Governor Abbott speaks on Tropical Storm Cristobal, Provides Update On Hurricane Preparedness
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference in Austin where he provided an update on Tropical Storm Cristobal, as well as hurricane preparedness and special COVID-19 considerations. Prior to the press conference, the Governor was briefed on Tropical Storm Cristobal, a weather formation in the Gulf expected to regain strength and potentially make landfall in Louisiana with possible impact to parts of deep east Texas. Prior to the press conference, the Governor held a briefing with state officials and a call with mayors and county judges of the coastal region and deep east Texas.
“As with any hurricane season, preparedness is key—and the State of Texas is taking comprehensive action to prepare for Tropical Storm Cristobal and any potential storms or hurricanes that may impact the Lone Star State,” said Governor Abbott. “We will continue to monitor this storm and work to ensure our local officials have the resources they need to respond should this weather event approach Texas. In addition, our state agencies are working strategically to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while keeping Texans safe during this storm and future storms. I urge residents of Deep East Texas to take the necessary precautions and heed the guidance of local officials.”
TDEM has rostered precautionary resources ahead of this weekend. Included in these resources are Texas A&M Forest Service Saw Crews, Texas Parks and Wildlife Water Rescue Boats, Texas A&M Engineering and Extension Service Urban Search and Rescue and Swift Water Rescue Boat Squads, and DSHS Ambulance Strike Teams. The Texas State Operations Center remains activated at Level II in support of the ongoing response to COVID-19.
State agencies involved in the response effort include the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Military Department, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M Engineering and Extension Service, Texas A&M Task Force One and State Mass Care Team, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
TDEM has also developed precautionary strategies to prepare for hurricane season while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. These strategies include, but are not limited to:
- Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local partners to expand sheltering footprint
- Ordering more buses and aircraft, if needed, to increase social distancing during evacuations
- Working with local officials and nursing homes to evacuate earlier
- Ensuring medical staff, personal protective equipment, cleaning crews, and cleaning materials are readily available
- Ensuring COVID-19 testing is available at shelters