Local aid agencies gear up for hurricane season

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While Tropical Storm Cristobal is churning over Central Mexico, local agencies are keeping an eye on its path and they’re making preparations for the weekend as well as the rest of hurricane season.

The Salvation Army Capt. Patrick G. Gesner said his staff is making sure volunteers are on standby, and also making sure they have enough supplies and food. They’re also fueling up their disaster relief vehicle, which is equipped with a full kitchen.

“In the event of a hurricane that knocks out power for the area, we can actually cook meals on that truck, in a safe environment, and provide them to people,” Gesner said.

The Salvation Army works closely with the Corpus Christi Emergency Operations Center and the Nueces Co. Emergency Management Department, which is headed by County Judge Barbara Canales.

They’re all familiar with preparing for a hurricane, but plans are a little different this year because of COVID-19.

“We think we can achieve both balancing the exposure to COVID-19 and making certain you’re not in harms way because of a hurricane,” Canales said. “Everybody has been working tirelessly to see how these two overlap.”

The county will change the way it transports people to the Richard M. Borchard Fairgrounds in Robstown, which will serve the community’s elderly and disabled. This time around, county officials will limit the number of people taken in each bus.

“Normally our intake doesn’t accommodate for social distancing, but we can change those operation plans and we have,” Canales said.

Leaders will organize people at the fairgrounds using recommended safety guidelines and then find them a safe place to stay, but that’s not the only missing piece of the puzzle.

“What about those that are quarantined right now, how would we handle that?” Canales said.

She said she’s reaching out to nearby counties to see if they can help take in Nueces Co. COVID-19 patients.

Local agencies are meeting Thursday to discuss their plan for Tropical Storm Cristobal.

“It’s supposed to avoid us and possibly go toward Louisiana, but as we all know here, predictions like that can change significantly,” Gesner said.

“Your city is equipped and ready and prepared to take all necessary precautions, and be ready to assist with any situation that comes our way,” Canales said.


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