Emergency Response - About Us

Contact Us

Emergency Preparedness Branch Manager
(512) 776-6171
email Rahsaan

Biological Response Threat Team Lead
(512) 776-7185
email Erin

Chemical Response Threat Team Lead
(512) 776-7270
email Jocelyn


CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Grant Coordinator
(512) 776-3530
email Craig



In 1995, President Bush issued Presidential Decision Directive 39 (PDD 39). PDD 39 outlined national anti-terrorism policies and provided the basis for improving the ability of laboratories to detect and respond to acts of terrorism.

In August of 1999, the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) was established as a mandate of Presidential Decision Directive 39. The LRN was founded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The DSHS laboratory designated one microbiologist as a bioterrorism coordinator who would have the primary responsibility for responding to biological threats in Texas.

In September 2001, letters containing weapons grade Anthrax were sent to Florida, New York City, and Washington DC; 22 people were infected and five died. A state public health laboratory, also an LRN member, was the first laboratory to detect Bacillus anthracis as the causative agent. LRN’s around the country tested more than 125,000 samples. Texas was challenged to test more than 2,100 environmental specimens in three months.

In October 2001, Governor Perry established a Task force on Homeland Security. In addition, funds for Emergency Preparedness increased from the Federal Government resulting in the formation of the DSHS laboratory Emergency Preparedness Team, which consisted of four team members.

In 2005 the Emergency Preparedness Team became the Emergency Preparedness Branch and currently employees 15 Team Members.




  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Laboratory Response Network (LRN)
  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (OASPR)
  • Texas Association of Local Health Officials (TALHO)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
  • Regional Emergency Strike-team Education and Training (RESET)
  • 6th Civil Support Team (CST)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • United States Postal Service (USPS)
  • Poison Control Centers (PCC)
  • Texas Animal Control Association
  • The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
  • Texas Hospital Association
  • Texas Nurses' Association
  • Governor's Division of Emergency Management
  • Texas Office of Homeland Security
  • Academic Health Science Centers
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • US/Mexico Border Health Commission
  • Texas Animal Health Commission
  • Early Warning Infectious Disease Surveillance (EWIDS)


Biological Threat Response • 24/7 Emergency Phone: (512) 689-5537
Chemical Threat Response • 24/7 Emergency Phone: (512) 689-9945
Last updated September 20, 2021