ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The April and May storms that have flooded many homes and businesses in East Texas have been a mixed blessing for the American Red Cross. For Scott Brawley, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager of the Deep East Texas Service Center based in Lufkin, the flash floods and severe weather has served a double purpose.
“This has been a very bad situation for some people,” Brawley explained by telephone, “It has been from the Red Cross side of the house, we've got a lot of good training out of this to prepare for hurricane season. It's a shame some people had to suffer through this (recent severe weather). But in addition to helping them, we got to help ourselves by rehearsing and actually going out and doing some of the things we're going to have to do for hurricane season if we actually do get hit this year.”
But Brawley doesn't advise people to wait for a hurricane watch or warning to prepare for the storm. He's hopeful East Texans will use the Memorial Day weekend to not only shop for “deals” on clothing and electronics, but also to stock up on supplies to survive a hurricane strike.
The American Red Cross has a Hurricane Safety Checklist on its
. Topping the list of “What supplies do I need?” is water. It recommends “at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day.”
“To be prepared for a hurricane and in case you lose your electricity during a storm, make sure you have non-perishable food there, batteries for a flashlight; batteries perhaps for a radio,” explained Don Morris, Angelina County Emergency Management Coordinator.
Food, a flashlight, a radio and batteries round out the top five items on the Red Cross supplies list.
Morris is just one of the many emergency coordinators Brawley says his office is in touch with in their service area.
“So when things pop up we're all talking with each other. So we have pretty decent situational awareness going on,” Brawley said.
Another recommendation is not to rely on your cell phone. You can lose power and the ability to charge it at home, but sometimes storms knock out cellular service.
"I think an analog telephone will be real handy. It will still work when you're electricity's out,” Morris recommends because if you have to call 9-1-1, that analog phone will show the address you're calling from.