On Tuesday, March 25th, the City of Southlake hosted a Senior Officials All-Hazards Workshop in partnership with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). The goal of this workshop was to train and engage senior leadership, along with multiple stakeholders within the City, on disaster response roles and responsibilities. The workshop included table-top exercises and discussions following each training exercise.
City leaders hope that a disaster never occurs but planning and training is necessary to be prepared in the event of a disaster as the whole community would be impacted. The list of workshop attendees included various stakeholders that would be involved in any disaster response in the City of Southlake; senior leadership from the City of Southlake, Tarrant County, Carroll ISD, Verizon Wireless, Southlake Town Square, and other local agencies.
Tuesday’s conference centered on strengthening the City’s strategic plan and emergency response plan in the event of a disaster. The group discussed multiple disaster scenarios including a serious weather event such as a tornado or a man-made event like the 1995 Alfred P. Murrah bombing in Oklahoma City. In addition to the table-top exercises and training, the class focused on building relationships before a disaster and to have those relationships in place in the event the City needed to call on outside resources for assistance.
Fire Chief Mike Starr said, “The conference was very insightful and the group discussed roles and responsibilities, communications, and coordination with other local, state and federal officials to ensure the City is prepared in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.” This class and the relationship building are all part of making Southlake a more resilient community that is best-prepared to respond and recover from any disaster.