The Hunt County Office of Homeland Security/Emergency Management and Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Campus Operations and Safety, have entered into an agreement allowing the county to operate from the university’s Emergency Operations Center during a time of disaster.
Richard Hill, Hunt County Emergency Management Coordinator said the rationale for the agreement is based upon the fact the university has a large, state-of-the-art EOC. As a result, more agencies can jointly participate in the coordinated responses during a disaster, using the best equipment and technology. Hill stated that during a disaster, not only do emergency management officials need to be present, but other agencies, such as law enforcement, fire services, medical response, communication specialists, utility companies, and numerous other agencies depending on the type of disaster.
According to Hill, the university’s EOC will allow each representative to have their own work station with computers and equipment while coordinating simultaneously with other agencies at one location.
An additional benefit of the university’s EOC is it provides an adjoining chamber that allows elected and appointed officials to monitor the disaster responses as they occur, and to be present if representatives from the agencies need to consult with them.
Ethan Derek Preas, Director of Campus Operations and Safety, and Emergency Management Director of Texas A & M-Commerce, and Hill agree the joint agreement to work in tandem from one central location, combined with excellent available resources, will be beneficial to Hunt County’s entire area.
In the unlikely event the EOC did take a direct strike during a disaster, Hunt County still maintains an EOC in Greenville which would be shared with Texas A&M-Commerce. Although the Hunt County EOC is smaller and does not have the technical sophistication as that of the university, it is nonetheless functional during a disaster.
Hill and Preas concur it is beneficial to have the agreement, with its provisions and resources already in place, in anticipation for any possible inclement weather arriving in March and April or any subsequent disaster