(Houston, Texas)—Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Public Information Officer Francisco Sanchez has been advocating strategies to enhance public emergency communications since joining the county in 2004.
This week, StateScoop, a leading digital publication for innovators, technology experts and IT services providers, listed Sanchez as one of the Top 11 Public Safety Tech Leaders to Watch. According to StateScoop, the men and women in this list were chosen for their dedication to their work and their willingness to share it with the community at large for the betterment of their country.
“Harris County and its team is always proud to be recognized for its innovative approach to emergency public information, especially in the digital space,” said Sanchez. “We will continue collaborating with social scientists, the tech community, social media leaders and our community to be as cutting-edge as we can be.”
Timely information sharing between emergency managers, public safety organizations, the community, and media is critical during emergencies. Social media in particular has become a critical component of emergency preparedness, response and recovery.
“Embracing new technologies helps emergency management to connect, inform and ultimately save the lives of those impacted by disasters,” added Sanchez. “We should all be using all available resources to accomplish this mission.”
Sanchez has been a featured speaker on these topics at SXSW, National Hurricane Conference, National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas Homeland Security Conference, Emergency Management Magazine Road Show, the National All-Hazard Incident Management Team Training & Education Conference, Texas State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Conference, Smart Cities (Toronto) and other forums. In 2013, he was profiled as Emergency Management Magazine’s Major Player. In 2015, the University of Houston named Sanchez its Houston Public Official of the Year and also received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions, primarily in public safety.