Huntsville Getting Ready for Hurricane Rita

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State and local officials were taking in the lessons of Katrina and preparing Monday for the arrival of Hurricane Rita, which is expected to hit the Texas Gulf Coast by the weekend.

"We're at level one readiness here in Walker County which is just one step from activating. We have our shelter hub in place," says Butch Davis, Walker County Emergency Management Coordinator.

With this latest storm, volunteers have been getting ready for folks in the affected areas to head north and make their home in Huntsville, at least for the next few days.

"We are doing everything we can. We've got supplies all set up. We've got the triage area set up and food prepared and volunteer ready and waiting," says Pastor Rodger Garbs.

Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church opened its doors Monday and can hold up to 100 evacuees. Three other shelters, including Family Faith and First Baptist Church, are on stand by.

While no volunteers or supplies are needed yet, Davis says that could change in the next 24 to 48 hours.

"A couple weeks ago the city of Huntsville and Walker County came forth. We have a lot of supplies that we have put in for when we had Katrina evacuees here. We're doing pretty good but gives us a long term deal and we're gonna need some help," says Davis.

Davis says while they haven't had much time to assess what they could of done better, they're focusing on being ready for whatever comes their way.

"We did some self evaluations of things we felt we did well and things we needed to improve on and we've tried to make those adjustments as we go into this situation we feel like we're ready," says Davis.