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Section 2: Disasters and National Emergencies

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General Policy in All Disasters

When requested by the disaster district chairperson, the department has the authority to perform emergency operations off the state highway system. Districts have full authority to implement an emergency response activity as long as they are in compliance with applicable state law and TxDOT Policy.

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Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM)

The Governor, by executive order, has appointed the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) as director of the TDEM. The director is also designated chairman of the State Emergency Management Council. TDEM administers the statewide comprehensive emergency management plan and keeps the Governor informed of emergency situations which might call for the use of state resources.

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State Emergency Management Council

The State Emergency Management Council has been established to include representatives of each agency of state government whose legal functions relate to important phases of emergency management. The Council will advise and assist in all matters relating to disaster preparedness, emergency response, and disaster recovery. MNT serves on the Emergency Management Council to coordinate the department's overall emergency operations.

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Disaster District Committees

The state is divided into "disaster districts" which utilize Department of Public Safety (DPS) district and subdistrict boundaries. Disaster district committees consist of counterpart representatives of each agency and departments having an emergency service function on the State Emergency Management Council. The Highway Patrol captain of each DPS district or lieutenant of the DPS subdistrict serves as the chairperson of this committee. This chairperson convenes the district disaster committee in the event of a disaster or threat thereof, or as directed by the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Use of TxDOT resources off the highway is only authorized through the disaster district chairperson, TDEM director, or the Governor, unless there is an imminent threat to life and property.

When mayors or county judges have exhausted their resources in attempts to manage, control or mitigate the effects of an emergency or disaster, they may request state assistance through the disaster committee chairperson.

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Disaster District Committee Chairperson

In the absence of a disaster declaration by the Governor, the disaster district chairperson may request TxDOT assistance and support if, in the chairperson's opinion, the assistance is for lifesaving operations or to relieve suffering and hardship as a result of a natural or man-made disaster event.

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