The Galveston County Office of Emergency Management's Planning Division is responsible for a number of planning activities aimed at enhancing the County's preparedness for disasters and emergencies. Probably the most visible product of those planning activities is the Basic Emergency Plan, the comprehensive, all-hazard plan that coordinates the emergency management activities of Galveston County Government. Although the Basic Plan addresses all phases of emergency management, it is specifically oriented toward preparedness and response activities. The Plan is a policy document developed and maintained by the Planning Coordinator, and signed by the County Judge, local Mayors, and Emergency Management Coordinators, upon review and concurrence.
GCOEM develops contingency plans that
guide Galveston County's response to natural and man-made emergencies,
from extreme weather to hazardous material incidents. Each plan focuses
on three components of a disaster: preparedness, initial response, and
recovery. The purpose of these plans is to keep Galveston County safe
and, following a disaster, to return residents to their daily routines
as quickly as possible.
When a plan is activated, GCOEM
coordinates the skills of County, city, state, federal, and
non-governmental agencies, to ensure the plan is effectively carried
out. Large-scale countywide emergencies, like a transit strike or a
coastal storm, can require the collaboration of dozens of agencies and
thousands of emergency responders. Smaller incidents, such as localized
power outages or water main breaks, may only require a handful of
agencies to complete restoration.
GCOEM reviews, tests, and revises these plans as intelligence and
resources change. The agency enlists subject matter experts from all
County agencies, including law enforcement and fire departments, and
other non-city groups to advise on aspects of each plan.
A large part of planning is what’s done in addition to coordinating
emergency responses. GCOEM works to inform the public of the potential
hazards, in an effort to make sure Galveston County residents know how
to avoid disasters or act in the event of a disaster. GCOEM
encourages residents to educate themselves and others about emergency