E.Texas emergency officials confident in disaster safety plans

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Tuesday Moore, OK, sits in ruins aftera tornado claimed more than 20 lives and caused massive damage.

"The loss of life that occurredis devastating," said Lufkin Deputy City Manager.

December of 2009 was the last timeLufkin saw a tornado and since then emergency officials have utilizedtechnology to let residents know when disaster strikes.

"Text messages, email or phoneline and you have to set that up yourself," said Wright.

Lufkin Deputy City Manager KeithWright says residents can set up an emergency profile online and receivewarnings during severe weather.

"It's more beneficial I think youcan reach more people, a siren is limited by distance," said Wright.

Currently the city of Nacogdoches isdependent on 11 sirens to alert residents of threatening weather conditions.

Officials say those sirens aredirectly related to the national weather service.

"Whenever they do hear sirensthey need to seek shelter and have a plan as far as what media they want to thetune into," said Tommy Wheeler, Emergency Management Coordinator.

Safety officials want to stress thedifference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch, a watch just meansconditions are favorable for severe weather.

"A warning on the other handmeans a tornado has actually has been sighted on the ground or in the air by aperson or weather radar," said Greg Sowell, Emergency ManagementSpokesperson.

Throughout the week Nacogdoches willbe reviewing possible notification programs for the city.

"Possibly in the future we'll notonly have sirens but an emergency notification system," said Wheeler.

In Nacogdoches officials say the emergencysirens are tested every Wednesday at noon.

InLufkin, the notification service is free, to sign up visit https://ww2.everbridge.net/citizen/EverbridgeGateway.action?body=home&gis_alias_id=510771

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