With Hurricane season in full swing and two potential storms currently brewing in the Atlantic, it is a good time for Rusk County residents to make sure they are prepared for the worst, according to the county’s Emergency Management Office.

“We typically know well in advance when a hurricane is headed our way,” said James Pike, Rusk County’s emergency management coordinator. “The good thing is that gives us plenty of time to make sure we’re ready.”

Pike suggests that people make sure they have the basics including flashlights and batteries, a supply of needed medications, bottled water and a first aid kit. Larger items can also be useful such as a generator with gasoline and enough non-perishable food for several days.

According to the county’s emergency management Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RuskCountyOEM/), which is maintained by Pike’s team, people can find lots of preparedness advice at Ready.gov

Additionally, Pike recommends staying informed by keeping an eye on the news and signing up for an alerting service such as Code Red, a free service offered to local residents by Rusk County.

“It’s a quick way to let a lot of people know, ‘Hey, you need to take cover now’,” said Pike. “It automatically calls people who have land-line telephones, but people who have a cellphone need to register their number with the system.”

To register their number, residents can click the “Code Red” link on the county’s website (http://www.co.rusk.tx.us/) and enter their information. Users can create an account to manage their information, but can also simply submit their number without creating an account.

An address is required by the system since cellphones are not tied to a single location. 

“Alerts are sent based on the address provided,” said Pike. “So I’d recommend people use their home or work address, wherever they are most likely to be when a storm rolls in.”

Pike explained that when the National Weather System issues a weather warning, Code Red would call all the numbers within the warning area with a message about the threat. 

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