South Texas Disaster Recovery Center

Start Date: 08/05/2019


We were requested to deploy to 3 South Texas counties (Cameron, Willacy and Hidalgo) to interact with FEMA employees and residents affected by the June 2019 flooding. The request came from Steven Wise, Volunteer Agency Liaison Group Supervisor, Mass Care/Emergency, Voluntary & Community Services Branch, Individual Assistance Division, HQ Office of Response and Recovery. We drove to Port Aransas, TX on Sunday, Aug. 4 and spent the night to break up the drive. The next day (Monday), we arrived at the DRC #2 – Willacy County, Community County Safe Room in Raymondville, Texas about 0900. Our contact person was DRC Manager - Glorimar Reyes-Soto. There were about 25 employees present. The FEMA employees were very happy to have the dogs there, and interacted with them until the DRC opened. One employee contacted local news and newspaper to come out and interview us. We were interviewed by 3 local news channels (channel 4 and channel 5 and Telemundo out of Harlingen) and one local newspaper. We left around 4 pm to return to our hotel for the night. We probably had about 175 interactions between 3 teams.

The next day (Tuesday), we drove deeper into South Texas to DRC #3 – Hidalgo County, in La Villa, Texas 78562. Our contact person was DRC Manager - Eleana Cruz-Mackliff. We arrived about 0830 and met with Eliana. We set up and immediately starting interacting with FEMA employees and clients. We were scheduled to stay just a few hours. Between 3 teams, we interacted with about 75 people before leaving before noon.

We then drove further into South Texas to DRC #1 – Cameron County, La Feria Safe Room, La Feria, Texas. Our contact person was DRC – Manager Elbert Ruiz. Since it was after lunch, it was already busy. We interacted with about 100 people before leaving around 1500. We then headed home, by way of Kings Restaurant in Riviera, TX. We interacted with about 15 people here and left to return to Port Aransas to spend the night. The next day (Wednesday), we drove home to the Houston area. In total, we drove about 850 miles in 3 days (Texas is a BIG state).

Agency: FEMA

Jeanne Hooke and Rebel; Nancy Steger and Gus