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The Home of Texas Emergency Management Professionals

IF you would like to be an exhibitor at the 2018 EMAT Symposium, please contact Jim Coles,

Updates to the TEM Certification on the Horizon

EMAT is committed to ensuring that the Certified Texas Emergency Manager (TEM) certification is a benchmark of professional development for emergency managers in Texas. Recent changes in the TEM review process have highlighted some deficiencies of the TEM application and guidance documents. Based on these issues, a working group was appointed to review the TEM application and make recommendations for improving the process.

At the May 2017 EMAT Board of Directors meeting, the working group presented an initial series of recommendations for improvement of the TEM requirements and application. In order to implement these changes to the TEM, the EMAT Board of Directors has temporarily suspended review of TEM applications until September 2017 when an updated TEM application will be made available.

Emergency managers who recently have taken the TEM exam will be granted an extension to submit their TEM application. In addition, emergency managers that are actively putting together a TEM application are encouraged to continue the process as requirements are expected to be refined versus changed.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the TEM, please feel free to contact EMAT.

2017 EMAT Symposium Presentations

Below are links to some of the presentations given at the EMAT Symposium in February:

2017 Symposium Presentations (PDF)

EMAT Board of Directors Spotlight

Francisco Sanchez

Keeping our public officials, stakeholders and residents informed about emergencies is the most important thing I do on a day-to-day basis, but not the only thing. Greetings, my name is Francisco Sanchez, also known as the @DisasterPIO for Harris County.

As Treasurer for the Emergency Management Association of Texas, I am working with the board and our members to strengthen the association so it can do more to serve our profession and the people of Texas. We are implementing nationally-recognized best practices for non-profits to keep us financially strong, and growing.

The Emergency Management Association of Texas helps give me the tools, and professional support, to do my job. I am the liaison and public information officer for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. I’ve been with Harris County for 12 years, leading our emergency public information efforts and the Regional Joint Information Center. Currently I serve on the Federal Communication Commission’s Communications Security Reliability and Interoperability Council, working on effective ways to alert the public about disasters. In my spare time I am a volunteer firefighter with the Ponderosa Volunteer Fire Department and am involved in the leadership of several professional organizations. I serve on the board of a non-profit that connects foster children with safe, loving homes and teaches them the skills to heal and find success.  I’m an advocate for animal rescue, low cost spay/neuter programs and an avid dog lover - especially of one named Winston.

If there’s anything I can do for you, feel free to email at

President's Message

Kevin Starbuck, CEM, TEM, CPM - President

The extremes of Texas weather were on full display as April came to a close. In the area around Canton, Texas a series of strong tornadoes devastated communities with at least 4 fatalities, countless injuries, and significant damage. At the same time in the Texas Panhandle region, a rare spring winter storm blanketed the area with light to moderate snow accumulations and extreme winds, causing travel issues and wide spread power outages. In the meantime West Texas continues to experience critical fire danger, inching closer to the federal threshold for Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) and coastal communities continue to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Such are challenges that face emergency managers in Texas.

While it remains to be seen if any of these incidents will rise to the level that federal assistance is made available, it is important for emergency managers to stay informed on the transition of leadership at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Last week, the Trump administration named Brock Long as the nominee for FEMA Administrator. A brief review of Mr. Long’s bio indicates 16 years of experience with FEMA in hurricane preparedness, with the State of Alabama as the Director of Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency, and most recently as a vice-president with Hagerty Consulting supporting emergency management projects. In addition, the Trump administration named Thomas DiNanno as the nominee for FEMA Assistant Administrator. Mr. DiNanno brings 20 years of experience in government and private sector with a focus on critical infrastructure protection.

In a couple of weeks, many of us will come together at the 2017 Texas Emergency Management Conference. This will be another great opportunity for emergency managers to come together to learn from our shared experiences. As part of the conference activities, EMAT will be conducting a meeting of the Board of Directors. A couple of topics that will be at the top of the list are EMAT membership, TEM processing, and continued improvement of organizational communication. I know that I speak for all of the Board members when I say that we also look forward to visiting with each of you on items of interest to the profession and EMAT. Hope to see you in San Antonio!

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