American Red Cross Says It's Time For You To Prepare For Hurricane Rita

While East Texas is not expected to see damage like that left behind by hurricane Katrina, there are some safety precautions you are urged to take. This weekend, East Texas could experience power outages and flash flooding, and that brings concerns.

"The first thing a family needs to do is talk about it, what are we going to do," said Susan Campbell, American Red Cross. "Who's going to be responsible for what. Then they need to build and have on hand a disaster supply kit." There are several things to have in your emergency kit. The American Red Cross suggests the following items:

* Non-perishable Food

* Drinking Water

* Flashlight

* First Aid Kit

* Medications

* Battery Operated Radio (remember batteries)

* Cash

* Tools

* Important Contact Information

There's also another threat.

"The biggest threat I think is knocking down trees," said Stephen Parr, StormTracker 7 Meteorologist. "We haven't had much severe weather at all this year, so normally the severe weather will knock down the weaker trees, well we have a lot of trees out here that haven't really been tested and so they could be knocked down."

Eric Artmire works for a tree service company. He says there are warning signs to look for, such as fungus or mushrooms or holes in your trees.

"What that does if you get any kind of wind load on it, it's a leverage factor and these serve as hindge points and these are points the tree can break," said Artmire. The American Red Cross says the time is now to prepare youself.

For more safety precaution information, you can call the American Red Cross at (903) 581-7981. If you have questions about your trees, it's best to call a tree service company to see if your tree is a hazard.

Molly Reuter, reporting.