Erica McDowell speaks at the March ASSP Chapter Meeting

Erica McDowell with TDEM speaks at the March ASSP meeting.

By Renee Witherspoon, CSP, CIH, CHMM, ASSP South Plains Chapter

Our March 19, 2019 ASSP South Plains Chapter hosted a luncheon meeting with Erica McDowell, Lubbock District Coordinator for the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM). The luncheon was sponsored by Texas Mutual’s WorkSafe Texas Summit on April 30.

We also had another special guest attend our meeting ASSP Region III North Area Director Stephanie Johnson, CSP, CHMM. Stephanie is the EHS Area Manager for AT&T Services in Dallas and serves an important position for our Region. Thank you Stephanie for participating in our meeting.

Erica’s presentation provided key Federal, State and local resources where we can get assistance in our emergency planning and preparedness activities. Importantly the first resource she provided was her phone number (see below) so that if we needed any assistance with planning to contact her.

She also spoke about a new program, State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry or STEAR.  STEAR provides citizens with a means to voluntarily register their needs during an emergency response. She said that having your family’s needs registered helps emergency responders better plan the kinds of services they might need during a disaster. She emphasized that if you register, it is not a substitute for developing and maintaining your family disaster plan.

The following are links and phone numbers to emergency planning resources that were discussed:

Lubbock Area Resources

  • TDEM District Coordinator, Lubbock
    • Erica McDowell (806) 548-4344 (cell); (806) 740-8982 (office)
  • 2-1-1 Texas South Plains
    • Dial 2-1-1, or  (877) 541-7905
    • 211 is a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission which helps Texans connect with the available services and resources.
  • Local Emergency Management Offices
    • Clint Thetford, Lubbock County EMO Coordinator, (806)775-7300;
    • City of Lubbock, Office of Emergency Management; (806) 775-3464.
  • LBKAlert – Emergency Notification Systems
    • LBKAlert is the City of Lubbock’s emergency notification system. This system provides updates to severe weather, unexpected road closures, emergency evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods, and utility outages.
    • Sign up at:
  • National Weather Service, Lubbock
  • Red Cross
  • Salvation Army
  • South Plains Unified Regional Systems Network (SPURS)
    • Resource on how you can prepare your family and community for an emergency.
    • Links are provided to volunteer for local Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).

Texas Resources

National Resources

COOP Constant and Associates, Inc. Continuity Planning for Small Businesses Template


On behalf of the South Plains Chapter ASSP, we would like to thank Erica for her excellent presentation and Eileen Keller, President/CEO of for her sponsorship of the luncheon.

Cricket McWilliams, SPC Chapter Executive Committee member and Risk Control Consultant with Bitco Insurance, provides an introduction at the meeting as guests were starting lunch.