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Archive for February 27th, 2019

HBPublic Citizen Director Adrian Shelley wrote to members of the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety today asking them to support HB 91, which would establish a disaster identification system for a declared state of disaster.

You can read the letter below.

Flashing Warning Light

HB 91 creates a standard system to convey that message: an illuminated display that uses a standard color scheme to communicate to first responders the needs of people and domestic animals.

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House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety. P.O. Box 2910 Austin, TX 78768

February 27, 2019

Re: HB 91, supporting testimony by Public Citizen

Dear Chairman Nevárez and members of the committee:

Public Citizen appreciates the opportunity to testify in favor of HB 91, relating to establishment of the disaster identification system for a declared state of disaster.

We support this bill because it will provide a means for emergency responders to locate victims in need of assistance during a disaster. Public Citizen has advocated for many years on behalf of communities and their needs during disasters.

We participated in two meetings called by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality with public health and environmental advocates to discuss the response to Hurricane Harvey. These meetings, held on September 12, 2017 and December 11, 2017, consisted of wide ranging discussions about Texas’ response to the public health and safety emergencies presented by Harvey. Through these meetings and our advocacy on this issue, we are well acquainted with the emergency response to Harvey, including areas where it could have been improved. In the midst of the Hurricane Harvey response, Texas Emergency

Management Chief Nim Kidd implored Texans in need of assistance “to make sure you put a signal out there, that you are still there, and you still need help, convey that message to first responders.” HB 91 creates a standard system to convey that message: an illuminated display that uses a standard color scheme to communicate to first responders the needs of people and domestic animals.

Because we want first responders to have every available tool to respond to people in need, and because we believe that HB 91 provides one such tool, we support the bill.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide this testimony, if you wish to discuss our position further, I can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 512-477-1155.

Respectfully,

Adrian Shelley, Texas Office Director, Public Citizen

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