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East Texas officials say now is time to make hurricane preparations

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 4:05 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2021 at 6:07 PM CDT
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(KTRE) - As tropical storms and hurricane notices enter the news headlines, there is a renewed awareness this time of year for hurricane preparations.

“The biggest thing is having a plan,” said Chester Jourdan, the Executive Director of the Deep East Texas and Southeast Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross. “If we have Tropical Storm Elsa that would hit our area, let’s say, what are you going to do? Where do you go?”

Jourdan said if evacuations are issued, heed those warning and let people know where you’re headed.

“Make sure we have at least three days of supplies, food and water,” he said. “Make sure we have our medication; at least a 30-day supply. Make sure we know where our important papers are. Make sure we have everything we need for our pets. Help take care of those around us as well.”

Jourdan said they’re preparing year ‘round with volunteers, healthcare workers, county officials and other non-profits.

“Make sure we have the people, resources and assets in place like cots, blankets and water,” he said.

Captain Cavon Phillips with The Salvation Army of Lufkin said they can provide more food to people in Deep East Texas with their new canteen, which he says they haven’t had in a number of years.

“The reality is the closest canteen is in Houston or Tyler,” Phillips said. “We believe we are positioned in a good area to go out to respond quickly to those other smaller communities who are facing disaster.”

President and CEO of the Nacogdoches Area United Way Gary Lee Ashcraft said they are recruiting volunteers to train them to be ready to work in shelters for disaster evacuees.

“We need folks in there who are trained to keep people calm,” he said. “What they’re going to encounter, what people are going to look like that are in crisis, how to deal with those kind of folks and help them to get back to being happy and being stabilized.”

“It’s hard to prepare for everything,” Jourdan said, “but we do the best we can.”

To view a Hurricane Safety Checklist, click here.

To learn more about or volunteer with the American Red Cross of Deep East Texas and Southeast Texas, click here.

To learn more about or volunteer with the Salvation Army of Lufkin, click here.

To learn more about or volunteer with the Nacogdoches Area United Way, click here.

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