Senator Tommy Williams
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0104

February 26, 2007
Contact: Jason Smith
(512) 463-0104

Williams Announces New Intrastate Mutual Aid System

Brings More Assistance to Disaster Areas

Austin -- State Sen. Tommy Williams, (R-The Woodlands) announced the filing of SB 927 which creates a statewide Intrastate Disaster Mutual Aid System to improve coordination of manpower and resources when natural or man-made disasters occur.

"We learned much from Hurricane Katrina, and before we could even catch our breath, we found ourselves learning even more when Hurricane Rita ravaged southeast Texas less than three weeks later. Rita left an estimated two million residents without electricity, water and sewage, five million cubic yards of debris and extensive damage to thousands of homes and businesses throughout southeast Texas. Events like these require tremendous regional preparedness, but under the current system it's been difficult for some areas to share their resources when they were needed the most," replied Williams.

Senate Bill 927 will allow emergency services districts, independent school districts, river authorities, utility districts, local communities and others to assist and share resources when disasters hit. The new mutual aid system would not supersede existing mutual aid agreements or prevent political subdivisions from forming future agreements, but would apply only if no mutual aid agreement were in existence. The legislation also establishes guidelines for requesting and providing mutual aid assistance and reimbursement.

Senator Williams represents Senate District 4 covering all or portions of Jefferson, Orange, Chambers, Liberty, Harris and Montgomery Counties. Williams serves as Vice Chairman of the State Affairs Committee and as a member of the Finance, Transportation, Education and the Sub-committee on Higher Education in the Texas Senate.