Rowlett to establish disaster committee

Rowlett Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator Ed Balderas went over details for a proposed Rowlett Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) Committee.

During Tuesday night’s Rowlett City Council work session and regular meeting, the council received information and discussed establishing a Rowlett Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) Committee.

Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator Ed Balderas briefed the council on what COAD is and the purpose.

Rowlett COAD is based on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) model that allows organizations to coordinate, communicate and collaborate to ensure that there is a unified approach.

“We all have the same goal, so in order to eliminate duplication of effort and benefit, this group is intended to serve the whole community, both before a disaster, during the disaster and after the disaster,” Balderas said during the regular meeting.

He noted in the work session that they wanted this to be a community-based approach to emergency management because local government cannot respond to big events by themselves.

“The mission is not only in response but also in preparation. Have a group that allows the community to prepare itself for an event like this. Whether that is going through CERT training, providing CERT training or other opportunities, or anything we deem necessary to make sure our citizens are prepared and our community organizations are prepared for disasters,” said Balderas.

“I wanted to make sure this COAD was built to provide support from the small-scale, single-family disaster to the whole community disaster,” he added.

The leadership structure will include a 15-member committee, eight permanent voting members, seven elected voting members and officers.

Further details on Rowlett COAD will be posted on rowlettready.com. Donations to this organization can also be made at this site.

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