As an ongoing part of securing our nation from threats of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, President Bush has developed plans and strategies to enhance Homeland Security nationwide. This planning has been delivered as a message to the States to make sure all local governments and regions are prepared as well. However, this preparation goes beyond threats of terrorism, but also includes preparedness for other disasters as well - whether man-made or naturally occurring. First Responders are always the first on the scene to assist victims of any such disasters. Protecting and preparing these First Responders, then, is a number one priority.
The Governor's Office of the State of Texas has requested that Councils of Governments develop a Regional Plan for First Responder Preparedness. This effort is on an aggressive schedule in order to position the State to be first in line for assistance funding. H-GAC completed the plan for its Region and submitted it to the Governor's Office on August 28, 2002. The plan reflects input from local government emergency management officials and those who would be in the role of first responder in an event involving the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Key features of the plan include a focus on: