Blanco County News
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Blanco County Group on Alert for Hurricane Ike
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 • Posted September 9, 2008

The Blanco County Disaster Response Group was alerted Monday for possible support to evacuees from Hurricane Ike, which was focusing in on the middle Texas coast.

While Ike's forecast landfall was still a moving target, the computer models were sufficiently confident of landfall between Galveston and Port Mansfield that responders throughout the state were being put on alert.

The American Red Cross asked the BCDRG to inventory the supplies and confirm availability of shelter facilities in case we would need to open one in the county for overflow from the primary shelters in Austin or San Antonio.

Individual volunteers also were being checked for availability should they be needed elsewhere, if no shelter were needed in Blanco County itself.

"That's not unusual to be checking on resources that far ahead of time," said Red Cross County Chair Martha Mason of Blanco. "With only a few days before evacuees hit the highway, we need to know early on where we can send them and what will happen when they get there."

The nature of Blanco County's abilities and resources make it less likely we'd be seen as a primary shelter, she said. Much more likely would be drawing trained volunteers to go to Austin or San Antonio, or to shelters nearer the coast.

"We still have to be ready for any eventuality, though," added BCDRG Shelter Manager George Cofran of Johnson City.

"That's what we go through the training and practice for. We'd rather prepare a dozen times without being needed than have 100 desperate people show up for food and shelter, and us not be ready to take them in."

There was no immediate decision whether a shelter -- if needed -- would open in Blanco or Johnson City, nor when that might occur.

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