NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - In light of the upcoming hurricane season, Texans are advised of early preparation. So are emergency response workers.
East Texas News learned what the new Nacogdoches County emergency management coordinator is doing in the way of hurricane preparedness. Although Tara Triana is new to the position, she is well experienced when it comes to disaster response.
"I was working at dispatch when the shuttle Columbia happened," Triana said. "I've worked in the EOC during hurricane Ike and hurricane Rita."
On day two of hurricane season, Triana is tuned into weather patterns.
"As soon as ya'll's local news people start telling us that there is a storm coming we start having e mails from the state giving us updates," Triana said.
Triana will be on the same page of policies and procedures with her counterpart for the City of Nacogdoches, Fire chief Keith Kiplinger.
"We work many times within a joint emergency operation center," Kiplinger said. "We work most of the time in a unified command fashion."
The two must be prepared to serve thousands of evacuees, the Nacogdoches County Civic Center and adjoining Expo must be ready.
With very short notice this facility can turned into a rescue center for pets and livestock. During Katrina emergency workers learned quickly that behind every animal disaster, there is a human disaster.
"We set it up for several hundred dogs, cats too," said Steven Bryant, an animal control officer for the City of Nacogdoches. "We have a section for puppies."
"And then large animals can be housed out there by calling the expo and making a reservation," Triana said.
Early preparation is the key. Individuals, property owners, animal owners and emergency responders are advised begin preparing now for any possible storms.
Jeff Turner, the state's Animal Health Commission director, warns that tropical storm systems are severe for not just those living along the coast. As they move inland, they bring high winds, torrential rains and tornados. Planning for these systems is important.