NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - After evacuees in Jasper County needed a temporary home due of electricity outages Hurricane Harvey, the Nacogdoches community welcomed them with open arms, but communication issues made the relocation process more difficult.
Charlie Colgan, the pastor of First Christian Church, held a Hurricane Harvey debrief for community leaders and volunteers.
"There was some frustration amongst faith-based organizations about how the Hurricane Harvey shelter process went, and I just wanted to get the right people at the table just to gain information," Colgan said.
According to Robert Ford, a City of Nacogdoches emergency responder, the city didn't plan to help evacuees and said this is a reason the city wasn't prepared.
"The state plan was to send them to the San Antonio and Dallas area because of resources. They had a big outage down there and they had a bunch of evacuees, so that's why we took those folks in," Ford said.
However, Ford said communication between all parties will help this be a successful process next time.
"Meeting with those local representatives in our churches today makes a key part to be able to know who to contact and who to get a hold of," Ford said.
Red Cross volunteers told East Texas News that Hurricane Harvey was a wakeup call, and the organization will be prepared for future disasters by requiring volunteers to take core classes.
Colgan said he believes now that everyone is on one accord, he and his team members will take the information they learned today and map out ways the church can help when a disaster occurs.