Emergency Preparedness Plan
Advance Emergency Preparedness Plan Ensures your Water District's Readiness for Natural Disasters
Many, many years ago, Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 25 (the District) was like most other MUD's: The District was comprised of only one subdivision, one water plant, the tax rate was high ($1.85 per $100.00 of evaluation) and every action taken was a reaction to a current crisis, which was expensive and caused many disruptions in serve to the residents. However, times have changed and the changes occurred over 15 years ago to ensure the District is/was ready before a natural disaster occurred. A new board of directors, 15 years ago, decided that a change in operational behavior was necessary to improve fiscal results and to ensure excellence in customer service. The mechanism utilized to facilitate the accomplishment of the objectives noted included:
- The development and implementation of a mission statement
- The development of a short and long term strategic plan, to include capital improvements
- The construction of additional facilities that created redundancy in the facilities to minimize the opportunity for system down time
- Emergency natural gas generators are in place at every facility to eliminate the need for location and delivery of equipment and fuel supplies in an emergency. Hence, all pumps and motors will be functional for power if electrical sources go down, eliminating the need to wait for fuel deliveries or trying to secure generators from outside supply sources.
- A proactive maintenance program that allows for a progressive, planned repair approach to reduce emergency breakdowns and repairs.
- Planned growth through annexation that has allowed the District to reduced taxes from a high of $1.85 per $100.00 of valuation of years gone by the new rate voted this year of $ .86 per $100.00 of valuation.
- Depreciation has been added as a line item in the operations budget to assist in stabilizing and rebuilding reserves.
While no organization, to include municipalities, can guarantee continual service during a regional disaster, such as a category 4 or 5 hurricane, the District's Emergency Response/Preparedness plan was designed to minimize the opportunity for a loss of service to our residents. Other items included as part of emergency readiness include:
Restocking chemicals and other critical supplies well in advance of know emergencies to ensure enough supplies on hand to facilitate operations for two weeks.
Trucks are topped off with fuel in advance of impending events and the fleet is decentralized to minimize potential loss.
Only essential staff remains on duty during the imminent arrival of a known catastrophic event but those identified as essential staff, to include the Incident Commander, move on site and remain until the danger or threat has passed.
The District's billing software and accounting databases are exported to out of town locations to maximize safekeeping and the ability to recreate information should it become necessary to do so. Additionally, all computer files are printed and copied to external hard drives, important documents such as contracts and insurance files, and additional computer equipment, are sent to cold site storage facilities identified as outside the potential disaster area.
Staff, during catastrophic events, go to facilities or respond to resident concerns in groups of two.
Battery operated communication equipment as well as emergency radio equipment is already on site.
Extra motors are on site for water plants 1 and 3 so that in the event of water infiltration, motors can be replaced immediately.
Should the public water supply become contaminated, notices will be posted on the bulletin board in front of the District's administrative building and signs will be posted at the entrances of each subdivision within the District.
Residents can contact the District at its main number 281-277-0129, and follow voice prompts for emergency requests. However, if the phone system fails, you may try to contact the Incident Commander directly at 281-615-6664, or the Chief Operator, at 832-435-3751. Keep in mind, though, that if cell towers are adversely impacted, direct contact may not be possible until tower service is restored.
The District's philosophy is this: Municipalities have only one thing to offer to their residents and that is service. As such, the services provided must be at the highest levels reasonably attainable. The facts indicate that every step the District has taken during the last 15 years has been successful in accomplishing their goals. So when a catastrophic event is identified that may affect our District, residents may rest assured that your district has an emergency plan in place that was developed and implemented some time ago that should minimize the opportunity for a loss of service and/or downtime.