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Local agencies positioned to aid in Isaac relief

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TWC News: Local agencies positioned to aid in Isaac relief
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Even though Hurricane Isaac is taking aim at Louisiana, emergency managers here in Texas are gearing up for the storm.

Isaac comes seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast.

The memories of Katrina are still strong for Amanda Anderson, who grew up on the Mississippi coast.

"I'd been though plenty, but this was like no other for sure," she said. "It was scary. We were in 18 feet of water. Our house was two-and-a-half-stories, and on the second floor, I was in water up to my knees."

After Hurricane Katrina, Anderson moved to Texas to find work. Seven years later, she looks at hurricanes differently.

"Puts a sense of anxiety within me, and I've been calling my parents nonstop, ‘How's it going? What's going on?’" she said.

The State of Texas has mobilized hundreds of responders. More than a dozen state agencies are positioning workers, equipment and supplies for Isaac.

Gov. Perry has deployed Texas Task Force One, a 70 member urban search and rescue team. The American Red Cross is also ready for evacuees.

"There's going to be lots of people who are going to need a place to go, and people are going to go in a variety of directions,” Sara Kennedy with American Red Cross of Central Texas said. “So we're preparing across not just Central Texas, but the whole state."

More than 20 shelters across east Texas are prepared to open. They also have a standby shelter ready in Austin

"Should we need to open that shelter, we're prepared to do so,” Kennedy said. “We have teams on standby both to deploy and to open a shelter if we need to for evacuees from Louisiana."

The Red Cross has pre-positioned 43 response vehicles across the region.

"We also have one of our emergency response trucks ready to go here in Austin, as well as more teams across our Central Texas region prepared to deploy just in case," Kennedy said.

The Red Cross also has a new disaster information app for your smart phone.

It helps you keep track of emergency information and warnings anywhere in the country.
You can find a link to that and other useful disaster information at CenTex.RedCross.org.

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