Captain Maldanado will never forget the lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "It was chaotic. It was like 24 hours ongoing, a lot of hours were running into each other and people were getting tired," says Captain Maldanado.
Folks at the Lufkin Salvation Army have been busy this year, preparing for the start of hurricane season and other natural disasters. "You really don't know what's going to happen so you just talk about things you can be prepared for like you want to have the cots. We've contacted a lot of the agencies we worked with during the hurricanes and we've already set up stuff, so as a whole Lufkin is ready," says Maldanado.
Though they have been busy preparing for a busy hurricane season, they are preparing for something else also, a big move. "May 12th we received a phone call saying you are under farewell orders," says Captain Mario Maldanado.
This month after five years in Lufkin, the Maldanado's are packing up their belongings to carry on duties at the Salvation Army in Waxahachie, Texas. Employees are sad to see them go. "It's going to be difficult. I've been here off an on with the captains for four years and they are a wonderful couple, so it's going to be an adjustment," says Sharon Ayres. "This is one of the best communities we ever worked. This is a wonderful, very generous community, loving, caring community, that we are going to miss big time," says Captain Mario Maldanado.
The Maldanado's say knowing the Lufkin Salvation Army is ready for hurricane season makes their move somewhat easier.