Governor Abbott Holds Briefing, Press Conference On Hurricane Hanna, Issues Disaster Declaration, Requests Federal Emergency Declaration
Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference at the Alternate State Operations Center in Austin where he provided an update on the state’s response to Hurricane Hanna. Prior to the press conference, the Governor received a weather briefing on Hurricane Hanna from the Texas Division of Emergency Management's (TDEM) meteorologist, as well as an update on response and preparedness efforts from state agency directors and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Governor also announced that he has issued a disaster declaration and has requested an Emergency Declaration from President Trump and FEMA for Public Assistance Category B (Emergency Protective Measures), Direct Federal Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation statewide.
“As Hurricane Hanna approaches, the Lone Star State is taking swift action to support the communities in the path of the storm,” said Governor Abbott. “We are closely monitoring the situation and working with local officials to help ensure they have the resources they need to keep Texans safe. I urge Texans in the region to take all necessary precautions and follow the guidance of local officials. I ask our fellow Texans to keep these communities in their prayers as they brace for this storm.”
The Governor issued the disaster declaration for Aransas, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Dimmit, Duval, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleburg, La Salle, Live Oak, Matagorda, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Victoria, Webb, Wharton, Willacy, and Zapata counties. The declaration provides the Governor the ability to waive statutes or administrative rules that may hinder the response or recovery, as well as the ability to ask for federal assistance in response to Hurricane Hanna.
Additionally, TDEM has activated previously pre-positioned resources to respond to severe weather. Hurricane Hanna is forecasted to make landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane. Residents can expect heavy rain, flash flooding, riverine flooding, damage from hurricane-force winds, and dangerous rip currents throughout the lower third of Texas — including the Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley — throughout the weekend.
The following resources have been activated by TDEM:
- Texas A&M Forest Service: Saw Crews and Incident Management Teams
- Texas A&M Engineering and Extension Service: Texas A&M Task Force One and Two Search and Rescue Teams
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Boat Teams to support Water Rescue Operations
- Texas Military Department: High Profile Vehicle packages
- Department of State Health Services: Emergency Medical Task Force severe weather packages
- Texas Department of Transportation: High Profile Vehicles
- Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Highway Patrol: Search and Rescue Aircraft with hoist capability and the Tactical Marine Unit
Texans are urged to follow these flood preparedness and safety tips during severe weather events:
- Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information here: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Build an emergency supply kit. For more information on how to build a kit, visit: https://www.ready.gov/kit
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
- Be extremely cautious of any water on roads or in creeks, streams, storm drains, or other areas – never attempt to cross flowing streams or drive across flooded roadways and always observe road barricades placed for your protection. Remember, Turn Around Don’t Drown.
For more flood safety tips, visit ready.gov.