Hurricane Preparedness Underway

The hurricane season of 2005 will never be forgotten. The memory of full shelters serves as a reminder to shelter providers to prepare early and communicate. American Red Cross director, Glenna Harkness said,  " I think we have a good communication. I think we all work together. Unfortunately, we had to learn from the 2005 season, but now we work together. We know each other very well."

The American Red Cross invited key players to learn what to expect. East Texas News meteorologist Conly Isom provided a hurricane forecast. Representatives from state agencies shared the assistance they can provide to shelters. Throughout, the Red Cross representative spoke in terms of not "if" there's a hurricane, but "when" there's a hurricane. The agency already has pre-agreements with a Tyler food bank and a Lufkin supply company to meet shelter needs. 800 cots, 1800 blankets and two trailers are available.

Now local officials are remembering prep steps they need to take. Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss said,  " At the time, we were right in the thick of things. It's like next year I want to remember to have this preparation and then after things calm down a little bit that gets pushed to the back burner, so this is one of those good reminders."

This pleases Harkness.  " I don't want complacency to form. I want them to remember."

The American Red Cross is currently updating shelter agreements. Any Red Cross approved shelter can receive reimbursements for the help it provides during a time of need. Shelter organizers can obtain shelter kits and posters from the Lufkin Red Cross office. Also volunteers are encouraged to let local shelters know that you are willing to help out.