Harris County Releases Hurricane Harvey After Action Report
(Houston, TX) - The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has released its Hurricane Harvey After Action Report (AAR) which reviews the county’s overall response efforts. Some of the items listed are quick fixes, while others will require a major long-term investment of time and money.
“Planning and practice pay off, but real events show how ready we truly are,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “Hurricane Harvey’s test of our emergency response highlighted remarkable successes and areas for improvement. Applying those lessons will certainly make us better prepared for the next disaster.”
The AAR was created with the input and collaboration of numerous local, state, federal, private and non-profits organizations. According to the report, the overall response and recovery efforts by HCOHSEM and its partners demonstrated professional and well-practiced levels of planning, coordination and collaboration.
Some of the major strengths that were listed as sustains include:
- Pre-positioning county, state, and federal assets enabled quick deployment
- Pairing civilians and resources with skilled professionals to assist with rescue operations
- Utilization of First Contact Program to provide immediate essentials
- Support from regional public safety information officers in the Regional Joint Information Center
The report also identified some primary areas for improvement including:
- Developing a countywide Continuity Of Operations Plan
- Training non-traditional support personnel who may be involved in disaster response operations
- Transitioning from response to recovery operations in the Emergency Operations Center
- Working with the City of Houston to address the current Donations Management strategy
“The Harvey report represents a substantial effort by both the county and its partners, but it is only one of many tools we will use to better serve our residents,” added Judge Emmett. “Many of the lessons outlined in the report are already in place, and the process for identifying the next steps continues.”
Furthermore, Harris County also conducted an AAR on Regional Joint Information Center operations, and other county departments have conducted internal reviews as well.
While Harris County works to improve its response to future disasters, it continues to focus on the long road to recovery facing our most devastated communities.
Click here to view HCOHSEM’s Hurricane Harvey AAR.
Numerous government agencies, private and non-profit organizations
participated in the Hurricane Harvey AAR meeting on January 9, 2018.