The Emergency Management Council and SOC are fully activated and closely monitoring Hurricane Gustav, holding twice daily conference calls with federal, state and local officials, private industry partners, volunteer organizations, and the National Weather Service.
To date, Texas has taken the following actions:
Texas Military Forces: Up to 7,500 guardsmen and 15 aerial resources have been activated and have started pre-positioning in Beaumont, Houston and Galveston, and an additional 30 aerial resources will be provided by the Department of Defense. Four C-130 aircraft will be prepositioned tomorrow in Beaumont in preparation for medical evacuations.
Texas Engineering Extension Service: Texas Task Force 1 and Texas Task Force 2 have been activated and are ready for rapid deployment if search and rescue capabilities are needed.
Department of Public Safety: Commercial Vehicle Enforcement troopers are on standby to inspect buses that may be used in potential evacuations.
Department of State Health Services: The agency is planning for air and ground evacuation of hospital patients as needed, and three federal medical stations have been requested to be used as medical special needs shelters.
Health and Human Services Commission: HHSC is working with the state's information and referral centers to increase capacity for an expected surge in calls to 2-1-1. Since August 21, 4,205 Texans have registered with 2-1-1.
Department of Aging and Disability Services: Staff at the Richmond and Lufkin state schools are monitoring the storm and making preparations to ensure adequate staffing to shelter in place or evacuate if necessary.
Department of Family and Protective Services: DFPS is contacting foster parents in areas that may be affected by the storm to make sure they have an emergency plan and know what to do in the event of disaster or evacuation.
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs: Hurricane housing resources for communities are on the agency's website (www.tdhca.state.tx.us). TDHCA is reminding all affordable housing rental owners statewide to keep their apartment vacancy information current as they supply information to TDHCA.
Texas Department of Agriculture: The agency has identified commodities that are available for distribution should it be necessary, and is coordinating with the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: A strike team capable of handling hazardous materials, additional public water supply and wastewater specialists, and a self contained mobile command post trailer with interoperable radio communications and satellite/wireless internet connections is on standby.
Texas Public Utility Commission: The Public Utility Commission has ordered electric and telephone utilities along the Gulf Coast to review emergency operations plans, update critical care customer lists, check inventories and alert crews. The PUC has alerted all utilities throughout Texas to be ready to provide additional help to affected areas has needed.
Texas Education Agency: The Round Rock Independent School District is providing buses and instructors today and Saturday to train members of the Texas Military Forces who may be needed to drive buses for potential coastal evacuations. Coastal school districts are reviewing their evacuation plans and making preparations in case they need to evacuate.
Texas Department of Information Resources: DIR has an Emergency Response Product Agreement with Dell in place that allow for the loan of Dell products during times of weather emergencies, regional disasters or national emergencies, if needed during this effort. IBM has completed backup copies for the remote sites in the current path. Additional backup copies will be made today as requested. IBM will work with several agencies today to orderly shut down servers and take additional protective measures.
Texas Forest Service: The Lone Star State Incident Management Team is on standby and has alerted Regional Incident Management Teams across the State. TFS is assisting with planning and resource tracking at the Corpus Christi, McAllen, and San Antonio District Disaster Councils.
Texas Workforce Commission: All Texas coastal workforce centers remain open.
Texas Department of Insurance: TDI continues to monitor Hurricane Gustav and remain in contact with its insurance stakeholder group, the Texas State Disaster Coalition.
Texas Department of Transportation: Dynamic message signs are being used to urge residents along the coast to fuel up their vehicles. TxDOT personnel are also sweeping roadside shoulders and patching pavement along potential evacuation routes.
Fuel Team: Fuel supply trucks and trailers are on standby to ensure adequate fuel supplies. The industry reminds Texans to maintain fuel in their personal vehicles.
Individuals with special needs can let responders know who and where they are before an emergency or evacuation takes place by calling 2-1-1.
For more information on hurricane preparedness and Hurricane Gustav please visit www.governor.state.tx.us.