Contact: Brian Murray
Public Information Officer
Houston, Texas — The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) is pleased to release its 2021 Annual Report.
The Annual Report recaps the events of the previous year. Harris County activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated 19 times, including Winter Storm Uri and President Joseph R. Biden’s visit to the office in February. Continued support of the public health response to COVID-19 and the Houston Astros playoff drive rounded out the year.
“I am proud of this office and the work we have done in 2021. I appreciate the partners who are an essential element of our disaster planning, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. It continues to be an honor to lead this office as we protect the residents of Harris County,” said County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
Winter Storm Uri was, by far, the most significant event of the year representing the equivalent of a “Cat 5” tropical event. The Emergency Operations Center activated, with partner support, from February 14 – February 26, 2022. HCOHSEM coordinated support for ten warming centers across the county, distributing more than 400,000 bottles of water, 50,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, and nearly 35,000 meals ready to eat.
Uri marks the first time that Harris County has implemented the National Disaster Recovery Framework. The Framework represents a major step forward in helping the whole community recover from disasters. It promotes inclusion in the recovery processes while also bringing the business and cultural communities into the recovery processes. Winter Storm Uri marked the 48th Presidential Disaster for Harris County since the creation of FEMA in 1979.
Although the 2021 Hurricane Season ranks as the third busiest on record, only one storm, Hurricane Nicholas, affected Harris County. Nicholas made landfall on September 14 near Sargent Beach but weakened quickly to a Tropical Storm before reaching Harris County. Minor wind and water damage occurred in coastal areas.
HCOHSEM is a national model of best practices in emergency planning, preparation, response, and recovery. Harris County is the third largest county in the United States, covering 1,777 square miles.
Click here to access the 2021 Annual Report. Additional information about HCOHSEM is available at www.ReadyHarris.org.