About Texas Division of Emergency Management
The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) coordinates the state emergency management program, which is intended to ensure the state and its local governments respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters, and implement plans and programs to help prevent or lessen the impact of emergencies and disasters.
TDEM implements programs to increase public awareness about threats and hazards, coordinates emergency planning, provides an extensive array of specialized training for emergency responders and local officials, and administers disaster recovery and hazard mitigation programs in the State of Texas.
TDEM is charged with carrying out a comprehensive all-hazard emergency management program for the State and for assisting cities, counties, and state agencies in planning and implementing their emergency management programs. A comprehensive emergency management program includes pre and post-disaster mitigation of known hazards to reduce their impact; preparedness activities, such as emergency planning, training, and exercises; provisions for effective response to emergency situations; and recovery programs for major disasters. Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code lays out an extensive set of specific responsibilities assigned to the Division.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) had its roots in the civil defense programs established during World War II. It dates as a separate organization from The Texas Civil Protection Act of 1951, which established the Division of Defense and Disaster Relief in the Governor’s Office to handle civil defense and disaster response programs. The Division was collocated with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in 1963. The organization was renamed the Division of Disaster Emergency Services in 1973. After several more name changes, it was designated an operating division of the Texas Department of Public Safety in 2005. Legislation passed during the 81st session of the Texas Legislature in 2009 formally changed the name of the organization to the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
TDEM Chief - W.NIM KIDD, MPA, CEM®
W. Nim Kidd serves as the Chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). In this capacity, he is responsible for the state’s emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities. Prior to serving with TDEM, Chief Kidd was appointed to the San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD), where he promoted through the ranks from firefighter to District Fire Chief, including Lieutenant in charge of the SAFD Technical Rescue Team and Captain of the SAFD Hazardous Materials Response
Team. From 2004 to 2010, Chief Kidd served as City Emergency Manager for the City of San Antonio, where he managed the city’s response to over a dozen
state and presidential disaster declarations.
In 1997, Chief Kidd was one of the original members appointed to the Texas Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team. In 2001, He was the Plans
Section Chief that responded to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Chief Kidd currently serves as chair for the Federal Emergency Management
Agency’s (FEMA) National Advisory Council (NAC).
Chief Kidd holds a Masters of Public Administration from Texas State University, a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and two
associates’ degrees. He is the Vice Chancellor for Disaster and Emergency Services for The Texas A&M University System. He is a Certified Emergency
Manager (CEM®), a Texas Master Firefighter, and holds Hazardous Materials and Emergency Medical Technician certifications. Chief Kidd and his wife, Dr.
Emily Kidd, M.D., share three children and a beautiful granddaughter together.
Suzannah Jones: Deputy Chief
Suzannah Jones is a Deputy Chief at the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) with responsibility for Recovery and Mitigation. Suzannah has been with TDEM since 2011.
While with TDEM, Suzannah has been actively involved in the state’s response to 15 presidentially declared disasters including Hurricane Harvey, one of the most catastrophic disasters to hit Texas. Suzannah came to DPS from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) where she worked in two different divisions: the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center and Disaster Preparedness and Response/Texas Task Force 1. She was involved in planning, training and exercises and managed large projects in both Texas and across the U.S.
Before her tenure at TEEX, Suzannah worked for the U.S. Department of State as a member of the Foreign Service, serving at several US embassies.
Suzannah obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology/sociology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and a master’s in business administration from Schiller International University in London, England. Suzannah is also a Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM®) through the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).
Warren "Country" Weidler: Deputy Chief
Country Weidler is a Deputy Chief at the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) with responsibility for Preparedness and Response. Country has been with TDEM since 2021.
Prior to joining TDEM, Country served as the Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinator for the state of Texas through the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service. Chief Weidler is a veteran of the Austin Fire Department where he served for over 30 years, promoting through the ranks to Special Operations battalion chief.
Chief Weidler is a founding member of Texas Task Force 1 (TX- TF1). He responded to the World Trade Center disaster in September of 2001, the Space Shuttle Columbia incident, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, the Moore, Oklahoma tornado and the West fertilizer plant explosion among many others. During Hurricane Ike, Chief Weidler led the statewide search and rescue effort.
During Hurricane Harvey, the largest hurricane response in Texas history, he coordinated statewide search and rescue, consisting of local, state and federal resources. Weidler served as an integral member of the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas. In August of 2018, Weidler served as the state’s representative to Texas’ historic response to catastrophic wildfires in California.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and in the spirit of “other duties as assigned,” Weidler assisted the state of Texas, leading the “Pony Express” and managing testing logistics. His 30 years as a first responder and subject matter expertise as a leader during all major disasters since 2014, made him an integral part of the state’s response to the pandemic.