TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In East Texas, the Smith County Red Cross is preparing for whatever Imelda might bring our way, and they’re taking no chances when it comes to being prepared.
“We’re gearing up right now to be an adjunct district to the disaster relief operation in Houston and what that basically means is we’re going to be prepared,” said Tammy Prater, the executive director of for Red Cross East Texas. “In fact, we’re putting in the ground work right now to set up a small operation here in East Texas, just really preparatory to all of that weather that’s down there moving in our direction.”
The local chapter is taking steps to make sure they’re ready for the worst.
“We’re all hoping for the best, but we can’t wait for things start to flood and then try to put things in place,” said Prater. “So, later today we’ll be having some people come in to set up a headquarters. We’ve been doing the basic things like putting shelters on standby across East Texas.”
They’re making sure to take care of everything locally before they help down south.
“In terms of supporting things to the south of us, we’re not going to be geared up for that until after the weather is beyond us and we know we’re not responding here locally,” said Prater.
She did say they will be prepared to help down south if and when they need to, however.
“No one can withstand 20 inches of rain and not be impacted in some way in that community,” said Prater. “The response down there is going to be a lot bigger than hopefully here, but we just need to be prepared to respond here before we take off somewhere else.”
Prater said they’ve purchased snacks and items to have at the shelters, filled up their vehicles and are preparing their employees to open shelters if and when it’s needed.