Texas conducts multi-agency evacuation exercise

Hypothetical hurricane scenario serves as preparedness reminder

By Pilar Arias - Reporter

Multiple emergency management agencies are conducting a full-scale air evacuation exercise this week across the state of Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Texas Division of Emergency Management coordinated with local, state, federal and private sector partners for the hypothetical hurricane scenario that required the evacuation of the Rio Grande Valley.

On Wednesday, a group of volunteer "evacuees" arrived at Kelly Air Field on a C-130 aircraft from the Valley.

"They'll be assessed and taken off based on their needs, whether it's medical or to be put away and stationed somewhere until the situation is concluded," DPS Trooper Deon Cockrell said.

Larry Trevino, the city of San Antonio's emergency management coordinator, said there's no time like the present to conduct the exercise.

"There's activity throughout the state as far as rain, flooding. There's even activity in the Atlantic right now, so this is a good time for us to kind of get ready," Trevino said.

The drill is also being conducted in Austin, Fort Worth and Irving. It serves as a reminder to be prepared for everyone, not just those who would assist should a disaster strike.

Texans can visit texasprepares.org for ways to prepare for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

People who may need assistance during a disaster are asked to register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR) by contacting 211 Texas. No matter where someone lives they can dial 211 or call (877) 541-7905 for community resources.

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