Chief Nim Kidd answered questions from Chancellor John Sharp of the Texas A&M University System for the latest episode of “COVID-19: The Texas A&M System Responds.”
They touched on Kidd’s background, which includes a deployment to New York after 9/11 and leading the state’s responses and recovery efforts for major disasters.
They also discussed the reopening of Texas, struggles in assisted living facilities, expanded COVID-19 testing sites, the issues facing food banks and the need for personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses.
As chief of emergency management for the state that receives more federal disaster declarations than any other state, Chief Kidd stays busy leading the daily operations of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, which last year became the eighth state agency under the umbrella of the Texas A&M System. But in times of disaster, his responsibilities expand. On March 23, when Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to the White House requesting a presidential declaration of a major disaster in Texas, he also designated Chief Kidd as his authorized representative and state coordinating officer, which requires him to coordinate with FEMA on all matters related to COVID-19.
Chancellor Sharp spoke on the show, which was taped on April 28 at the headquarters of Texas A&M Task Force 1, about the trust Gov. Greg Abbott and top officials have put in Chief Kidd in these days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When you talk to members of the Legislature, every single one of the 181 members will say, ‘If you have a disaster and you don’t have this guy, it’s a really big disaster,’” Chancellor Sharp said.
Chief Kidd has overseen the increased production of PPE, the expansion of testing sites for COVID-19 and other coronavirus-related responsibilities, but there is still a looming threat that cannot escape his mind.
“We're roughly 30 days away from the start of the next hurricane season,” he said. “We need to be ready for that.”
Chancellor Sharp’s conversation with Chief Kidd is the sixth in a special series of television shows. Chancellor Sharp is interviewing leaders, scientists, researchers and other experts who help fight the pandemic in a variety of ways.