What is a disaster?

State law defines a disaster as an “occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from any natural or man-made cause, including fire, flood, earthquake, wind, storm, wave action, oil spill or other water contamination, volcanic activity, epidemic, air contamination, blight, drought, infestation, explosion, riot, hostile military or paramilitary action, extreme heat, other public calamity requiring emergency action, or energy emergency [a temporary statewide, regional, or local shortage of petroleum, natural gas, or liquid fuel energy supplies that makes emergency measures necessary to reduce demand or allocate supply].” Tex. Government Code §§418.004(1) and (3).

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1. What is a disaster?
2. What steps is the city required to take to prepare for a disaster?
3. Who is required to complete disaster management training?
4. Where can a city official get training in emergency management?
5. Can a member of the public view a city’s emergency management plan or disaster-related information maintained by the city?