The Office of Inspector General would like to alert everyone to fraudulent automated calls being made to citizens in Texas and elsewhere by individuals posing as being with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inspector General’s Office. The caller states “your Social Security number has been flagged for fraud” and requests an immediate call back to (512) 937-2871. When this number is called you are advised the “Google subscriber is not available please leave a message”.
Inspector General Bruce Toney advises everyone to not provide personal identifying information to anyone in this circumstance and to be alert for other similar circumstances where criminals are seeking to obtain your personal information. A complaint has been filed with the FCC.
Volunteers and leaders from the American Red Cross of Greater Houston and the Houston Fire Department (HFD) will be going door-to-door in historic Third Ward this Saturday, July 15, to install free 10-year lithium ion battery smoke alarms and educate residents about fire safety. It marks the first installation in which the Red Cross and HFD are teaming up, with the goal of working together to install 3,000 free smoke alarms in Houston homes over the next 12 months.
“Working smoke alarms are your first line of defense in a fire and when combined with an escape plan can double your chances of surviving. A major goal of the Houston Fire Department is to install as many smoke alarms and talk to as many residents about fire safety as possible. Our partnership with the Red Cross is an extension of our on-going efforts to protect the citizens of Houston,” said Sam Pena, Fire Chief, City of Houston.
The Houston Fire Department launched the Get Alarmed Houston program in December 2001, challenging the private industry to donate and help with installing smoke alarms. Their goal is to not only make the City of Houston the safest city in Texas, but the safest city in the world as it pertains to fire related accidents and fire deaths. The American Red Cross launched the national Home Fire Campaign in 2014 with the goal of reducing fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent by 2020. Both the HFD and Red Cross programs have been made possible with the help of donors, corporations, community partners and thousands of volunteers.
“Every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster – and the vast majority of these are home fires,” said David Brady, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of the Texas Gulf Coast. “So much can be done to reduce those statistics through safety education and the installation of smoke alarms in homes that need them. It’s an honor to partner with the Houston Fire Department in our shared dedication toward creating a safer community.”
Date: Saturday, July 15
Location (Primary): Unity National Bank, 2602 Blodgett Street, Houston, TX 77004
8:00 a.m. -9:00 a.m. Sign-in/Breakfast
9:00 a.m. -9:30 a.m. Press Conference – to include HFD Chief Sam Pena, Red Cross CEO David Brady, CenterPoint Energy Executive Vice President Tracy Bridges, Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee
9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Training/safety briefing for volunteers
10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m. Volunteers install smoke alarms in homes throughout Emancipation Avenue, Wheeler Ave, Ennis and Southmore streets
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Volunteers return, have lunch; closing remarks by leadership
If you are interested in volunteering to install smoke alarms for future dates, please call 713-313-1608 or visit www.redcross.org.
In an effort to enhance language access between officers and community members, the Houston Police Department is in the process of developing a new volunteer program called “Communicators on Patrol”. Community members would serve as volunteer translators and assist patrol officers responding to various calls for service.
Communicators would need to be fluent in one of the following languages:
Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, Urdu, Korean, Sign Language
Since June 1st was the beginning of hurricane season, we have not had to wait long for Tropical Storm Cindy to develop in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, Cindy has sustained winds of 60 mph and is located in the northwestern Gulf with a projected landfall somewhere between Galveston, Texas and the Louisiana-Texas state line. Widespread heavy with flooding potential is the greatest threat with a 40% chance of isolated tornadoes from eastern Texas through the panhandle of Florida along the gulf coast. Some areas along the gulf coast from New Orleans to Pensacola have already received 4” to 7” of rain. An additional 4” to 8” inches of rain is possible along with winds gusting 30 to 45 mph in the Tropical Storm Warning area from Houston to Pensacola.
The latest storm projections show that heavy thunderstorms are developing around Cindy’s center of circulation, which increases the flood threat from Houston, Beaumont, Lake Charles to Shreveport eastward for later today through Thursday. This is significant since Cindy has been torn apart by wind shear and shown considerable disorganization. Therefore, it is important to be prepared as the storm track and impact could change! I have attached safety checklists for preparing for tropical storms and flooding and then what to do if you return to your home and it has experienced storm damage. Please feel free to share this with your employees, family and friends.
The American Red Cross is already pre-deploying resources, supplies and equipment to the areas being affected and/or forecast in the storm path. Shelters are on standby in southeast Texas and points eastward, while some shelters are already operating in Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Red Cross will always be there in times of need. Please stay safe and consider how you may be able to support the American Red Cross.
Tropical Storm Cindy
Tropical Storm Cindy is maintaining its strength in the central Gulf of Mexico, and is expected to bring potentially life-threatening flooding to parts of the Gulf Coast through late this week. Gusty winds, rip currents and isolated tornadoes are also expected. Moisture and energy from Cindy will also spread north and east ahead of a cold front Thursday to Friday, which will result in heavy rain and possible flooding from the South to as far north as the Ohio Valley. At least 17 million people are under a tropical storm warning from San Luis Pass, Texas, to the Alabama-Florida border. American Red Cross disaster workers across impacted areas are readying supplies, shelter locations and staffing resources in anticipation of the storm.
Texas: Red Cross disaster workers are closely monitoring the storm system and preparing staffing and material resources. Rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches can be expected in southeast portions of the state through Thursday.
Louisiana: Red Cross disaster workers are closely monitoring the storm system, and standing by to assist with sheltering and feeding resources throughout at-risk areas.
Mississippi: Red Cross disaster workers are preparing for possible flooding and any other complications related to the tropical storm. Heavy rains have already impacted coastal areas. On Tuesday the Red Cross operated two shelters to provide a safe place to stay for impacted residents overnight.
Georgia: Red Cross disaster workers are bracing for impact related to Tropical Storm Cindy, while also responding to several damaging flooding events (listed below). On Tuesday night the Red Cross operated one shelter which provided a safe place to stay for 13 people overnight.
Florida: Red Cross disasters teams are closely monitoring the storm system and are ready to provide sheltering and feeding assistance as needed. Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6-9 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches in the Panhandle.
Tennessee: Red Cross disaster workers are closely monitoring the storm system’s trajectory and are prepared to respond with sheltering, relief supplies and feeding when it is expected to impact the region later this week.
MEETING CANCELED… due to the positioning of TS Cindy and the demands it has placed on the speakers, the June 21 flood forum will be rescheduled for a date to be determined.
If you have any questions please contact Charles Goforth, President of the Brays Bayou Association, at Goforth@vonniecobbrealtors.com.
With hurricane season underway, we encourage you to review the 2017 Hurricane Preparedness and Safety page.
If you have any questions and concerns please contact Mark Baker, Senior Corporate Major Gifts Officer, American Red Cross at Mark.Baker@redcross.org.