EAST TEXAS ON STORM PREP: Hope for the best but prepare for the worst

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SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The Smith County Red Cross and Smith County Emergency Services are hoping for the best with Friday’s round of storms, but has a message for East Texans: always prepare for the worst.

Preparedness and information save lives, said Tammy Prater with the Smith County Red Cross.

She and others are urging East Texans to stay up to date with the latest information by any means available – television, radio, computer, or phone.

Staying informed, she said, often means staying safe.

“Especially if the severe weather comes after dark, that’s always a very frightening time,” Prater said.

She also advised staying off the roads in severe weather.

“I think tonight is a night to stay home, folks, and just keep your eye on the weather,” she said. “Know what’s going on, know the difference between a watch and a warning, the weather guys will be glad to tell you about that. But you know, just really keep your eye on the weather and know what’s going on.”

Smith County Emergency Services say they are taking every precaution as they wait to see exactly what rolls in. They are working with Judge Nathaniel Moran, both ESD offices, and Smith County Road and Bridge to keep East Texans safe.

“Here in Smith County, our plan is that in the event of a disaster, you know, our major focus is going to be rescue efforts, but also it’s going to be that our roads stay clear and open, so that ambulances and fire trucks can get where they need to go,” said Fire Marshal Jay Brooks. “We’re working with our sheriff and our other law enforcement partners, we’re working with the state, just to make sure we are prepared in the event that we did have a major storm system come through.”

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