Red Cross prepping as early tornadoes roll in - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Red Cross prepping as early tornadoes roll in

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TYLER (KYTX) - Tornado season has come early this year. Are you prepared? Red Cross is making sure they are.

The organization is rounding up volunteers earlier this year, and helping you prepare too. Some of this early prep is because of last year's crazy season, and this past week's weather.

On Easter weekend last year, 17 tornadoes ripped through the Dallas - Fort Worth area alone.

The storms usually hit in early April, but there have already been several tornadoes this winter here in East Texas. There were even three confirmed Monday; two near Kilgore, and one in Beckville. That's why the Red Cross is gearing up now.

"We know in the spring, that we are in the path for this type of weather," says East Texas Red Cross Executive Director, Tammy Prater.

Unfortunately it's something you come to expect each year if you live in East Texas, especially if you're a Red Cross volunteer!

"Some went through that Van Zandt County area.. I think we had some maybe in Anderson county too," Prater says last tornado season was a rough one. This year, she wants to start preparing early, especially because there were three tornadoes just this week.

"FEMA research shows that the more effort we spend before something happens, the less money, the fewer lives lost, that everything is better during response and recovery if we're prepared ahead of time," Prater said.

The rRd Cross isn't just getting volunteers ready this year, it's also helping you prepare for a storm as well. To do that you can have a disaster kit ready in your home in case something happens. Inside should be a first aid kit, a battery operated radio, drinking water, and of course a flashlight. Keep it in your home in case a tornado were to hit your area.

"A roof can go very quickly or a tree can come down onto your roof or your car or your street. Power lines go down and communication can be out. Having a plan so your family knows that the rest of the family is safe," Prater says.

If you're in the path of a tornado and you don't have a storm cellar, make sure you get to an interior room without windows, like a closet or a bathroom.

She urges you to get signed up to volunteer now, so that you can participate in a disaster assessment training session March 2, which involves practice simulations.

For more information, you can go to www.redcross.org/easttexas

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