Despite Southerly Track, Disaster Workers Prepared For Dean
Here in East Texas, there have been many people told to be ready to help in a disaster.
They're volunteers and workers with the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Even if Dean has no effect on any part of Texas, they feel this will be a good practice run -- and that they're much more prepared than two years ago.
At the American Red Cross in Tyler, they've been preparing for days -- moving people and personnel closer to where a Texas landfall had been possible.
"There are 1700 response vehicles staged right now in Little Rock, Arkansas. They are on their way down to Austin, and they'd be down in Austin if they were needed," says Susan Campbell of the American Red Cross in Tyler.
Several hundred volunteers are still on standby here in East Texas to help with the thousands of evacuees if a storm were to approach Texas. Helping prepare are volunteers like ham radio operator John Newman.
"The biggest thing that we would have with a storm coming into the coast, would be evacuees from the coast. They would be coming this way because we're a sheltering hub," Newman says.
After Katrina, the radio operators coordinated supplies and movement of people between shelters.
Today at the Salvation Army, cots and beds are still at the ready.
"I think we learned a lot of lessons about being more proactive, and being prepared ahead of time... making sure that all our ducks are in a row and making sure that supplies are here for a long haul," said Linda Edwards of the Salvation Army.
The all clear from Dean won't be sounded by these officials until mid-week, until Dean is gone.