Texas Disaster Law Guide: Legal Considerations for Emergency Responders and Managers


This guide provides answers about legal considerations emergency responders and managers must face when dealing with natural disasters and catastrophic situations.

by Alfonso López de la Osa Escribano, Bryan Sky-Eagle and Tracy Hester

ISBN:  978-1-55885-921-0
Publication Date: 
February 28, 2021
Trade Paperback

Look Inside


In 2017, Hurricane Harvey knocked power out across a wide swath of Texas, including to the Arkema plant in Crosby. Without electricity, chemicals stored there caught fire and numerous first responders tasked with enforcing the evacuation perimeter were exposed to toxic fumes. A similar situation occurred in 2010, when first responders lacked the specialized equipment and necessary expertise to deal effectively with the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  

This volume provides information about the legal considerations emergency responders and managers face when dealing with disasters, whether man-made or natural. Intended to assist Texas organizations and communities, many of the issues—such as mandatory evacuations and curfews, oil spills and hazardous materials and commandeering private property—will be of interest to agencies around the country. Flowcharts are included that can be reduced to a pocket-sized guide for personnel involved in mitigating the impact of catastrophes. 

The authors contend that a well-structured legal framework in disaster law increases a city’s resilience and ultimately reduces human suffering and costs. This guide is divided into three parts: Disaster Response Law; Identifying Authority; and Responsibility, Accountability and Liability. It also includes appendices and tables, skillsets and agency duties. It will be indispensable for increasing disaster preparedness in order to protect human life and property.