State emergency agency transferred from DPS to A&M University System

Published: May. 29, 2019 at 4:43 PM CDT
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The following is a news release from the Texas A&M University System:

The Legislature has passed legislation to transfer the Texas Division of Emergency Management to the A&M System as its eighth state agency.

Lawmakers approved a package of recommendations presented by Chancellor Sharp, acting as the leader of the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas, in the report, “The Eye of the Storm.” It included transferring the Texas Division of Emergency Management from the Texas Department of Public Safety to the Texas A&M System.

The transfer, which Gov. Abbott supports, will allow for better coordination between the Texas Division of Emergency Management and Texas A&M System’s disaster response operations such as Texas A&M Task Force One, the Texas A&M Forest Service and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Nim Kidd will now oversee all of the state’s emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation activities as the chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Vice Chancellor for Disaster and Emergency Services at the Texas A&M System. He will still answer to the governor, who by law is in charge of responding to disasters.

“The state of Texas already has the best disaster rescue operations in the country,” Chancellor Sharp said. “We believe this will make the state’s efforts seamless from disaster rescue through disaster recovery and mitigation.”

The appropriations bill includes $10.4 million for a state disaster recovery task force, plus $6.8 million to use Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agents to perform disaster readiness work for the state, building on the county agents’ experience in helping coastal communities recover from Hurricane Harvey.

Other “Eye of the Storm” recommendations winning approval included the creation of a Texas A&M Institute for Disaster Resilience as well as the establishment of a $3 billion fund to support a statewide flood plan similar to the statewide water plan.