More than 5,000 attendees took part in South Texas All Hazards Conference 2018 during the two-day conference last week. Held at the McAllen Convention Center, the event included an expo, classes, presentations and networking.
John O’Valle, district director at Texas Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management, was very pleased with this year’s attendance. “On Wednesday alone, 3,157 people walked through the doors,” O’Valle praised. Initial projected attendance, according to a pre-event release, was more than 1,900.
Sponsors and exhibitors from all over the state displayed their emergency equipment, services and relief resources that are available if and when catastrophes such as hurricanes strike the Rio Grande Valley. Pre-, during- and post-disaster training were topics of discussion along with continued available education for regional personnel. The All Hazards conference is the second largest training conference of its type in the State of Texas. It is also the only conference to be of no charge to participants who receive an invitation.
The conference follows the National Incident Management System in organization and execution, which has become a model for others. NIMS is a standardized approach to incident management developed by the Department of Homeland Security to facilitate coordination between all responders. Hidalgo County Public Health Coordinator Nancy Pearl Treviño and Hidalgo County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricardo “Rick” Saldaña served as Incident Commanders during the conference.
The conference was split into six educational tracks: Public Health and Hospitals; Emergency Response; Law Enforcement; Educational Institutions; Faith Based and Non-Profits; and COOP Continuity of Operations Planning for Business.