FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Emergency Manager's Efforts in Hard-Hit Texas Area Ensure Community Readiness   [open pdf - 311KB]

This document is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Best Practices Portfolio. "The FEMA Best Practices Portfolio consists of mitigation stories submitted by individuals and communities that describe measures they have taken to reduce the loss of life and property from disasters. These Best Practices are meant to provide ideas and concepts about reducing losses and to encourage others to evaluate their own risk and consider mitigation as a long-term solution to reducing that risk." This Best Practice Story is about mitigation efforts in Buna, Texas. "For more than three decades, Emergency Management Coordinator and Floodplain Administrator Billy Ted Smith has taken a proactive approach to engaging the communities he serves in preparing for when disaster strikes. With good reason. Since 1973, according to Smith, Texas has had 72 major disaster declarations. The three counties he serves-Jasper, Newton, and Sabine-have seen more than their fair share of hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, and floods, as well as tropical and winter storms. […] Everything from identifying hazards common to the area, knowing the risks, making an emergency supply kit, developing an emergency plan, becoming familiar with evacuation routes, heeding warnings and purchasing radios. Smith also encourages homeowners to find out if they live in a floodplain. Some of the worst natural disasters in history-measured by fatalities-have been river floods."

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