCentralTexas.org, as a crucial public-safety tool. The Web-based tool is available to users throughout the CAPCOG region to alert the public to emergency and non-emergency situations. It’s an effective tool for notifying a relatively large number of people in a short period of time. Messages may include content such as incident-specific information, recommended protective actions or response directives. They can be delivered to various devices that accept voice, email or SMS text content and to alpha or numeric pagers. The message sender identifies recipients, develops the message and determines which types of devices receive the message. Regional partners that use RNS can send voice messages to landline phones using CAPCOG’s 9-1-1 database. However, residents and visitors to the CAPCOG region must register their cellphone numbers and email addresses to receive notifications on mobile devices or computers.
In addition to alerts sent by local jurisdictions, residents may choose to receive automated warnings — tornado, severe thunderstorm or flash flood, for example — from the National Weather Service.
Participate in public outreach
Continuing to encourage self-registrations for cellphone users plays an invaluable role in ensuring messages from WarnCentralTexas.org can reach as many people as possible. CAPCOG and its regional partners have developed materials to help promote and increase self-registration that any community or person is welcome to use. CAPCOG and it is regional partners will continually update its public outreach materials, so check back often.
Regional Mutual Aid Plan
The Capital Area Regional Mutual Aid Plan establishes guidelines for making available the appropriate resources at the appropriate time in response to large-scale, emergency management incidents as they develop. Covering all 10-counties in the CAPCOG region and the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council 11-county region, the plan provides guidance for the coordination of many different types of available local, public resources needed for a regional response. It addresses the system of requesting, locating, and mobilizing those resources and the coordination of their deployment before and after substantial state, federal or distant local resources can arrive. CAPCOG’s Executive Committee approved the plan in September 2015. The mutual aid plan is inclusive of both local governments that have adopted the Capital Area Mutual Aid Agreement, approved in 2006, and others organizations not serviced through the Mutual Aid Agreement. Other political subdivisions, nonprofits, and private sector organizations can partake in the plan.
Mass Fatality Response Plan
CAPCOG and multiple stakeholders developed the CAPCOG Mass Fatality Response Plan to offer guidance to all public safety responders within the region’s 10-county area. The plan outlines a shared approach for multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency response efforts to incidents resulting in significant numbers of fatalities. It is intended to provide clear, practical guidance for responding to such incidents. The plan lays out the operational concepts, roles, authorities, protocols, and resource requirements unique to mass fatality incidents (MFI). It helps facilitate inquests, remains recovery and appropriate disposition through a structured approach. A MFI occurs when the number and/or condition of human remains challenges local fatality management capabilities, so the local jurisdictions must require assistance to perform remains recovery, morgue services and disposition of victims. Such incidents can occur with little or no warning and use resources and procedures beyond those employed in day-to-day response. CAPCOG’s Mass Fatality Response Plan includes the following and more information:
- A MFI quick action guide
- Definitions of situations and assumptions
- A description of concept of operations
- Definitions of assignments by responsibilities
- Information on how to handle plan development and plan maintenance
- A quick reference guide to MFI operations
- A recovery unit guide
- Guidance for operating a family assistance center unit
Other Plans and Reports
There are currently three 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, Williamson County, and the City of Austin. In addition to these three 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 WMDs 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.
WebEOC is an internet-based platform allowing for secure and real-time sharing of information related to management of emergencies among emergency management personnel, first responder agencies and cooperating organizations. CAPCOG provides and maintains WebEOC as a communications and response tool for emergency management coordinators and first responders throughout the region. As a tool, it allows emergency management personnel to provide and view information about incidents occurring in other jurisdictions. Using WebEOC lets agencies track the allocation of local resources regionally to improve response to disasters and terroristic threats. It also allows other emergency centric institutions — such as hospitals, health departments, and various city departments — to be alert of situations and prepare their own response. CAPCOG establishes the WebEOC policies and procedures used by its 10-county region —Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Lee, Llano, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties, so all organizations can have a standard operating procedure throughout the region for using the tool.
WebEOC Training and Use
CAPCOG trains users how to operate WebEOC and also helps facilitate the use of the tool during mock and live events. The COG also maintains the interface programing of WebEOC to make sure its functionality meets the demands of all jurisdictions and emergency agencies in the region. Training is provided on an as needed basis and can be requested by any of the partnering municipalities and counties. CAPCOG holds meetings to discuss training and the use of. The implementation of WebEOC and its policies of use are discussed and reviewed by CAPCOG advisory committees to include the Homeland Security Task Force, which is made of emergency management and public safety personnel from around the region.