On January 10th, the Houston Region Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) held a Mobile Command Unit (MCU) Rally at the Pasadena Convention Center. This work group was formed with the leadership from our Director of Emergency Management, Colin Rizzo, who also serves as the co-chair.
The greater Houston area has been considered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be among the urban areas with the highest threat in the nation. By this distinction, the Houston area is eligible to receive funding through the DHS UASI grant program. With support from the UASI and related homeland security grant programs, stakeholders in the Houston urban area engage in multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional partnerships; much like the MCU rally and work group to improve local capacity to prepare for, protect against, and respond to catastrophic incidents. Specifically, this work group assists agencies with best practices for procurement of new equipment thru the UASI grant program, as well as lessons learned from agencies with existing mobile command units and how they are deployed to incidents. The MCU workgroup will also track regional MCU deployments and usage to provide evidence of the need for continued funding for this type of equipment in the region.
The MCU Rally brought together approximately 20 different command vehicles to showcase the different type and operational capabilities of mobile command units that exist in the Houston USAI region, including the Mobile Command Center (MCC) and the Mobile Emergency Response Center (MERC) trailer from the Port Houston Office of Emergency Management.
This was the first Mobile Command Center Rally hosted by UASI. Due to the success of this inaugural event, the workgroup is currently working on plans to make this an annual event.
Photos Courtesy of the City of Pasadena