Houston Hurricane Readiness Meeting Includes 23 Districts

HOUSTON – According to a statement released by the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE), a hurricane readiness meeting held at the department this month fueled discussions about how school districts could help the general public with evacuation, shelter and strategic planning in the event of a 2006 hurricane in the Gulf Coast.

School officials from 23 area school districts met for the two-day meeting to plan cooperatively for the current storm season. The transportation directors, county emergency management officials, school law enforcement and other school leaders strategized how they might mutually assist the public during the upcoming hurricane season.

Brainstorming resulted in plans for using school buses for area evacuations and transportation facilities for fueling. In addition, schools are being positioned as shelters. School law enforcement could be called up for operation duty during hurricanes.

“When the schools had an opportunity to address their concerns in a collaborative environment and to plan a network of support together, a plan developed entirely on their feedback and creative thinking,” said John Bremer, grant project coordinator for the Center for Safe and Secure Schools, a HCDE division.

Last year the Center assisted with Hurricane Katrina/Rita education relief at the request of Texas Education Agency Commissioner Dr. Shirley Neeley. Center officials joined the command center at Reliant Stadium to assist thousands of evacuees from Gulf Coast states.

For addtional information, contact Tammy Lanier, HCDE’s director of communications and public information at (281) 543-7845 or (713) 696-0752.

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