>>April 24th is
our son’s birthday. And we were just about to
take him to a celebration with his friends. And a big hailstorm came. I decided to call the
Sheriff’s office to see what was happening. The Judge told me, “They are
calling me from the area of “Rosita Valley … the roofs are flying
off the houses.”>>At that moment,
the tornado came. And it tore off the roof. The base of the tornado
was over my house. And then I saw a washing machine
go by, then a horse went by.>>Look we have a very
serious problem over here.>>Yes, I know.>>Thank God you all are ok. No one is….>>(crying) No, no we’re fine.>>Ok, ok, We’ll
be back soon, ok?>>(crying) Thank you.>>Well, it is hard to believe
that more than 100 homes, once stood in this area, where
all that’s left is rubble and traces of a storm that
took Eagle Pass by surprise, last night.>>The destruction was
something I never experienced. It was the first time that
we’d had a tornado here in Maverick County. Really it was a
complete surprise.>>It was just mass
destruction everywhere. It wasn’t a matter of “I lost
this” or “I lost that” but it was a matter of
“I lost everything.”>>It’s important to follow
the instructions of local health leaders, of local
emergency leaders on when we can return to our homes so
we can protect our health. When things like a tornado
happen, people have to be very careful because there could be
loose electrical wires, there could be broken gas pipes,
there could be loose boards with nails which can hurt you.>>When something happens
so suddenly it’s difficult. And I know that people
are still traumatized. If there’s no prevention,
there’s no education for people on what to do
during an emergency. (music)>>There are many ways in
which a community can unite together to help each other. Recovery will not be something
easy; it’s a gradual process.>>We began to work in an
organization called Eagle Pass Long Term Recovery Committee. We began to call churches in
the community working together with the local authorities.>>It was close to
probably 150 homes. Some repairing screens that
had been torn off to building a home from the foundation up. We built eight of those.>>Perhaps the tornado
helped us see the need of so many people. Not preventing tornados,
but being ready in case of disasters. The homes – how to
secure them better. Perhaps what we need is that
each town, even the smaller ones, should be organized
for any contingency or any need like this.>>Having a plan is going
to help you respond better. Another thing to re-emphasize
is that it’s not just having a plan but to practice it. So that an individual, a
family, a community know how to use the plan, how to act on
the plan and how to respond with that plan.>>Patricia, we’re going
to get our emergency suitcase ready. Did you bring the
baby’s clothes?>>Yes.>>What did you bring?>>Clothes for cold weather
and a little dress.>>You have to have a suitcase
with clothes, with diapers, with personal items. A radio for news.>>In your kit, or plan,
include a battery-operated radio because if the
electricity goes out, you can listen to the
news on that radio.>>Look, we need to find a
plastic bag for our all of our certificates, all important
papers which we should have with us.>>It’s very important to have
our grab and go kit because in it, we have documents
that are irreplaceable.>>Look, this is the one
the Red Cross gave me.>>It’s important that you
have this container with enough food for 3 days,
with water and medication because you may have to
get out suddenly from the disaster area.>>You’ll need to designate a
place in the house where the structure is strong and which
can stand the force of a tornado. If you have to leave suddenly,
go to a building that is well built. If you can’t find one close
by, then go to the lowest spot possible.>>This place is called
the Nick Carr Center. It’s an emergency shelter. I’m trying to start an
informational program for the community. For example to prepare for
an emergency, like the tornado that happened. Recently, we had
floods two weeks ago. We must help ourselves to
survive in emergencies.>>Education is very important
and sharing that information with our family, with our
neighbors, our community, in case of emergencies.>>Since we had this
phenomenon, we are now more aware. However even more importantly,
being aware of media channels, the radio, the television,
where we can receive immediate information. Now we can go to the area of
Rosita Valley, we can see that it is a totally different area.>>It’s very important to know
that individuals, families, communities who are prepared
are the ones who are going to respond better to any type of
disaster and who are going to recover faster.>>When you’re prepared,
you’re aware of what can happen and you can come
out ahead much sooner. Because we don’t know when
nature will send us the same thing or something worse. We don’t know.>>When a disaster catches
people in a community by surprise, like the tornado did
in Eagle Pass, it’s too late to start making a plan. Whether it’s a tornado,
flood, hurricane or man-made disaster, we must be ready to
respond and recover from a major catastrophe. That’s why it’s important to
have a plan, to have essential items needed to live through
a disaster, and to know how you’ll get credible
information during a crisis. Make a plan at
TexasPrepares.org. You can also contact emergency
management organizations to find out more about the plans
available in your area. Planning ahead can
save your life.