Emergency Management

Our city is exposed to many hazards, all of which have the potential for disrupting the community, causing casualties, and damaging or destroying public or private property.

It is possible for a major disaster to occur at any time and at any place. In many cases, dissemination of warning to the public and implementation of increased readiness measures may be possible. However, some emergency situations occur with little or no warning.

The objectives of our emergency management program are to protect public health and safety and preserve public and private property.

To achieve our objectives, we have organized an emergency management program that is both integrated (employs the resources of government, organized volunteer groups, and businesses) and comprehensive (addresses mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery).

The City of Harker Heights pursues an all-hazard approach to emergency planning. It addresses general functions that may need to be performed during any emergency situation and is not a collection of plans for specific types of incidents. For example, when considering warning we address techniques that can be used to warn the public during any emergency situation, whatever the cause.

The City of Harker Heights has adopted the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in accordance with the President’s Homeland Security Directive (HSPD)-5. Our adoption of NIMS will provide a consistent approach to the effective management of situations involving natural or man-made disasters, or terrorism. NIMS allows us to integrate our response activities using a set of standardized organizational structures designed to improve interoperability between all levels of government, private sector, and nongovernmental organizations. This allows the OEM to develop plans and exercises, and coordinate the emergency management activities for the City of Harker Heights with allied Local, County, State and Federal agencies.

It is impossible for government to do everything that is required to protect the lives and property of our population. Our citizens have the responsibility to prepare themselves and their families to cope with emergency situations and manage their affairs and property in ways that will aid the government in managing emergencies. We will assist our citizens in carrying out these responsibilities by providing public information and instructions prior to and during emergency situations. There are many useful links found on this web page.

Through mitigation actions, such as floodplain management, and fire inspections, we attempt to prevent or reduce disaster-related losses. Our preparedness activities include detailed emergency planning, training of emergency responders and other personnel, and conducting periodic emergency drills and exercises can improve our readiness to deal with emergency situations. Our plans are reviewed and approved by the Texas Department of Emergency Management regularly.

The City of Harker Heights strives to respond to emergency situations effectively and efficiently. Response operations are intended to resolve an emergency situation while minimizing casualties and property damage. Response activities include warning, emergency medical services, firefighting, law enforcement operations, evacuation, shelter and mass care, emergency public information, search and rescue, as well as other associated functions.

If a disaster occurs, we will carry out a recovery program that involves both short-term and long-term efforts. Short-term operations seek to restore vital services to the community and provide for the basic needs of the public. Long-term recovery focuses on restoring the community to its normal state. The federal government, pursuant to the Stafford Act, provides the vast majority of disaster recovery assistance. The recovery process includes assistance to individuals, businesses, and to government and other public institutions. Examples of recovery programs include temporary housing, restoration of government services, debris removal, restoration of utilities, disaster mental health services, and reconstruction of damaged roads and bridges.