20
Sep

Reschedules, Rain, Backroads & Setbacks? Texas Weather Can Be Unpredictable…

Driving back from Huntsville this week, rain continued to fall. In Fort Worth though it was a bright sunshine filled day. This morning while planning my drive to TDCJ Cleveland Unit, a Reschedule was warranted due to flooding and road closures. 

The amount of time I spend driving to and from Units in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri often surprises people. I easily drive up to 4K miles a week Tuesday through Friday to Texas Prisons. 

My ongoing arguments with “Navigation Lady” are why when I have my copilot, partner and twin sister riding with me that we use “dueling navigation.” 

A few days ago, as usual, Navigation Lady had me on a dirt road for miles. I have rubber floor mats in all of my SUVs solely because getting stuck in the mud or dirt is a high probability. 

Thankfully, this week, I didn’t need to strip my floors and use the floor mats to gain traction out of another “stuck in the road” incident. Navigation Lady and I continue to go around and around with each other. Ugh. From herds of goats to buzzards and rocks breaking my windshield to deer running out in front of me, I’ve become a road warrior running to Prisons. Cindy has too. 

I’m always asked “are you ever afraid driving alone?” The answer is no. 

The only time in all of these years that I was intimidated about driving to a Unit was during an ice storm. Ironically, I had decided to take a Greyhound bus thinking it would be a safe option. Due to inclement weather, the Greyhound station in Wichita Falls was closed when I finally arrived. My client along with her mother and soon to be mother in law were at the station to pick me up and drive me to Allred Unit. 

Wondering how I would get home, my new friends gave me a ride back to Greyhound in Fort Worth. We had an amazing day together and enjoyed lunch along the way. Yes, my clients are resilient, resourceful and far more than just “clients.” They are mothers and fathers. They are sisters and brothers. On that icy day in February, my bride and both of her moms were also MY HEROES. The mother in law driving wasn’t the least bit intimidated about icy roads either. We laughed and laughed about my first time “hitchin a ride.”

Last year after hitting a deer, I hitched another ride to Michael Unit. Will I do anything to get to a Unit Wedding? Absolutely. But, if road closures prevent you or I from getting to the Unit, it’s best to reschedule. 

Please be aware that many TDCJ Units in the Beaumont, Houston and surrounding areas including Huntsville are experiencing phone problems. 

At this point, there have been no TDCJ evacuations from Units due to flooding. TDCJ regularly posts updates regarding safety and security measures and you can follow them on FB as well as Twitter.

Regarding Hurricanes in Texas… 

In responding to federal emergency response doctrine and, specifically, the National Response Framework (NRF), the State of Texas Emergency Management Plan (State Plan) takes into account the needs of the whole community of citizens likely to be affected by an incident or event that requires a state-level coordinated response.

The State Plan complies with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5) “Management of Domestic Incidents” and Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8) “National Preparedness,” the “National Preparedness Goal,” and Texas Executive Order RP40, which mandates the adoption of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as the “declared State standard for incident management.”

The State Plan is composed of a Basic Plan, functional annexes, and hazard annexes. 
The State Plan responds to Texas Government Code, Section 418.042, which directs the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to “prepare and keep current a comprehensive state emergency plan.” The plan outlines the “coordination of federal, state, and local emergency management activities.”

Further, this annex sets forth cross-agency coordination responsibilities as agreed to by Emergency Management Council (EMC) agency representatives in response to their mandate, Texas Government Code, Section 418.013, to “assist the division [TDEM] in identifying, mobilizing, and deploying state resources to respond to major emergencies and disasters throughout the state.” 

The State Plan is designed to integrate with other state agency or entity plans and annexes when they are included as subordinate appendices or attachments to the State Plan.

Reschedules due to inclement weather… it’s rare to reschedule a wedding due to weather but it can and does occur. I was due at Cleveland Unit today and due to flooding, we are rescheduling. If we can’t get there, we can’t get you married. 

Reschedules are relatively easy the first time. Two reschedules though can get tricky. Why? Because at two reschedules, the Unit can require us to file a new I60.  

With winter right around the corner and the possibility of icy roads, it’s essential to keep an eye on the weather when planning to travel to the Unit. 

In the event that inclement weather prevents either you or I or us both from making it safely to the Unit, it’s in our best interest to reschedule although I know it’s a setback and you’ve been anxiously looking forward to wedding day. 

I’m mailing out this weeks bridal and groom photos and filing licenses for counties outside of Tarrant, Dallas and Parker via certified priority mail and looking forward to finally getting to Cleveland Unit soon to meet my bride. 

Stay safe and check the weather prior to driving to visits this weekend. Many phone lines have also been affected by the rain. Goree was having phone problems Wednesday as were other Huntsville Units. If you haven’t heard from your loved one, it may be due to the weather affecting the phone lines.

A few Units are short staffed due to the weather affecting employees ability to get to work.

Please call Units and check before driving to the Unit and double check your route for road closures this weekend.

Cindy and I are “all over Texas and Louisiana” in the next two weeks and look forward to meeting all of you very soon. 

Leigh Ann is finally moving into permanent housing from San Diego to Point Mugu, CA next week and looking forward to meeting our California Prison Clients in the coming months.

Cindy and I will be in California several times in the next few months at destination events as well as inmate weddings and as always look forward to returning to our home state. 

Wishing congrats to all of our clients this week and thankful I had time to grab a bite of lunch with my Goree Unit bride, Stephanie this week. If you need a mobile notary, Stephanie is your “go to gal.”I’ve had several inquiries regarding transportation to Units. In the Houston area, AM Transportation can help you. In the Dallas area, my Ellis Unit Client, Naquitua can assist you. 

Regarding Vow Renewals and scheduling of previous clients for rebookings.. please contact me ASAP to confirm availability. We are as excited as you are to celebrate your milestone and can’t wait to see you again!