Federal Legislative Agenda 2017
Emergency Operations Center
The City of Laredo is vulnerable to a variety of hazards that threaten our communities, business and environment. Our city’s management and elected officials have taken a proactive approach to keeping our community safe. One way to ensure a safer community is the creation of an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that will serve as a regional hub for disaster and emergency management.
The purpose of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is to provide a location where multiple levels of government, agencies, and organizations can coordinate decisions, resources, and public information on a strategic level. The EOC is a support element to the Incident Command structure. For all incidents, regardless of cause, response will focus on actions taken to save lives, sustain life, and protect infrastructure. Its design will be such that our public safety officials will be able to mitigate emergencies or disasters on both sides of the border. The city recognizes that a disaster that affects our neighbors to the south will defiantly affect our community. Coordination with Mexican authorities via our EOC is essential.
The County of Webb, in which Laredo is located, is the 6th largest county of the 254 counties in the State of Texas. It covers 3,360 sq. miles or 2,139,217 acres. Laredo has an approximate population of 260,000 residents and its sister city, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, has a population of 600,000 residents.
Laredo is the main NAFTA corridor for the United States and correspondingly in Texas for international trade. Laredo has four International Bridges. Laredo carries 50% of all NAFTA related trade through Texas. Fifty percent of the trade that crosses through Laredo is Hazardous Material. United States, Mexico, Central and South America’s economies depend on secure bridges (the artery through which life flows for the business-trade sector). Terrorist actions or any disruptive situations would be detrimental to local, state, national and international economies. Laredo has an enormous potential for a disaster involving Hazardous Materials due to the volume of Hazmat cargo, commerce, and tourism present on both sides of the border. Additionally, Laredo has over 60 million square feet of warehouse space and at least a quarter of that space contains hazardous materials and is highly vulnerable to Terrorism and Bio-Chemical Terrorism.
The City of Laredo is approximately 150 miles away from any Community that has the capability to assist us in an emergency. Due to this, Laredo is the primary Emergency Response mechanism to any emergency within our Region. In order to utilize Incident Command Procedures to its fullest potential, a facility must be dedicated for mid to large-scale emergencies. When needed, the City of Laredo currently utilizes a classroom facility as an Emergency Management Center. The need for additional security and isolation measures is necessary. It is for this reason that we respectfully request the funding to assist us in the construction and implementation of a new dedicated Emergency Operations Center.
The construction of a dedicated multi agency, regional EOC (estimated to cost $6 million) to enhance interagency cooperation for day-to-day missions, as well as, function as a command center during times of crisis will greatly benefit our city and region.
Department of Homeland Security
Steve E. Landin
616. E. Del Mar Blvd.
Laredo, Texas 78045
Phone: (956) 718-6000
Fax: (956) 728-7148