East Texans helping with Alex

By Jamey Boyum - email
Posted by Janis Demarest - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - When Alex makes landfall, whether as a tropical storm or hurricane, the Smith County Chapter of the Red Cross will be there.

Smith County volunteers Sheryl Thomas and Sonya Meadors left Tuesday morning in an Emergency Response Vehicle; their destination: Harligen.

"They need to get in a safe position before landfall so they can ride out the storm and be able to respond as soon as the storm is over. Basically we don't know what they will be doing, and they won't know until they get there and they're needed," says Smith County Red Cross director Tammy Prater.

Thomas and Meadors will be tracked by satellite, and have G.P.S. and cell phones. "There's evacuees and there's people still left so we go out and we knock on doors and find out who's out there and we make sure they know where the food is and where the resources are that can help them. During Katrina, there was no power, no water so we were bringing water in, we were bringing in the only hot food they got. Out of one of these trucks we can feed 600 people two meals a day," says Thomas.

Prater says by sending volunteers to the field it helps prepare them in case disaster should strike in our area.

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