Meet the ExecutiVE team

Warren "Country" Weidler
Warren "Country" Weidler
Deputy Chief

Warren "Country" Weidler

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.

Warren "Country" WeidlerWarren "Country" Weidler
Kevin Starbuck
Kevin Starbuck
Interim Chief Operating Officer

Kevin Starbuck

Kevin Starbuck is the Interim Chief Operating Officer at the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). Kevin came to TDEM as Assistant Chief in August 2021 to serve Region 1 and its 42 counties throughout the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Texoma, and northeast Texas areas.

Prior to joining TDEM, Kevin served for 5 years as the Assistant/Deputy City Manager for the City of Amarillo, responsible for the city’s community services departments. Kevin’s career includes 20 years in emergency management with the Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management and contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration Pantex Plant. During his time in city management and emergency management, Kevin responded to all levels and types of natural and man-made incidents and disasters that impacted the Texas Panhandle region. Kevin is a local and regional leader, previously serving on the Panhandle Regional Emergency Management Advisory Committee and Board of Directors for the Guyon Saunders Resource Center, along with service to other community organizations.

Kevin has a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Administration and Planning from the University of North Texas, a Certificate in Homeland Security through Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service, and a master’s degree in Security Studies, Homeland Defense and Security from the Naval Postgraduate School Center of Homeland Defense and Security. Kevin is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®), Certified Texas Emergency Manager (TEM©), and Certified Public Manager (CPM®).

Kevin is a member, past president, and former board member of the Emergency Management Association of Texas and is a member of the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Kevin with his wife Kara have two boys, Jack and William, residing in the DFW area.

Kevin StarbuckKevin Starbuck
Paula Hanson
Paula Hanson
Chief Financial Officer

Paula Hanson

Paula Hanson currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). She provides leadership and oversight of budgetary and fiscal matters, including financial operations, accounting processes and controls, budget formulation, and general management improvement programs.

Before joining TDEM, she served as Associate Vice President & Comptroller at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and as Comptroller at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. In both roles, she was responsible for business and financial operations, including preparation of financial and legislative reports, financial analyses, and appropriate internal controls. She has over 25 years of Higher Education accounting and financial reporting experience and has been a certified public accountant since 2008.

Paula earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She received a certificate from the College Business Management Institute (CBMI) in 2008 and completed the Governor’s Executive Development Program in 2019.

Paula enjoys being active in local charitable organizations, and during her work at  Texas A&M-Commerce, she was instrumental in helping strengthen the partnership between the university and the local community, while serving  as a board member for the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum and the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Texas. She remains an active member of the Texas Association of Senior State College and University Business Officers (TASSCUBO) in the Legislative Appropriations Request Best Practices Steering Committee where, for years, she has been assisting with statewide training workshops.

Paula HansonPaula Hanson
Blair Walsh
Blair Walsh
Chief of Community Relations

Blair Walsh serves as the Division Chief for Community Relations, and joined the TDEM team in August of 2019. Prior to joining TDEM, Blair worked in government relations for 16 years serving Members of Congress, trade associations, and in state government.

Most recently, Blair served as Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs at a global law firm, and prior to that served for 4 years at the Department of Public Safety. In that position she managed the policy portfolio for TDEM, criminal investigations division, intelligence and counterterrorism, Texas Capitol security and cybersecurity in the office of government relations.

Blair has managed state legislative and congressional response and outreach for TDEM during not only Hurricane Harvey but through 13 federally declared disasters, numerous fires, and Federal emergency declarations.

Blair attended the University of Oklahoma where she majored in Political Science. While Blair worked for the federal government, she attended National Defense University working toward a MA in Strategic Security Studies with an emphasis in conflict management.

Blair WalshBlair Walsh
Seth Christensen
Seth Christensen
Chief of Media, Communications, & Preparedness

Seth Christensen

Seth Christensen serves as the Chief of Media, Communications, and Preparedness for the Texas Division of Emergency Management. In this role, Seth works directly with Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, as a member of the agency’s executive leadership team, and oversees two of the agency's divisions dedicated to coordinating the state’s emergency management preparedness and media/communications functions. This includes the state's emergency preparedness plans/training/exercises, and the state’s joint information center during activations of the Texas State Emergency Operations Center.

Prior to joining TDEM in September of 2019, Seth served as the Chief of Staff at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department where he oversaw a broad portfolio of responsibilities to initiate transformative juvenile justice reforms with the implementation of “The Texas Model”, a comprehensive trauma-informed strategy for working with youth to improve outcomes and public safety.

Additionally, from 2015-2018, Seth served as a Policy Advisor in the office of Governor Greg Abbott, where he assisted the Governor in formulating policy positions and implementing state policy on a variety of vital issues including emergency management, public safety, homeland security, juvenile justice, and the judiciary. As the Governor’s liaison to TDEM, he was particularly involved in helping coordinate the state’s response and recovery efforts for seven presidentially declared disasters, including historic Hurricane Harvey.  

A native of Brenham, Texas, Seth received his Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M University. Seth has been licensed as an attorney with the State Bar of Texas since 2013.

Seth ChristensenSeth Christensen

News & Updates

The Latest From TDEM


Are you prepared? Take time today to learn how to prepare yourself and your family for any winter weather threats that may occur.

Visit the links below for additional resources and watch the video to learn winter weather preparedness tips.

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