Many local residents know Bob Harrell as the Coryell County emergency management director, but he has recently moved to a new role — serving as the county liaison officer for the Texas Department of Emergency Management.
Harrell is still working to help prepare and protect local residents from disasters, and also helping with recovery efforts. He still has the same office in the Coryell County Annex. But his new job will help enable him to tap into state resources to assist local residents more efficiently.
“Preparedness is my focus, and I’m also responsible for response and initial steps of recovery,” Harrell said during a recent meeting of the Gatesville Lions Club. “I also focus on how we mitigate (emergency) circumstances before they occur.”
Harrell said many of the same problem areas are recurring concerns — some roads, low-water crossings and other infrastructure.
He said current emergency risks local residents face include tornadoes, fires, extreme weather conditions, nuclear threats and disease.
“We have a lot of threats from pandemics (such as COVID-19),” Harrell said. He referred to a version of COVID that was engineered in a Boston University lab and has had an 80% kill rate in mice it has been tested on. He questioned why such a thing was ever created when it could be a future threat to people.
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