ALEC Members Assist in Hurricane Relief

State lawmakers learn lessons on front lines

When Hurricane Harvey ripped through Texas, and Irma decimated parts of Florida and flooded Georgia, members of the National Guard and State Guard were called-up to assist in the rescue and relief efforts. That included ALEC legislative members.

Major Tony Dale serves on the Texas State Guard. He is a lawmaker from Cedar Park representing Texas House District 136,  and a longtime ALEC member. He was deployed to Victoria and Houston in an “all-hands-on-deck” mission.  Their impact: in one day along in Victoria, TX, the State Guard distributed 4,622 MRE’s, 2,649 bags of ice, and 2,280 cases of water.

“Passing out food, water and ice and giving that kind of assistance to people was very rewarding,” said Maj. Dale. “In Houston, even days after the storm there was flooding up to the roof of cars. In some places there was water half way up buildings to the windows.”

“This takes ‘serving’ to a whole new level and strengthens what it means to be a citizen-legislator,” said Lisa Nelson, CEO of ALEC. “We are so proud of our ALEC lawmakers on the front lines of hurricane relief and their tremendous efforts to aid the community.”

Joining Maj. Dale in the Texas State Guard’s response are: Col. Phil King, representing District 61; and Lt. Briscoe Cain, representing District 128. They learned firsthand how government agencies quickly mobilize in a time of crisis.

While Maj. Dale was mostly pleased with policies implemented post-Katrina, they are some areas where new regulations may be needed.

“There are some lessons to be learned from this. For example, people were flying drones right after the storm struck and that was getting in the way of helicopters. There were no drones readily available during Katrina. So, these are the types of things that you have to see if technology is helping or hurting.”

(Watch Maj. Dale’s interview on Capital Tonight, a Texas program focusing on politics.)