Hurricane Conference Comes to Austin
Forecasters and first responders are in Austin this week for the 2009 National Hurricane Conference. Governor Rick Perry told the group the state is trying to stay ahead of the disaster curve.
“I put together a commission for disaster recovery and renewal and they have been working with the local and the state and the federal partners to help these communities recover and return to normal. As a matter of fact that’s why four of the six emergency agenda items that I put on the emergency agenda deal with storm related issues,” Perry said.
The state learned some fast lessons dealing with major storms last year.Governor Perry applauded the efforts of the thousands of first responders who sprang into action for the three hurricanes that slammed into Texas in a two-month span. But he also said that some of the people who had to be rescued, particularly after Hurricane Ike in September,have some lessons of their own to learn.
“You know, I’m all about independent Texas spirit. But we sure expended a lot of resources, and our first responders lives were put into jeopardy, to move 3500 people to safety because they didn’t listen to the warnings,” Perry said.
One of the bills Governor Perry touted during his speech was legislation to change how electric utilities are reimbursed for repairing storm damage. That bill passed the House today and went to his desk for approval.
The week-long conference is an annual effort to inform and exchange information about Hurricanes to be better prepared for disasters.