LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Media coverage of hurricane Irene has been intense with flooding, power outages, and evacuations.
"People don't understand when that's your home and it's all you got and you have to leave and you don't know what's going on until you get back there. It's a very traumatic, horrible experience," said Cindy O'Dazier, Lufkin resident.
While it's a rare occurrence on the East Coast, East Texans feel wise as they hear about what's happening --- since they've survived several serious storms in recent years.
"I like to have a lot of things on hand that are dry goods that way you don't have to worry about food," said Donna Hart, Lufkin resident.
"The only thing we don't have that my wife's been getting on me about is getting a generator," said James Foster, very prepared for hurricane season.
Being prepared seems to be second nature for Lufkin residents.
"We have candles, we have flashlights, dry foods, canned goods, we stay stocked with water," said Foster.
City and county leaders have also learned a thing or two.
"Our shelters are now a lot better than they were. Pretty much everything as a whole is much better than before," said Ricky Conner, Angelina Co. Emergency Coordinator.
Since the last hurricanes swept through our area, Lufkin and Angelina County have become a regional hub for emergency management. Right now, there's $6,000,000 worth of supplies in a Lufkin warehouse on the loop.
"The state has also established a regional staging area in Lufkin for resources... for the entire East Texas area," said Conner.
Before, supplies could come from anywhere in the state. Now, inside the warehouse there's water, MREs, medical supplies and cots... Already close to home.
"That water would come from East Texas and we would have it available here a lot quicker," said Conner.
If and when the next big one comes our way, folks here say they'll be watching out for their neighbors.
"We here in East Texas I know we stick together, we love God and we also do what's best for one another," said Foster.