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[Emergency News Conference]

[00:00:14]

GOOD EVENING EVERYONE.

I'M ALYSSA ARMSTRONG, AND I WILL BE YOUR MODERATOR FOR THIS NEWS CONFERENCE.

FIRST TO INTRODUCE OUR SPEAKERS.

WE HAVE CITY OF AUSTIN MAYOR STEVE ADLER, ERIC CARTER, CHIEF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR FOR TRAVIS COUNTY ONE OR T'S DIRECTOR OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND STEPHANIE HAYDEN'S PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

I WILL NOW PASS THINGS OFF TO MAYOR ADVA WHO WILL PROVIDE UPDATES REGARDING HURRICANE LAURA.

UM, GOOD, GOOD EVENING EVERYBODY.

UH, WELL I TELL YA, UH, CALENDAR YEAR 2020 IS, IS, IS CERTAINLY THE, THE DOOZY, UH, ONCE AGAIN, UH, OUR COMMUNITY, UH, IN OUR, IN OUR STATE AND OUR NEIGHBORS ALL PULL IN TOGETHER, UH, TO, TO HELP ONE ANOTHER.

UH, WE'RE ALL HAVE THE WATCHFUL EYE TO LOOK AT THE STORM AS IT'S HITTING OUR COAST.

UH, AND AT THE SAME TIME, OPENING UP OUR CITY TO GUESTS WHO ARE LEAVING, UH, UH, WHAT COULD BE UNSAFE CONDITIONS AND LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO BE ABLE TO SHELTER FROM THE, FROM THE STORM.

UH, AUSTIN'S DOING IT'S PART, UH, WE'RE OPENING UP OUR DOORS.

WE HAVE, UH, BEEN ABLE TO GET OVER A THOUSAND HOTEL ROOMS AVAILABLE TO OVER 3000, UM, UH, GUESTS, UH, COMING UP FROM THE, UH, FROM THE COAST, UH, MORE THAN WE ANTICIPATED.

UH, UH, SO OUR, OUR RESOURCES AT THIS POINT, HOTELS STRETCH KIND OF THIN, UH, WE'RE URGING FOLKS AS THEY'RE LEAVING AND COMING TO AUSTIN THAT IF THEY, THEY WANT A HOTEL ROOM, UH, THE EASIEST WAY MIGHT BE TO STAY ON THE ROAD JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE, GET UP NORTH, UH, UH, TOWARD DALLAS.

IS THERE A LOT OF HOTEL ROOMS THAT ARE AVAILABLE, UH, HERE IN TEXAS, UH, BUT FOR THOSE FOLKS THAT WANT TO STAY HERE, UH, AND, UM, UH, NEED, UH, NEED NEED HELP.

I DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES FOR, FOR A HOTEL ROOM.

UH, UH, WE ARE, UM, AND YOU'LL HEAR ABOUT IT IN A SECOND, UH, OPENING UP A MORE TRADITIONAL SHELTER, UH, IN OUR, IN OUR CONVENTION CENTER.

UH, AND, UH, YOU'LL HEAR MORE ABOUT THAT, UH, FOR FOLKS THAT, UH, THAT WEREN'T THAT, UH, BUT I WANT THE COMMUNITY TO KNOW THAT THAT AS IN ALL THINGS HERE IN CALENDAR YEAR 20, 20, BEFORE AND AFTER, UH, WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, UH, WE'RE ALL ROLLING UP OUR STREETS LEAVES AND, AND, AND THEN HOLDING OUT OUR HANDS TO WELCOME, UH, OUR NEIGHBORS AND, AND AUSTIN'S GONNA DO, IT'S DO ITS PART.

UH, SO WE HAVE SOME FOLKS HERE TO TALK TO YOU TODAY.

SOME OF THE FOLKS FROM THE EMERGENCY OPERATION COMMAND, A DOCTOR DIRECTOR, HAITI, UH, FROM, FROM, FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, UH, TO PROVIDE, UH, UH, FURTHER DETAILS.

OKAY, ERIC, WE CAN GO AHEAD, GET STARTED WITH YOU IF YOU'D LIKE FOR SURE.

UH, THANK YOU.

AND, AND, AND THE MAYOR HIT IT ON THE HEAD WHEN HE TALKED ABOUT JUST CHALLENGING TIMES.

WE, UH, OF COURSE HAVE BEEN, UH, FOCUSED ON OUR RESPONSE TO COBIT, UM, AND, AND HAS PRESENTED CHALLENGES TO THE COMMUNITY THAT WE'VE BEEN FACING AND DEALING WITH QUITE SUCCESSFULLY, UH, GOING INTO THE FALL.

UH, AND THEN, UH, OF COURSE, UH, WHEN OUR CITIZENS AND OUR, OUR THAT ARE IMPACTED, UH, OUR, OUR, OUR NEIGHBORS, UM, AS, AS, AS HAPPENING WITH THE HURRICANE, UH, WE'VE GOT TO ALSO STAND UP AND THEN RESPOND AND, AND, AND HELP SUPPORT THEM.

SO THAT'S WHAT, UH, TRAVIS COUNTY, UH, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND, UH, UH, EVEN BEYOND THAT, THE OTHER COUNTIES IN OUR AREA HAVE DONE TO RESPOND TO THE HURRICANE, UH, THREATENING TEXAS COAST.

SO, UM, UH, WE'VE BEEN WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP THESE LAST FEW DAYS TO GET OUR COMMUNITY, UH, STOOD UP AND TO OPEN OUR ARMS AND OUR HANDS AND, AND TRY TO HELP THOSE EVACUEES.

UM, IT'S IMPORTANT TO, TO CALL OUT AND RECOGNIZE THE OTHER COUNTIES THAT ARE PITCHING IN THE HAYES COUNTY TEAM AND THE WILLIAMSON COUNTY TEAM HAVE BEEN ACTIVE, UH, ALONG WITH TRAVIS COUNTY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN TO, UH, SUPPORT ALL THE EVACUATIONS COMING INTO OUR AREA.

UM, AS YOU KNOW, THE TRAVIS COUNTY, UH, JUDGE, UH, BISCO, UH, RECENTLY, UH, THIS MORNING I ISSUED A DISASTER DECLARATION FOR TRAVIS COUNTY THAT ALLOWED US TO ACCESS THE VARANO ALL OF OUR EMERGENCY AUTHORITIES, SO THAT

[00:05:01]

WE COULD DO WHATEVER WE CAN, UH, TO SUPPORT THE EVACUEES INTO OUR AREA.

AND THAT'S IMPORTANT.

UM, OUR, OUR GOAL IS OF COURSE, TO BE SAFE, UH, TO MAKE SURE FOLKS ARE SAFE, UM, THAT INCLUDES RECEIVING THEM AND THEN HELPING THEM, UH, IF, IF NEEDED, HOPEFULLY JUST GET ARREST.

AND, AND AGAIN, BEFORE THEY MOVE OUT AND SEEK SHELTER, UH, WHETHER IT'S ON THEIR OWN IN AN AREA HOTEL, OR, UH, WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY, WE KNOW MOST OF THE EVACUEES, UH, THAT ARE THREATENED BY A HURRICANE LAURA HAVE DONE JUST THAT THEY'VE SOUGHT SHELTER AND HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN SHELTERING THEMSELVES WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY, WHETHER HERE IN SAN ANTONIO OR UP IN NORTH TEXAS, BUT FOR THOSE WHO NEEDED A LITTLE BIT OF HELP, THAT'S WHAT WE WANTED TO DO.

WE, UH, WE PUT, UH, TOOLS IN PLACE AND, AND OF COURSE, PEOPLE IN PLACE TO, UH, HELP THOSE FOLKS WITH SHELTERING NEEDS AND THAT'S HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE, UH, BUT OUR AREA, UH, NOT JUST LOCALLY, BUT ACROSS THE REGION, I THINK EVERYBODY IS SET UP TO FACE THE CHALLENGE, UH, AND THIS NEW, UH, OF COURSE IN THE SHADOW OF COVID TO PROVIDE THAT SHELTERING EFFORT.

SO, UM, THAT'S BEEN OUR GOAL, UH, AND, AND I THINK WE'VE BEEN WORKING AT IT.

SO, UH, I'LL STAND READY FOR ANY QUESTIONS THAT WE MAY HAVE, AND I'LL PASS IT OVER TO JUAN ORTIZ.

THANK YOU, ERIC.

AND, UH, LIKE THE MAYOR SAID AN ERIC, UH, INDICATOR AS WELL.

THIS IS, UH, OUR, YOU KNOW, REALLY A REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP.

AND HOWEVER, WE RESPOND TO WHAT HAS PROVEN TO BE A NONTRADITIONAL YEAR.

AND SO THEREFORE OUR HURRICANE SHELTER HUB PLAN HAVE TO ADAPT AND IN, FROM A TRADITIONAL SETTING AND BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE LEVEL OF SERVICE THAT WE ARE ABLE TO, AND IT'S NECESSARY TO RESPOND TO, UH, EVACUATIONS RESULTING FROM HURRICANES.

UH, AND, AND WE'RE NOT AT THE PEAK OF THE SEASON YET.

SO THIS IS THAT'S PROVEN TO BE A VERY CHALLENGING, UH, RESPONSE.

AND IT HAS RESULTED INTO OUR, OUR TEAMS TO REALLY WORK REAL HARD, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE MEET ALL OF THE LOGISTICAL NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS, UH, ESTABLISH IT EARLY ON THE, THE, THE, THE PROBLEMS TO IDENTIFY THE CHANGES THAT WE NEED TO PUT IN PLACE, BUT WE ESTABLISH, AND WE ARE RUNNING A, A RECEPTION CENTER FOR THE FIRST TIME, WHICH IS A DEVIATION FROM OUR PREVIOUS, UH, HURRICANES, BUT THAT WAS NECESSARILY PRIMARILY A LARGELY BECAUSE OF THE ONGOING RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, THAT WE'RE, THAT WE HAVE BEEN DEALING, UH, IN OUR COMMUNITY AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD.

UM, OBVIOUSLY THAT INTRODUCES THE NEW ISSUES AS WE ARE TRYING TO DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF, UH, EVACUEES ARE COMING, AND THEN ALSO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE EXISTING CONTRACTS THAT WE HAVE AND AGREEMENTS THAT WE HAVE WITH COMMUNITIES LIKE A CITY OF GALVESTON AND GALVESTON COUNTY.

UH, AND THEN ALSO THE FACT THAT SOME OF OUR REGIONAL PARTNERS ALSO TOOK ON THE CHALLENGE OF SUPPORTING OTHER COMMUNITIES.

HAYS COUNTY TOOK ON THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SUPPORTING MISSOURI COUNTY AND STRAIGHT INTRODUCES THE CHALLENGES THAT WE'RE HAVING TO, UH, THE TIMING, UH, IS, ARE THOSE COSTS COULD BE USED GOING TO EVACUATE OR NOT.

AND IF THEY ARE, WE NEED TO SAVE THE ADEQUATE SHELTER SPACE FOR THEM.

AND IF NOT, THEN WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT THE REST OF THE ENTIRE REGION.

SO THAT, UH, HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE.

UM, BUT, UH, LIKE IT WAS PREVIOUSLY SAD.

WE ARE, WE'RE WORKING MORE HARD TO MEET THE NEEDS OF EVERYBODY.

AND, UH, AS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SUPPORT THE EVACUATION OF THE, OF THE, ALL THE BUSES THAT CAME FROM THE CITY OF GALVESTON, AND ALSO BAM BEEN ABLE TO, UH, PROVIDE SHELTER SPACE OR THE PEOPLE THAT DROVE BY THEMSELVES.

IN ADDITION, A LOT OF SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE, UH, HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FIND CHEF SPACE IN OUR COMMUNITIES, UH, THAT THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SECURE, UH, WITH THEIR OWN, UH, THEIR OWN FUNDING.

UM, WE'RE WORKING WITH THE STATE OF TEXAS, UH, VERY CLOSELY TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE COORDINATING WITH THEM AND, AND, UH, PASS THE INFORMATION NECESSARY FOR OUR RESIDENTS WHO I, AND EXCUSE ME, OUR GUESTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE BEST DECISION TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND BE ABLE TO MEET THEIR NEEDS AND, UH, AND WORKING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE GIVE THEM THE INFORMATION NECESSARY TO WHAT OTHER PLACES IN THE STATE OF TEXAS, THEY MAY BE ABLE TO FIND ADEQUATE, UH, TEMPORARY SHELTERING, WHETHER IT'S IN A TRADITIONAL SETTING OR IN A, IN THE SETTING OF A, OF A HOTEL, UH, AS NECESSARY BECAUSE OF COVID-19.

WE ARE WORKING TO ALSO LIKE THE MAYOR INDICATED, UH, WE, WE MADE THE DECISION TO GO AHEAD AND OPEN A SECTION OF THE CONVENTION CENTER IN A TRADITIONAL SHELTER SETTING WITH THE CWA, THE ASSISTANCE, OR THE COOPERATION OF THE AMERICAN CROSS AND THE TEXAS DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE SHELTER, THEN THAT NEEDS THE CONCERNS

[00:10:01]

BECAUSE OF COVID AND MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THAT READY AS SOON AS WE POSSIBLY CAN, WHICH AT THIS POINT, WE'RE LOOKING AT A LATER TONIGHT OR FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.

UM, THOSE ARE THE, THE, WHAT WE'RE ASKED TO, TO DO AT THE REQUEST OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE HELP OUR NEIGHBORING, UH, TEXAS, UH, THE NEIGHBORS IN THE ALONG THE TEXAS COAST LINE HEALTH AND SAFETY ARE NUMBER ONE FOR US HERE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, AND AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH.

WE ARE A PARTNER IN THIS RESPONSE.

WE ARE GOING TO ENSURE THAT OUR GUESTS THAT COME TO TOWN HAVE THEIR NEEDS MET.

I KNOW SO MANY PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT COVID-19 AND OUR RESPONSE.

WE ARE GOING TO USE INFORMATION THAT WE HAVE, UM, RECEIVED FROM FEMA AS WELL AS CDC, TO ENSURE THAT OUR SCREENING AND CLEANING PROCESSES ARE IN PLACE.

WE ARE GOING TO ENSURE THAT IF INDIVIDUALS NEED A FACE COVERING, WE'RE GOING TO PROVIDE THAT FOR THEM IN ORDER FOR THEM TO MAINTAIN THE UTMOST HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THIS SETTING.

AS WE MOVE ALONG THIS PROCESS, UM, WE HAVE STARTED THE PROCESS TO LOOK AT OUR, OUR MULTI-AGENCY RESOURCE CENTER.

UM, IF THAT TURNS INTO A KNEE, WE WILL BE READY TO STAND THAT UP WITH THIS TYPE OF RESPONSE.

IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US THAT IF AN INDIVIDUAL DOES DEVELOP ANY HEALTH NEEDS, UM, WE ARE GOING TO PARTNER WITH OTHERS IN THE COMMUNITY, BUT WE HAVE ALSO SET UP A MEDICAL SHELTER IN THIS RESPONSE.

AND THAT WAY WE CAN ADDRESS ANY NEEDS THAT AN INDIVIDUAL MAY HAVE THE GOAL IS, IS TO, UM, WORK THROUGH THESE SYSTEMS AT THE CONVENTION CENTER AND THE MEDICAL SHELTER TO ADDRESS ANY MEDICAL NEEDS THAT ANY OF OUR GUESTS HAVE OUR GOAL IS, IS TO TRULY BE TEXANS AND SHARING THIS RESPONSIBILITY.

WE HAVE RESPONDED TO SEVERAL RESPONSES.

WE KNOW THAT HURRICANE SEASON IS GOING TO CONTINUE AND WE'RE GOING TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN DO.

THIS IS A REGIONAL APPROACH, AND WE DO APPLY, UM, WILLIAMSON COUNTY AND HAZED FOR PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO US.

IT IS GOING TO BE ALL HANDS ON DECK FOR THIS RESPONSE.

AND AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH IS COMMITTED ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE CITY AND THE COUNTY IN THIS RESPONSE TO ENSURE HEALTH AND SAFETY ARE NUMBER ONE.

I WILL TURN IT BACK OVER TO THE POOL REPORTER NOW.

OKAY.

SO THIS IS JENNIFER AT FOX SEVEN, AUSTIN NEWS.

UM, I'M GOING TO GO THROUGH THE QUESTIONS.

THE FIRST ONE IS FROM FOX SEVEN, UH, TUESDAY, YESTERDAY, THE OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SAID THEY WERE TOLD TO PREPARE FOR 3000 EVACUEES.

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE SHOWED UP AT CODA'S RECEPTION INTAKE CENTER? YEAH, SFO AND WE HAVE, UH, PROVIDED, UH, A 1078 HOTEL ROOMS. AND WE ARE APPROXIMATELY BROKE PROVIDING THE NEED TO ABOUT 3000 OR A LITTLE BIT OVER 3000 GUESTS THAT HAVE EVACUATED EITHER BY BUS OR ON THEIR PERSONAL VEHICLES.

OKAY.

MOVING ON TO A QUESTION FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT, WHAT IS THE CAPACITY OF THE CONVENTION CENTER AND HOW LONG COULD IT BE USED AS A SHELTER OR OTHER SHELTER OPTIONS IT'S STILL BEING EXPLORED WELL, AND IN ADDITION TO THE COME INTO CENTER, WE CONTINUE TO TRY TO IDENTIFY, UH, ANY ADDITIONAL, UH, HOTEL SPACE THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE SO THAT WE CAN PROVIDE IT IN THE NONTRADITIONAL SETTING, UH, AS WELL AS PROVIDE INFORMATION TO EVACUATE WHERE TO, SO THAT THEY KNOW WHERE ELSE THEY CAN GO THROUGH PINE, UH, ADEQUATE SHELTERING.

UH, BUT THE, THE GOAL FOR THE CONVENTION CENTER IS WE'RE LOOKING AT TRYING TO ESTABLISH, UH, A SHELTER CAPACITY OF APPROXIMATELY 135 SHELTER SPACES DUE TO THE, UH, IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT WE, WE STAY CONSISTENT WITH THE, UH, THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM FEMA AND THE CDC AS THE RELATED TO COVID FROM THE CHRONICLE.

WHAT'S THE BEST WAY FOR, TO HELP VOLUNTEERING DONATIONS ARE SPECIFIC SKILLS NEEDED.

UM, FOR EXAMPLE, HEALTH CARE WORKERS, CHILDCARE, FOOD PREP

[00:15:03]

AT THIS TIME, UM, WE WOULD JUST ASK, UM, OUR, UM, AUSTINITES TO JUST KIND OF STAND DOWN RIGHT NOW.

WE REALLY HAVE TO MAKE AN ASSESSMENT OF, OF THE NEEDS THAT PRESENT, UM, AS WE MOVE ALONG AND AS WE DISCOVER ANY SOCIAL SERVICE NEEDS, UM, WE WILL ADDRESS THOSE THROUGH OUR, UM, MULTI-AGENCY RESOURCE CENTER.

AND SO RIGHT NOW, UM, WE WILL JUST ASK STAFF TO, TO STAND DOWN, UM, IF THOSE NEEDS BECOME AVAILABLE, WE WILL PUT THEM ON OUR, UM, CITY OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY WEBSITES TO ADD TO THAT.

STEPHANIE, IF I MAY, THAT, UH, THROUGH THE MULTI AGENCY RESOURCE CENTER, THE, UH, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH TEAM WORKS WITH A NUMBER OF VOLUNTEER AGENCIES AND IN THE IMMEDIATE TERM OR TIMEFRAME, THEY CAN WORK WITH THE AGENCIES LIKE THE AMERICAN RED CROSS OR, UH, AUSTIN DISASTER RELIEF NETWORK, AND A NUMBER OF OTHER AGENCIES THAT COLLABORATE, UH, WITH, WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH IN THAT ARENA TO PROVIDE EVENTUALLY SUPPORT TO, UH, PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY DISASTER.

SO IF THEY WANT TO DO A LITTLE REACH OUT OR TO THOSE FOLKS TO PROVIDE SOME FORM OF MONETARY DONATIONS, THAT'S NEVER A BAD THING, UM, OR PROVIDE, UH, OFFERED TO DONATE THEIR TIME AND ASSISTANCE.

CBS AUSTIN, HOW MANY HOTEL ROOMS IN AUSTIN ARE AVAILABLE, BUT NOT FUNDED.

AND IS THE CITY CONSIDERING FUNDING ADDITIONAL ROOMS, OBVIOUSLY THAT THERE'S A LARGE NUMBER OF HOTELS THAT ARE THERE ARE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, CURRENTLY WE, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CONTRACT WITH, LIKE I SAID, UH, UH, 1078 HOTEL ROOMS, WE'RE STILL LOOKING TO SEE WHAT ADDITIONAL, UM, BLOCKS OF ROOMS THAT ARE AVAILABLE.

UH, BUT THERE'S A LARGE NUMBER OF, OF, UH, OF, OF HOTELS.

THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO BEING TAKEN UP DIRECTLY BY THE, UH, THE GUESTS OR THE EVACUEES ON THE TEXAS COAST.

AND SO THOSE, UH, THOSE, UH, ARE STILL MEETING THE NEED OF SUPPORTING THE EVACUEES, BUT IT'S SOMETHING THAT, UH, DOES NOT REQUIRE, UH, THE, THE ASSISTANCE FROM THE CITY AND THE COUNTY.

UM, SO ALLOWING US TO PROVIDE THE ASSISTANCE TO THOSE THAT, UM, THAT HAD NO WAYS OF PROVIDING, UH, OR, OR SECURING A, A SHELTER IN DOING THEIR EVACUATION, THE QUESTION FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, HOW DOES THE NUMBER OF EVACUEES THAT HAVE ARRIVED IN AUSTIN COMPARED TO THE NUMBERS FROM HARVEY OR PREVIOUS HURRICANES HAS AUSTIN EXCEEDED CAPACITY LIKE THIS OR THIS SOON IN THE PAST? WELL, UM, IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, WE'VE HAD, WE HAVE EXPERIENCED TO, UH, HURRICANE.

SO IN WHICH WE HAVE TO PROVIDE, UH, SHELTERING.

AND THE LAST ONE BEFORE THIS ONE WAS HURRICANE HARVEY, UH, MAXIMUM NUMBER OF EVACUEES THAT EVACUATED BEFORE AND AFTER LANDFALL WERE SIX OR APPROXIMATELY 850, UH, EVACUEES THAT WE, THAT WE PROVIDED SUPPORT AS OUR GUESTS.

UH, TODAY WE ARE A LITTLE BIT OVER 3000, UH, AND DOING, UM, HURRICANE LAURA AND HURRICANE LAUREL HAS NOT MADE LANDFALL YET.

SO THERE MAY BE AN ADDITIONAL, UH, NUMBER OF EVACUATED SO THAT WE MAY NEED TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT, ESPECIALLY DEPENDING ON WHERE IT MAKES LANDFALL AND, AND WHAT THE IMPACTS OF THE STORM ARE GOING TO BE.

THIS IS THE QUESTION FROM KX, A N CAN YOU PROVIDE THE NUMBER OF EVACUEES WHO WERE DIRECTED TO ICE ISOLATION FACILITIES IN AUSTIN, HAVE ANY EVACUEES BEEN TESTED FOR COVID-19? ARE THERE ANY POSITIVE OR SUSPECTED POSITIVE CASES AMONG EVACUEES? UH, NO EVACUEE HAS BEEN DIRECTED TO ANY ISOLATION FACILITY AT THIS POINT IN TIME.

UH, THE EVACUEES THAT WERE TRANSPORTED BY BUS, UH, WERE, UH, HAD TEMPERATURES CHECKED BEFORE THEY, UH, BOARDED THE BUS IN GALISON AND W AND EVERYBODY THAT WENT THROUGH THE RECEPTION CENTER OR WAS ASSESS, UH, TEMPORARY CHECKS AND THE, WHAT WE CALL A MEDICAL AND FUNCTIONAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT.

AND, UH, AND, AND BECAUSE WE ARE IN A NONTRADITIONAL SHELTER SETTING WAY ABLE TO, UH, UH, PUT PEOPLE IN HOTELS WHERE, UH, THEY ARE ABLE TO MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING A LOT EASIER.

AND THEREFORE, UH, UH, THERE HAS NOT BEEN A NEED, UH, AT THIS POINT IN TIME TO, TO, UM, REFER ANYBODY TO ANY TYPE OF ISOLATION FACILITY.

WE CONTINUE TO WORK WITH, UH, SHELTER MANAGERS TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE CONDITION BECAUSE OF

[00:20:01]

OUR YES.

AND IF THERE ARE STARTING EXTREMITY SYMPTOMS, THEN WE WILL FOLLOW OUR NORMAL TRADITIONAL OF KOBE PROTOCOLS THAT WE HAVE ALREADY ESTABLISHED TO THE COMMUNITY BEFORE THIS HURRICANE.

WELL, THE QUESTION FROM TELEMUNDO, CAN YOU PLEASE PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS IN SPANISH, HOW MANY MORE HOTELS ARE AVAILABLE AND HOW MANY MORE EVACUEES ARE YOU PLANNING TO ACCOMMODATE AND MOST? UM, I, UM, , UH, MEALS TO ME TO THINK YOU'RE , UH, , UH, AND KICK ME OUT.

THIS IS FROM PIO RADIO.

IF THE CONVENTION CENTER IS USED BOTH TO SHELTER AND POSSIBLY TREAT EVACUEES, HOW WILL THEY BE ISOLATED FED AND PROVIDED OTHER BASIC SERVICES? SO THE, UH, CAN YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION AGAIN? YES.

IF THE CONVENTION CENTER IS USED BOTH TO ISOLATE AND POSSIBLY TREAT EVACUATE IS HOW WILL THEY BE, SORRY, HOLD ON ONE SECOND.

IF THE CONVENTION CENTER IS USED BOTH TO SHELTER AND POSSIBLY TREAT EVACUEES, HOW WILL THEY BE ISOLATED AND PROVIDED OTHER BASIC SERVICES? SO THE CONVENTION CENTER, IF IT'S UTILIZED AT THIS POINT IN TIME, IT'S ONLY BEING PLANNED TO, UH, PROVIDE A, A TRADITIONAL SHELTER SETTING ENVIRONMENT.

UH, WE HAVE ALREADY ESTABLISHED, LIKE IT WAS SAID BY DIRECTORS, UH, STEPHANIE HAYDEN, WE HAVE A MEDICAL SHELTER THAT WOULD BE AVAILABLE IF WE NEED TO MOVE SOMEBODY INTO THAT SETTING.

UH, AND IF, UH, THAT IS DIRE APPROPRIATE, THAT THEY WOULD GO TO A MEDICAL FACILITY FACILITY LIKE A HOSPITAL, UH, FOR TREATMENT.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE CONTINUE TO UTILIZE OUR EXISTING ISOLATION FACILITY THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT WAS ESTABLISHED AS PART OF OUR COVERT RESPONSE.

AND SO IF WE NEED TO ISOLATE SOMEBODY AND THE, THAT WOULD, THAT W THAT IS BEING TAKEN CARE OF AT THE CONVENTION CENTER, THEY WILL BE MOVED TO THE ISOLATION FACILITY LIKE THAT'S AVAILABLE TO ANYBODY ELSE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THIS IS A QUESTION FROM THE AUSTIN MONITOR, HOW MANY EVACUEES OR EVACUEE FAMILIES HAVE BEEN PLACED IN HOTELS, AND HOW MANY ARE WAITING FOR SPACE TO OPEN UP OR HAVE BEEN SENT NORTH TO FIND SHELTER ELSEWHERE? UM, LIKE I STATED THE RUN OUT, WE HAVE A 1078 ROOMS, UH, SUPPORTING THE EVACUEES, THE, WHICH EQUATE TO APPROXIMATELY ABOUT 3000, A LITTLE BIT OVER 3000 EVACUEES.

UH, THEY CAME BOTH BY BUS OR BY PERSONAL VEHICLES, UH, AND WE CONTINUE TO, UH, WORK WITH, UH, THE EVACUEES ARE COMING AND ARE REPORTING TO OUR RECEPTION CENTER TO HELP THEM IDENTIFY A PROPER, UH, SHELTER IN A, UH, IN A HOTEL SETTING OR HELP THEM FIND, UH, THE RIGHT INFORMATION.

UH, SO THEY HAVE THE OPPOSITE OF MOVING TO COMMUNITIES WHERE THERE MAY BE ADDITIONAL HOTELS, UH, AS NECESSARY FROM PATCH WAS THE CONVENTION CENTER BEING EYED FOR POTENTIAL SHELTERS SET UP AS A COVID-19 FIELD HOSPITAL AND HAVE TO BE DISMANTLED TO ACCOMMODATE EVACUATED.

THE CONVENTION CENTER.

QUARTERLY COMMANDER CENTER HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS AN, AS AN ALTERNATE CARE SITE.

AND THAT SET UP IS STILL THERE.

AND IT REMAINS AND IS NOT AT TOP.

AT THIS POINT IS NOT BEING IMPACTED BY THE PLANS TO ESTABLISH A TRADITIONAL SHELTER IN THE OTHER SECTIONS OF THE CONVENTION CENTER.

UH, AND WE DON'T SEE AN IMPACT AT THIS POINT IN TIME FROM UNIVISION CAN, ONE OF THE MEMBERS MAKE A STATEMENT IN SPANISH WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT INFO THAT WILL INCLUDE WHERE PEOPLE CAN REACH FOR HELP AND GET INFO IN SPANISH.

SEE, WELL, WHY DON'T WHEN SOMEBODY SAYS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT IS THE ,

[00:25:03]

UH, , UH, LAURA CENTRAL, UM, AND, UH, IN, IN, IN CODA THERE'S, UH, BUT, UH, , UH, UH, CE , UH, UH, IF THEY'RE LIKE, PICK A, KICK IT UP, SAY THEY PICK US, HEY, WE'RE BACK TO FOX SEVEN AUSTIN.

UH, THE RED CROSS SAYS THAT THEY CAN ACCOMMODATE CONGREGATE CONGREGATE SHELTERS, BUT THEY NEED MUCH MORE ROOM THAN IN THE PAST SO THAT PEOPLE CAN BE PROPERLY SPACED OUT.

HOW WILL THAT BE HANDLED AT THE CONVENTION CENTER? SO THE CDC AND FEMA HAVE ESTABLISHED THE, UH, THE SPACING REQUIREMENTS FOR ADEQUATE SHELTERS AND A KOBE ENVIRONMENT.

AND WE ARE, THAT IS GOING TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE NUMBER OF SPACES THAT WE CAN PROVIDE FROM A PREVIOUS YEARS.

BUT WE ARE WORKING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE ABLE TO MAINTAIN THE ADEQUATE SOCIAL DISTANCE NEEDS IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE, OUR, OUR GUESTS, UH, THAT REQUIRE, UH, SHELTER SPACE, OKAY.

FROM THE CHRONICLE, HOW SHOULD EVACUEES, WHO AREN'T IN DESIGNATED SHELTERS SEEK ASSISTANCE IF THEY NEED IT.

THE CITY OF AUSTIN HAS THE, UH, AUSTIN.GOV/HELP, UH, WEBSITE WOULD THAT IS AVAILABLE FOR EVERYBODY TO GO AND SEEK ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

THERE, YOU'LL BE ABLE TO FIND INFORMATION ON THE LATEST INFORMATION ON THE STORMS AND ALSO PLACES WHERE YOU CAN GET ASSISTANCE.

AND THEN ALSO I'LL LINK THEM FOR INFORMATION OR WHERE YOU'D BE ABLE TO APPLY FOR FEMA ASSISTANCE.

UH, IF THEY HAVE, UH, UNINSURED LOSSES AND I HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY THE DISASTER FROM CVS AUSTIN, HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES THE CITY EXPECT IN THE CONVENTION CENTER WILL COVET SOCIAL DISTANCING RESTRICTIONS, PREVENT IT FROM BEING ABLE TO REACH CAPACITY, AND HOW LONG WILL IT BE AVAILABLE TO EVACUATE EVACUEES? THE CONVENTION CENTER WILL BE AVAILABLE, UH, AS, AS LONG AS NECESSARY TO SUPPORT THE EVACUEES FROM HURRICANE LAURA.

OUR TARGET GOAL IS TO ESTABLISH A TRADITIONAL SHELTER WITH A POPULATION OF APPROXIMATELY 135.

AND WE WILL WORK WITH, UH, UH, STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCY, STATE, AND FEDERAL AGENCIES TO ENSURE THAT WE'RE MEETING ALL THE NECESSARY REQUIREMENTS OR INADEQUATE SHELTER, GIVEN THIS COVERT ENVIRONMENT THAT WE LIVE IN TODAY FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, HOW LONG WILL EVACUEES BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN AT CODA TO WAIT FOR MORE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES? AND AT WHAT POINT WILL THEY BE TOLD TO GO TO ANOTHER CITY? UM, CODA IS NOT A SHELTER.

CODA IS SAY, RECEPTION CENTER DOES A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE ARE COMING IN FROM THE COAST CAN GO TO AND SEEK INFORMATION AND FIND OUT WHAT OTHER PLACES THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO THEM AS PLACES WHERE THEY CAN FIND SHELTER, UH, GET A LITTLE BIT ARRESTS, GOTTA GET SOME WATER AND, UM, MAYBE SOME REFRESHMENTS AND, AND, AND BE ABLE TO GET THE RIGHT INFORMATION FOR THEM TO MAKE THE DECISIONS, UH, THAT IS BEST FOR THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES.

WE'RE ALSO WORKING WITH THOSE PEOPLE THAT ARE PULLING IN THERE TO SEE WHAT WE ARE ABLE TO PLACE THEM IN HOTELS, UH, AS, AS, UH, AS SPACES IDENTIFY, AND IF ALSO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THEM INFORMATION OF WHERE THEY CAN, UH, GO TO A SHELTER, LIKE THE SHELTER THERE WERE GOING TO BE OPEN IN THE CONVENTION CENTER, WHICH IS MORE OF A TRADITIONAL SHELTER, UH, ENVIRONMENT, UH, WHETHER IT'D BE HERE IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN OR IN OTHER COMMUNITIES AROUND US, OR FURTHER UP NORTH, UH, FOR THE AWAY FROM THE COAST.

AND FROM SAYIN ONLY 42% OF AUSTIN HOTEL ROOMS ARE FULL.

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST NUMBERS FROM STR WHAT PREVENTED THE CITY FROM REACHING PARTNERSHIPS WITH THESE HOTELS FOR ADDITIONAL ROOMS WHEN THERE WERE SO MANY AVAILABLE, NO, THE CITY

[00:30:01]

AND THE COUNTY AND THE SURROUNDING COUNTIES ARE WORKING WITH ALL THE HOTEL ORGANIZATIONS TO ENSURE THAT WE FIND THE ADEQUATE NUMBER OF HOTELS.

THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT WERE ABLE TO FIND A HOTEL SPACE TO SHELTER THEMSELVES THAT DID NOT REQUIRE A LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE, UM, AND THAT, AND THE NEAR, AND THE FACT THAT, UH, WE HAD A LOT OF SPACE, UH, TAKEN UP AS A, AS A, AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE FACT THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE ABLE TO, UH, TO FIND LOCATIONS HERE IN AUSTIN AND CENTRAL TEXAS, WITH THAT BEING SAID THAT IT HAS BEEN SOME CHALLENGING TO BE ABLE TO FIND A, THE ADEQUATE LAW BLOCK OF ROOMS AVAILABLE, THAT WE ARE ABLE TO, UH, PROVIDE TO, UH, UH, OUR, OUR GUESTS, UH, AND, AND, AND WE CONTINUE TO WORK TO FIND ADDITIONAL SPACE, UH, AS, AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE TO US.

AND WE'RE ABLE TO CONTRACT FOR IT FROM TELLING THEM NO.

AND THEY'RE ASKING FOR SPANISH HERE, IF POSSIBLE, HOW WILL THE CONVENTION CENTER BE SET UP TO SERVE AS A SHELTER? AND WHAT'S THE CAPACITY THAT YOU EXPECT TO BE AVAILABLE FOR ANY IMPORTANT INFO? OUR SPANISH SPEAKING AUDIENCE NEEDS TO KNOW , UM, , UH, UH BUT, UH, THAT , THEY WOULD, I ALLOW THAT, YEAH, APPROXIMATELY PERSONAS CAUSE, UH, UH, OR I'M KAOS RADIO.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL PROVISIONS BEING MADE FOR FAMILY GROUPS, THOSE WITH INFANTS, THOSE WITH DISABILITIES, THOSE WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS OR OTHER SPECIAL NEEDS TYPICALLY, UM, THOSE TYPE OF ARRANGEMENTS DO COME THROUGH OUR, UM, OUR SOCIAL SERVICES BRANCH.

UM, WE WILL HAVE THOSE SERVICES AVAILABLE.

UM, IF INDIVIDUALS WILL CALL THREE, ONE, ONE, OUR STAFF CAN WORK WITH THEM THROUGH THAT SPACE.

TYPICALLY WHEN WE'VE DECLARED A, AN EMERGENCY DISASTER, UM, THOSE ARE STATE LEVEL BENEFITS AND OUR STAFF WHO WORK WITH THE STATE IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THOSE PROVISIONS.

AND THEN THIS IS THE LAST QUESTION, UH, FROM THE AUSTIN MONITOR IS FEMA HELPING WITH THIS OPERATION, THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, AND THE TEXAS DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, UH, ARE, ARE, UH, WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE CITY AND THE COUNTY AND OTHER COMMUNITIES IN THE TEXAS AREA TO ENSURE THAT WE'RE WORKING TO, TO, TO HAVE THE ADEQUATE RESPONSE, UH, TO PROTECT THE LIVES.

UH, AND, AND OF THE EVACUEES THAT ARE EVACUATING FROM OUR, UH, TROPICAL FROM THE HURRICANE, LAURA, UM, A LOT OF THE PROBLEMS THAT WE ARE PUTTING IN PLACE ARE A PART OF THE DISASTER ASSISTANCE, UH, PROTECT THE MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE DISASTER DECLARATION PROCESS.

THAT'S ALL THE QUESTIONS THERE.

I WILL NOW ASK IF ANY OF OUR SPEAKERS HAVE ANY FINAL COMMENTS THEY WOULD LIKE TO ADD.

DON'T JUST FOR THE, FOR THE RECORD, THE CITY ALSO, UH, UH, ENTERED, UH, I SIGNED THE DECLARATION AS WELL.

SO ONE ENTER BY BOTH THE CITY AND THE COUNTY, UH, THAT ENABLES US TO, TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS OUR RESOURCES.

I'LL JUST ADD AS A FINAL THOUGHT, UM, UH, UH, WITH THE MAYOR OPENED UP WITH WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

UM, AND, AND WE ARE, UH, FOR ALL OUR PARTNERS ACROSS THE REGION, INCLUDING THE STATE OF TEXAS, INCLUDING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT HAS BEEN IMPORTANT, UH, THE HELPING HANDS THAT HAVE COME OUT TO HELP THE FOLKS WHO NEEDED HELP DURING THIS PERIOD.

AGAIN, OUR WORK ISN'T DONE, UH, WE WILL BE AT THIS, UM, UH, FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS, AND HOPEFULLY WE WILL, UH, BE ABLE TO SEE THE FOLKS WHO ARE GUESTS TODAY SAFELY RETURN HOME TO THE COAST, UM, UH, TO THAT END THOUGH, UH, FOR WHATEVER IT TAKES, WE'RE HERE FOR THEM.

UM, AND

[00:35:01]

OF COURSE OUR PRAYERS ARE GOING OUT TO THOSE FOLKS ON THE COAST WHO ARE ACTUALLY, UH, TAKING THE BRUNT OF A HURRICANE LOWER, OR WE'LL TAKE THE BRUNT OF THE HURRICANE OVERNIGHT, AND WE WISH THEM WELL, THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

I LIKE TO SAY THAT, UM, UM, WE ALL HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS, UH, OR WE KNOW SOMEONE THAT LIVES ON THE TEXAS COAST AND A LOT OF US ARE THINKING OF THEM.

AND A LOT OF US HAVE OPENED OUR DOORS IN OUR HOMES TO TAKE CARE OF THEM DURING THIS PERIOD OF TIME.

UM, AND LIKE WE HAVE, AND NOW NOT JUST IN THIS HURRICANE, BUT IN OTHER HURRICANES THAT COME IN THE PAST.

AND I THINK THIS IS A REALLY AMAZING THAT IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC, UH, THAT WE HAVE BEEN RESPONDING TO AS BEST AS WE CAN SINCE BACK IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH, UH, WHERE WE'RE SHIFTING GEARS AND RESPONDING TO A MAJOR HURRICANE THAT IS TECH, UH, IMPACTING THE TEXAS KELLS.

AND, AND WHEN THAT'S DONE, WE CAN CONTINUE TO BE WORKING ON THE ADEQUATE RESPONSE FOR WHAT THE PANDEMIC FOR THE, FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR CITIZENS AND WHETHER THEY'RE HERE OR WHETHER THEY'RE VISITING, BECAUSE THEY'RE HAVING TO EVACUATE, UH, DUE TO A HURRICANE HEALTH AND SAFETY CONTINUES TO BE NUMBER ONE FOR US, AS WE ARE MOVING THROUGH THIS PROCESS, WE ARE DEFINITELY GOING TO ADHERE TO ALL OF OUR HEALTH PRACTICES.

WE ARE GOING TO WORK WITH OUR GUESTS, SO THEY WILL HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING ABOUT HOW TO BE VERY SAFE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS.

WE ARE WANTING TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE THEIR NEEDS ARE MET, THEIR SOCIAL NEEDS, UM, AS WELL AS ANY PHYSICAL OR MEDICAL NEEDS, WE WILL WORK WITH OUR OPERATION CENTER TO ENSURE THAT IF INDIVIDUALS HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS THAT WE QUICKLY MOVE THEM TO ISOLATE THEM FROM THE CONVENTION CENTER AREA AND MOVE THEM TO OUR ISO FACT, OUR GOAL IS, IS TO ENSURE THAT FAMILIES HAVE EVERYTHING THEY NEED.

WE ARE COMMITTED TO ENSURING EVERYONE THAT COMES HERE IS SAFE.

WE APPLAUD OUR AUSTINITES BECAUSE IN TIMES LIKE THIS, OUR COMMUNITY SIX, SO VERY CLOSE TOGETHER, AND WE'RE SO FORTUNATE THAT OUR AUSTINITES ARE ALREADY THINKING ABOUT WAYS THAT THEY CAN SUPPORT.

I CHIME IN, AS ERIC CARTER SAID EARLIER, WE HAVE RED CROSS AND AUSTIN DISASTER RELIEF NETWORK ARE ABLE TO ASSIST US DURING THIS TIME.

IF WE DETERMINE THERE ARE OTHER NEEDS, WE WILL MAKE THAT INFORMATION AVAILABLE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

I'LL JUST CONCLUDE WITH JUST REAL PROUD TO BE ON THIS WITH OUR EMERGENCY TEAM HERE, UH, IN THE CITY, UH, ERIC AND JUAN STANDING UP THE EMERGENCY OPERATION COMMAND, OR JUST BECOMING WELL HONED, EMERGENCY, UH, UH, TEAMS, UH, LEADERS OF THE CITY WITH THE SUCCESSION OF EMERGENCIES, DIRECTOR, HAITI, UH, MOVING FROM, FROM, FROM MULTIPLE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES AND STRESSES, UH, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

UH, BUT THIS IS WHAT THESE DAYS CALL FOR.

AND AUSTIN IS STEPPING UP TO DO TO OUR PART, TO HELP KEEP EVERYONE WHO LIVES HERE AS WELL AS ALL TEXTS, UH, WHO NEED OUR HELP AS SAFE AS WE CAN, WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN.

SO THANK YOU, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR TIME THIS EVENING.

AND THAT CONCLUDES OUR PRESS.

THANKS, CROSS YOUR FACE CRASHING CARS.

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* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.