State Rep. Sylvester Turner of Houston has scheduled the third hearing for the House Select Committee on Hurricane Ike to discuss the response in Orange, Jefferson and Hardin Counties. 

The hearing will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 10 in the Lamar State College-Orange Student Center.

The committee will hear both invited and public testimony. The committee’s charge is to review the state and local government response to the hurricane and identify issues for the Legislature to address to prepare for future natural disasters and their aftermath.

“The challenge is to come up with specific recommendations that are pragmatic, cost efficient and constructive in enhancing our hurricane and emergency preparedness efforts without being all over the map,” said Turner. “The general consensus is that the state and local governments were better prepared this time than before.

We want to improve on that assessment where feasible.”

Turner chairs the committee with Rep. John Davis of Houston serving as vice chair, appointed by House Speaker Tom Craddick.

The speaker also appointed Reps. Dennis Bonnen (Angleton), Joe Deshotel (Beaumont), Harold Dutton (Houston), Craig Eiland (Galveston), Mike Hamilton (Mauriceville), Patricia Harless (Spring), Dora Olivo (Rosenberg), Debbie Riddle (Tomball), Wayne Smith (Baytown) and Larry Taylor (Friendswood). In addition, there will be one public member, A.R. “Babe” Schwartz.

Invited testimony for this hearing will include representatives of various governmental agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations to discuss evacuation, critical infrastructure, communications, housing, medical response, shelters and the business community.

Public testimony will be taken at the end of invited testimony. Those wishing to speak must sign up at the hearing. Public testimony will be limited to three minutes. The committee will stay in session to hear everyone.