Longview preparing for evacuees

Emergency management organizers in Longview are gearing up for an influx of evacuees, working out details to shelter and feed those escaping the coast.

And, as KLTV 7's Bob Hallmark shows us, the lessons of the past have given organizers a much better game plan to work with.

From shelter , to food, to bus evacuation routes, even pet care - every possible detail is being worked out by EOC members to care for Gustav evacuees.

"We've been working on this a long time, since Rita and Katrina we knew we wanted to do some things different. The state knew they had to have better ways to evacuate cities," said Longview assistant fire chief Kenny Southwell.

Under state organization, southern counties will partner with northern counties to move evacuees as needed. Gregg County is partnered with Liberty County.

"Those coastal cities are giving us an accurate count of how many people we're going to have to take care of," said Southwell. "There will be no confusion this time around about where evacuees will be going, once the buses start rolling signs will be posted directing evacuee buses right here to the Lear Park sports complex, where the only processing station will be."

A dozen Gregg County churches have been enlisted to be shelter areas, and county and city organizations will provide food and even medical care.

"We also have to be prepared for the influx of general population evacuees the hotels are already full in our area."

"I feel much more confident about this process."

All can be ready to go in a prep time of 6 hours, and the EOC is ready.

"We think the state will go ahead an pull the trigger so to speak...we're ready."

Gregg County organizers say when the evacuation happens, Liberty County will call them on Sunday to begin receiving evacuees.

Bob Hallmark, reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com