Getting Ready for the Big One (That is a Hurricane)
By Randall Aragon, Chief of Police, OEM, La Marque, Texas
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Chief Randall Aragon
Chief Randall Aragon

“Chief’s Corner” Article

Week of 6-2-14

Chief Randall Aragon, La Marque Police Department

Title: Getting Ready for the Big One (That is a Hurricane)

Last Tuesday’s “Town Hall—Hurricane Preparedness Meeting” for the city of La Marque went over really well.  In my other role as La Marque’s Emergency Management Coordinator I introduced our key speaker: David Popoff (“Pop”) who serves as the County’s Emergency Management Coordinator.  As usual Pop’s delivery was a factual, detailed, and interesting overview (spiced with his typical humorous “one liners”) relating to hurricane facts and safety measures that had all in attendance fully engaged.  Commentary about hurricane awareness and safety was also imparted by my good friend and knowledgeable advisor, Mike Jones, who is the emergency management layer above Pop.  Mike serves as the District 2A Coordinator for the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM).  Mike’s DPS boss, DPS Lieutenant James Reyer also contributed some key safety and preparedness advice to citizens in attendance. 

Also attending the meeting was our top-flight Mayor Bobby Hocking who during a disaster also serves as the city’s Emergency Management Director: which means that during a hurricane (or any other serious natural or man-made catastrophic event) he (Mayor Hocking) would be my direct boss who I would advise and consult with relating to major decisions relating to the emergency at hand. 

My boss (all of the time), City Manager Carol Buttler was also present and as usual her undivided attention was focused on all aspects of the meeting.  Finally, I must not forget my talented Administrative Assistant (for police and emergency management), Charlene (Todaro) Warren who performs her “magic” on about anything she produces: and also coordinated some really neat door prizes for our citizens.

For the 2013 town hall meeting 49 attended: this year the total was 66.  Thanks to Kyle Hunter (city’s Information Technology Manager) the entire meeting was also available (live) on Channel 16; consequently, many of our citizens had the opportunity to view the one (1) hour meeting on their computer or television.

Two (2) key bits of advice that was imparted at this superb meeting included: 1. citizens need to sign up to be notified about disasters (pre and post notifications).  This may be achieved by going to our city’s website and clicking on the icon on the right side of the page and just following the instructions/prompts.  The icon you need to find is listed below:

2. remember, if a “mandatory evacuation” is declared you must comply.  During such an order (i.e., to evacuate) by not conforming you not only are violating the law but are also placing yourself and family at risk because police, fire, EMS, and other emergency services will not be deployed during such periods due to the hazards (i.e., wind/storm surge, etc.) prevalent for first responders.

Final outcome: We are in a “hurricane prone” region and the “big one” may hit this year: June 1st through November 30th is hurricane season.

Advice: We all need to prepare for the inevitable—please follow up on the two (2) bits of advice previously mentioned. 

You know .... I think Chief Aragon has been here about 6 years or so.

He's done a great job in LM in my opinion. Proven to be a very stable corner in a somewhat politically troubled town. That's a whole level up than just running and planning this city's - keeping on everyone's good side. He should run for an elected office - maybe Sheriff? I like his communications on here and the Galveston daily news. We need more leadership from top law enforcement execs. I'd like to hear more from Porretto too.
Posted by I like Aragon at 6/4/2014 11:21:57 PM

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