The Salvation Army has alerted all disaster teams and mobile canteens to prepare and standby for possible deployment should the forecasted hurricanes and tropical storms move towards Texas.

The Corpus Christi Salvation Army has 300 cleanup kits ready and another 500 in reserves if called upon to respond to the storms.

“Our canteen is standing by and the American Red Cross has asked us to provide lunch and dinner if they open a shelter,” a spokesman said.

Canteens with cleaning kits and other supplies are ready to deploy as soon as necessary to any damages caused by the high winds, heavy rains and possible tornadoes linked to the tropical storms.

“Thirty-five Salvation Army canteens are on standby to move into position as soon as Hurricane Dean reveals where he will make landfall,” said Major James Taylor, divisional disaster coordinator for the Salvation Army of Texas.

“The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster teams, although weary from five months of storms, are on standby to assist tropical storm and hurricane victims throughout the summer and fall,” he said.

The arrival of Erin, though significantly weaker than expected, caused flash flooding in parts of an already soaked Houston and San Antonio late Thursday afternoon. Precautions and preparations are being taken should Dean’s path lead toward Texas, Salvation Army officials said.

TxDOT’s preparations

Also preparing for the possible arrival of Hurricane Dean on the Gulf Coast is the Texas Department of Transportation.

TxDOT’s dynamic message signs on highways along the Texas coast are alerting drivers to the formation of a hurricane near the Gulf of Mexico and encouraging motorists to fill their gas tanks in the event of an evacuation.

The signs are relaying these messages: “Hurricane forming near Gulf” and “Keep your gas tanks full” in the following TxDOT districts: Pharr, Corpus Christi, Yoakum, Houston and Beaumont. The districts include 43 counties.

TxDOT’s Emergency Operations Center in Austin opened at 8 a.m. Saturday and the agency is actively participating in activities at the State Operations Center in Austin.

As part of the preparations, highway crews are sweeping shoulders on appropriate evacuation routes so they can be converted to travel lanes in the event of an evacuation and TxDOT is evaluating construction and maintenance work for possible postponement to maximize lane capacity in the event of an evacuation.

Additional personnel are being mobilized to support the Texas

Travel Information Center’s road condition hotline (800) 452-9292.

TxDOT officials also said they are reviewing resource requisitions, including fuel, water, ice, portable toilets, wreckers and other items as well as working with vendors to ensure resource availability in the event of an evacuation.

For information on Texas road conditions, call the Texas Travel

Information Center at (800) 452-9292 or visit TxDOT’s Web site

For information on responding to the possible arrival of Hurricane

Dean log on to Texas Online at