Work continuing in Abilene tornado aftermath

Abilene Reporter-News | June 12, 2019
By Brain Bethel

ABILENE, Texas – More than 300 structures were damaged by the EF-2 category storm in Abilene, Texas. A‘”rebuild” program for those who are uninsured is being coordinated.

The BCFS Health and Human Services team, in partnership with city inspectors, American Red Cross Disaster Assessment, and Texas Baptist Men, built a tornado map which “has allowed us to keep true to our mission of assisting those who were impacted by the tornado,” Cooksey said.

Providing An Extra Boost

Spirit of Abilene | June 1, 2019
By Loretta Fulton

Shortly after the tornado did its damage early Saturday morning, May 18, Pioneer Drive Baptist Church stepped up, offering its parking lot as a staging area for first responders and volunteers. Within a couple of days, the process had been moved into the gym. Professionals and volunteers with a number of organizations, such as BCFS, the Salvation Army, United Way, and others are showing up 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day to assist. They are tasked with assisting people who don’t have insurance and need access to resources.

BCFS’ Kari Tatro Participates in Women and Crisis Leadership Panel

BCFS’ Kari Tatro Participates in Women and Crisis Leadership Panel Discussion

BCFS Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kari Tatro was invited as a panelist for the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Distinguished Speaker Series held at the University of Southern California. Kari shared the floor with the Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for US Coast Guard, Assistant Chief and Director of the Office of Special Operations for the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Director of the National Center for Security and Preparedness. The panel explored the roles women play in crisis leadership, sharing challenges, insights, and lessons learned throughout their distinguished careers.

As a panelist, Kari shared anecdotes from the frontlines of emergency responses in the wakes of hurricane, flood, fire, and earthquake disasters experienced throughout her 15-year emergency management career. She is currently serving as Incident Commander for BCFS Emergency Management Division’s ongoing response operations, managing multiple incidents with more than 250 deployed personnel helping stabilize communities ravaged by the 2017 hurricane season.

BCFS Names Segura and Tatro Co-Chief Operating Officers

BCFS, a global system of six separate 501c3 non-profit organizations, has named Asennet Segura EVP/COO – Community, International & Residential Operations, and Kari Tatro EVP/COO – Administration, Education & Emergency Operations for the growing system headquartered in San Antonio.

Photo: Asennet Segura

Segura has been with the organization for more than 18 years, and as EVP/COO of Community, International & Residential Operations she will oversee all aspects of the agency’s residential system. This encompasses emergency shelters for children who have been abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families; foster care and adoption services; medical services; early childhood education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

Since joining the organization in 1997, Segura has been one of the chief drivers of the growth and expansion within the agency, overseeing the development and implementation of significant programs from coast-to-coast and around the world.

Photo: Kari TatroKari Tatro is an 8-year veteran with the BCFS system and one of the nation’s foremost experts on inclusionary planning to meet the needs of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs during disasters. As EVP/COO – Administration, Education & Emergency Operations, Tatro will oversee several internal agency functions including information technology, resource and asset management, procurement, property management, and personnel learning and development. Tatro will also manage multiple external-facing programs including BCFS Education Services, which provides early education services to ready young learners for academic achievement and success in school, as well as BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division – a national leader and partner of local, state and federal government entities in preparedness and response efforts.

Under Tatro’s guidance and supervision, the agency maintains a multidisciplinary all-hazards Incident Management Team comprised of more than 200 highly-trained and experienced emergency management personnel throughout the nation, a 200-person Disaster Medical Staffing Team and a 250-person Disaster Case Management Team. Additionally, Tatro provides oversight of disaster response resources and assetts including a robust fleet of emergency response vehicles ready to deploy at a moment’s notice with two state-of-the-art mobile command platforms, medical mobile units, shelter support units, advanced satellite communications and cellular equipment, and a massive supply of cached resources warehoused by BCFS EMD with an exceptional logistical supply chain to meet all incident needs.

“When an organization is as far-reaching as BCFS, operating in high-stakes environments on a daily basis, ensuring continuity of operations and quality control is not just critical, it’s a no-fail charge. That is the level of commitment, management and leadership Segura and Tatro bring to the table every day, 24/7,” said Kevin Dinnin, President and CEO of BCFS. “Both of these individuals take an ‘owner’s attitude’ in everything they do and have a proven ability to manage complex programs, a large workforce, sizable budgets, and – most importantly – they have my full trust and confidence in their ability to manage and guide our organization.”


BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

BCFS EMD Names Maher as Chief of Staff

Photo: Lauren Maher

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) has named Lauren Maher as Chief of Staff. In this role, Maher will work closely with executive leadership and subject matter experts in the BCFS system and its Emergency Management Division to develop new projects that support the emergency management and preparedness efforts of local, state and federal government and private business.

“BCFS Health and Human Services’ EMD operates in ‘life and death’ scenarios daily – from developing evacuation plans for hospitals and schools, to coordinating multi-agency response efforts in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane,” said Kari Tatro, Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President – Administration, Education and Emergency Management. “Our government and corporate partners rely on BCFS to ensure top-notch quality and program effectiveness. Lauren’s experience directing quality assurance measures and project evaluation will further enhance our ability to be ready for anything.”

Maher has more than 10 years of emergency management experience, having most recently served as chief of staff for the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management. Maher provided chief counsel to the Texas Chief of Emergency Management on matters stretching from community relations issues to critical emergency response strategies. She directed risk management and life safety programs for the Texas Department of Public Safety, and developed systematic policies and procedures for program evaluation and quality control.

As the department’s special projects manager and emergency management liaison, she directed the special projects team, provided technical assistance in producing key deliverables and strategies, and served as the department’s “go-to” for troubleshooting complex issues in the special project program.

Maher holds a master’s degree in technical communication and an undergraduate degree from Texas State University.

For more information about BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division, visit BCFSEMD.org.

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BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division is part of the BCFS system of non-profit organizations. It is a partner of federal, state and local government and private industry, specializing in emergency management, incident management, disaster response, public health & medical emergency response, mass care, mass fatality planning, medical sheltering and p