Katy City Council addresses emergency preparedness at Jan. 28 meeting

Katy City Council approved three measures Jan. 28 to ensure the city is ready for emergencies.

Katy City Council approved three measures Jan. 28 to ensure the city is ready for emergencies.

Katy City Council unanimously passed three measures to enhance safety in the city at its Jan. 28 meeting. The measures included a new emergency operations plan for the city, purchase of a new $1.5 million firetruck and job description updates for the fire department.

The new emergency operations plan identifies and categorizes the types of disasters Katy is susceptible to and the types of challenges each emergency might present, Council Member Janet Corte said. The plan also identifies the roles of city officials in the event of an emergency to determine areas of responsibility in the event of a disaster. The plan includes a communication strategy during an emergency.

“The primary method to communicate a warning is basically through social media,” Katy Emergency Management Coordinator Greg Goedecker said.

Goedecker added the city is moving to a reverse 9-1-1 system with other technology and training programs to promote public awareness during emergencies.

The council also approved the purchase of a $1.5 million firetruck to replace a 2004 vehicle that the city has spent about $47,000 for multiple repairs over the last year, Corte said.

The old firetruck will be kept as a reserve vehicle, while the new truck, which will have a ladder that can reach more than 100 feet into the air, will be used as a primary vehicle, said Kenneth Parker, Katy Fire Department assistant chief. The ladder’s height will allow the department to better serve hotels near Katy Mills, he said.

The new vehicle will also help maintain the city’s rating with the Insurance Service Office, which helps keep household insurance costs down for residents, Council Member Frank Carroll III said.

The city also adopted new job descriptions for the Katy Fire Department which align properly with current practices, Corte said.