In his annual report to Congress, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommended a “strong partnership” between FEMA and state and local officials to prepare for construction-related disasters, such as fires, flooding, and power outages.
FEMA’s recommendation came after a spate of deadly earthquakes in the state of Texas.
According to the report, “the Texas region has seen several natural disasters during this period, including two major earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 and 7.5, a tsunami of 3.8, and several major hurricanes.”
The report notes that in 2016, Texas had one of the worst fatalities rates of any state in the country.
The Texas death toll from disasters increased to 1,521 deaths in the first four months of 2017, the deadliest period for any state since 2010.
The region also experienced a record number of tornadoes in 2017.
According the report: Texas experienced more tornadoes than any other state in 2017, which is significant because of its large and growing population.
The most tornadoes were recorded in Travis, where over 300 tornadoes occurred in the year, followed by Dallas and Austin.
In 2017, Texas experienced nearly 60% of all tornadoes recorded in the United States.
The report recommends that FEMA partners with state and county governments to create a strong safety culture that includes “shared risk assessments, and a shared process for assessing the risk posed by these disasters.”
In addition, it notes that states should develop and implement policies and guidelines for “designing and implementing protective infrastructure to reduce the potential for a disaster from occurring.”
The Trump administration has yet to formally respond to the FEMA report, and the report’s authors have yet to be briefed on the Trump administration’s response.