Angelina County discusses changes to emergency preparedness plans

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - According to Angelina County's Emergency Preparedness Office, being prepared also includes knowing what disasters are more likely to occur in a certain area.

"As you've seen, over the last two or three years, we've had a lot of flooding events," said coordinator,Ricky Connor. "Of course, tornadoes. We always say prepare for hurricanes because that's the big event."

Conner added that knowing the layout of an area and the type of disaster that could cause the most problems is also important.

"We have a lot of roadways that run through the county," Connor said. "We could have a chemical spill tomorrow, and we want to make sure we're prepared."

Other institutions involved, like Angelina County's Red Cross program, say that learning from past emergencies is key to surviving future ones.

"Have cash because that could be a problem," said Deep East Texas program manager Scott Brawley. "It was a problem during Hurricane Harvey, people hitting the highways, and their credit cards wouldn't do them a lot of good. It happened to some of our people in our emergency response vehicles."

Connor said that peaceful times are perfect for stocking up on emergency items, especially the April 28 weekend, when all emergency types of items are tax-free.

"Radio with batteries, flashlight," Connor said. "Those are the two big things you need to have because you've got to be able to keep up with it. If there's any news about the situation, you want to be able to keep up with it."

During this time, local law enforcement advise residents to fix any issues with your home.

"You also have to be prepared if you stay," said Huntington Chief of Police Bobby Epperly. "I would encourage people. If you have loose shingles and stuff on your roof and stuff like that, you may want to look at fixing things like that now before the hurricane season gets here, and you get caught or trapped in something where you have unnecessary things to deal with."

Here are more items that will be tax-free for the April 28 weekend:

Less than $3,000

Portable generators

Less than $300

Emergency ladders, hurricane shutters

Less than $75

Batteries, single or multi-pack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
Can openers - nonelectric
Carbon monoxide detectors
Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
Fire extinguishers
First aid kits
Fuel containers
Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
Ice products - reusable and artificial
Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated)
Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns
Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
Radios - portable self-powered (including battery operated) - includes two-way and weather band radios
Smoke detectors
Tarps and other plastic sheeting

Items that are not tax-exempt

Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
Camping stoves,
Camping supplies
Extension ladders

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