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"Operation Storm Ready" draws Southeast Texans

Updated: Thursday, June 12 2014, 06:20 PM CDT
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet

Many still vividly remember the damage from Hurricane Ike and Rita, and how long it took to rebuild. Entergy, along with various emergency and social service agencies, held a Storm Response demonstration at the Compro Event Center in Beaumont today. The groups showed they are ready to face a storm, and are encouraging others to prepare as well.

Claud and Alice Sibert want to be prepared for the next hurricane.

"Humberto formed all of the sudden just off the coast and blew in," said Claud Sibert. "We did not evacuate, we remained in the apartment. And as other people have described tornadoes sounding like a freight train, Humberto sounded like a freight train."

That's why the couple came to Entergy's "Operation Storm Ready" conference.

"To kind of get folks thinking about, it's hurricane season we need to be prepared," said Vernon Pierce, the vice president of customer service for Entergy Texas. "We kind of want to show off some of our heavy equipment, and things that we're doing to be prepared, hoping that's going to encourage others to be prepared for a major event."

Entergy demonstrated its storm response equipment and showed why it's important to stay away from downed power lines after a storm. Representatives also talked about its free smartphone app, which allows customers to check whether or not the power is back on in their homes, so they know what's going on even if they evacuated to another city.

"You can text message us and we can text message you," said Debi Derrick with Entergy Texas. "We will let you know when the lights are out at your house, we will let you know when the lights are back on at your house. Plus, you'll have access to our view outages."

"I feel much better now knowing that we have access to communication through either telephone or laptop," said Claud Sibert.

Claud and Alice plan to evacuate if there is a hurricane this year.

"Because you don't want to be stuck somewhere with no electricity, no water," said Alice Sibert, "and it is very important to get out as quickly as you can."

Both are feeling more prepared and ready to face a new hurricane season. "Operation Storm Ready" draws Southeast Texans

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