Minerva Alcazar remembers last year when Hurricane Dolly made landfall in the Rio Grande Valley. She remembers the strong winds, rain and the roof to her house coming apart. With those memories still fresh in her mind, she decided to prepare herself before a major hurricane hits the area again.
“I’ve been walking through each booth and getting information from each one,” she said. “I even got an emergency glow stick, in case we lose power,” said Alcazar. “Last year I only had one of those long religious candles that provided little light.”
On Saturday, she along with her family attended the “Dare to Prepare Hidalgo County Readiness Expo and Bike Show” at the McAllen Convention Center.
The expo featured about 50 booths with information on hurricane, fires and pandemic flu from emergency management officials from the Valley. On display was also Valley Emergency vehicles from Pharr, Weslaco and McAllen. Visitors were able to tour the emergency vehicles including the command center and the Weslaco’s mobile disaster relief station that was used last year during Hurricane Dolly.
Dagoberto Garza from Texas Health and Human Services Commission also handed out packets of information about hurricane readiness to visitors.
“We are giving them helpful tips, general information,” Garza said. “I am pleasantly surprised people are starting to think about getting supplies ready,” he said.
City of McAllen Public Works was on hand giving out empty sand bags to people and to let them know they are there to provide such a service.
“Last year we gave out over 135,000 sand bags to people in the McAllen area,” said Director Carlos A. Sanchez. “We are helping people take steps to prepare for a hurricane. The Valley is in a position to be learning what to do,” he said.
“I think with what happened last year with hurricane Dolly, people are learning and they are now being more proactive,” said Sanchez.
Visitors to the expo were also able to enjoy the motorcycle exhibit and the National Guard’s rock wall.