After a summer of weather extremes, East Texas officials are bracing for the chance of a wild winter.
"We actually had some ice storms last year," said Jeanie Miles, American Red Cross Emergency Service Specialist. "They weren't really significant. We did have ice storms that did affect travel. We didn't lose power, thank goodness, but it can happen anytime."
The Pineywoods lucked out and avoided major winter storms last year. That doesn't mean we should expect the same this year.
"When the sun goes down one day, the weather, you know, you could be 40 degrees cooler the next day," said Angelina County Emergency Management Coordinator, Ricky Conner.
Because disaster can strike at any time, The American Red Cross urges that you keep an emergency preparedness kit handy year round.
"This is something people need to do immediately and have read," said Miles.
Making your own emergency kit is easy. Just stock food for up to three days, radios, batteries, first aid, and other essentials for your entire family. Emergency officials say this is the perfect time to ensure your smoke detector is working.
"Those are going to work if your electricity goes out because they're battery operated. Make sure when winter season starts coming around make sure you change those out," said Conner.
With cooler weather, indoor heating can turn to disaster.
"Smoke detectors save so many lives," said Miles.
Just like hurricane season, the Red Cross suggests having a plan of action, if and when mother nature strikes.