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WEBXTRA: East Texas Chapter of American Red Cross prepares for possible local effects of Hurricane Laura

An American Red Cross Disaster Relief vehicle sits outside of the East Texas chapter's office...
An American Red Cross Disaster Relief vehicle sits outside of the East Texas chapter's office in Tyler.(Blake Holland/KLTV)
Updated: Aug. 25, 2020 at 3:26 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The East Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross is preparing to not only assist those near the Texas coast, but also East Texans who may be affected by Hurricane Laura later this week.

Executive Director Tammy Prater tells KLTV that the Red Cross has been preparing since the spring for sheltering and responding while also keeping the pandemic in mind. She said in the last few days, they have been checking availability for volunteers and collecting supplies. The local chapter also has shelter teams that have been trained and are ready to respond.

Prater said evacuees along the coast are being asked to head west, since the storm’s effects could create problems in East Texas.

“We have seen tropical force winds from hurricanes impact East Texas and had to worry about things like power outages and shelter, and we’ve even had situations in the past where we had local disaster victims and we had evacuees on top of that,” Prater said. “So I think our government partners have decided to push Gulf coast evacuees west, taking them out of the storm’s path completely.”

Prater said this will allow them to have the resources needed in case they have to respond to the storm’s effects in East Texas.

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