FAYETTE COUNTY, Texas — As the snow finally melts away from the winter storms that walloped Texas this week, some in Central Texas still find themselves without water, power or heat.
Fayette County's chief of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said many of the people who live there are seniors. During this extreme weather, many didn't have the resources they needed.
"We've got a lot of nursing homes in our area," Craig Moreau said. "Fayette County is one of the oldest counties in Texas, and so nursing homes are a huge concern. They've been without power. They've been without water. And getting both potable and non-potable water to them has been a big deal."
Moreau said in the coming days and weeks, the county will bring leaders together to figure out how to be better next time rough winter weather arrives.
"We're going to need to have what's called a hot wash after this and get all the people that are stakeholders in this, battling this emergency together, and say, 'Hey, what went really well, what went really badly? How do we fix it in the future?' And we'll, we'll come up with a formalized after-action report and potentially change some of our protocols," Moreau said.
Even without the meeting and discussion, Moreau said he is taking action to make sure his crews and resources are better prepared for severe winter weather.
"As weird as this sounds in Texas, we're going to start buying snow chains for all of our equipment," Moreau said. "It may sit on the shelf for a decade before we need it, but when we need it, we need to get up and get to people when there's help."
Moreau also plans to use the experience of this storm to form a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) made up of volunteers. The group would train and work together to help people who may be trapped or need assistance during disasters.
"We're going to send people to training," Moreau said. "I've put in a grant for a solar CERT trailer so that when these events happen, they can come and deploy and have enough power for people to stay warm or cool and charge their cellphones and connect to their loved ones any time."
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