Gregg County official still completing files for 2011 wildfires - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Gregg County official still completing files for 2011 wildfires

(Source: KLTV News Staff) (Source: KLTV News Staff)

Natural disasters like floods, tornadoes and wildfires can cost into the millions of dollars. After a disaster, state and federal aid often helps people and organizations get back on their feet financially.

But for emergency management coordinators, finishing that part of the job is a long and detailed process. One emergency coordinator is still finishing paperwork from the 2011 wildfires.

Gregg County Fire Marshal Mark Moore is working dozens of case files, not just local arson cases, but reviewing disaster files from prior years, as Gregg County Emergency Management Coordinator.

"We deal directly with FEMA, with SBA, we can go back as far as the 2011 wildfires. which had a tremendous economic impact on the community. for all the resources that were used," Moore said.

And that's the reason these files dominate Moore's time..

"The hazard mitigation plan; every five years the county is deemed to rewrite this plan, and make sure that we are looking at how to mitigate any damage. For all the equipment, the manpower, the hours that were used, for the resources," he said. "To be able to account for all those monies, where they were spent, how they were spent."

"We do audits that periodically come from FEMA or Texas Department of Emergency Management," he added.

Each home, each property damaged in any disaster, has to be viewed and verified by emergency management and verified years later.

"We just came through an audit from the 2011 wildfires. FEMA doesn't just show up in town. There's processes that you have to go through to make that happen. There's a threshold. We have to go out and evaluate each property. It's very time consuming," he said. 

Understanding that victims of disaster need emergency funding, but everything has to be in order and accounted for.

"It's never over; the documentation has to be maintained. At any given time, the government can say, 'where did this money go?' and we want to make sure each dollar is spent wisely and accounted for." 

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