FEMA advises south Texans to prepare for worst - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hurricane Dean

FEMA advises south Texans to prepare for worst

The federal government is advising people in

south Texas to prepare for possible evacuations with Hurricane Dean

heading to the Gulf of Mexico.

R. David Paulison, the head of the Federal Emergency Management

Agency, says this isn't the time to be complacent.

Dean is on a course for nothern Mexico, but Paulison says the

storm could shift and hit the region around Brownsville, Texas,

along the state's southeast coast. He says that in that area, there

are 400,000 people -- many in substandard housing, who lack their

own transportation.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Dean was projected

to reach Category 5 before hitting the Mexican coastline near

Cancun tomorrow night or Tuesday. The Mexican mainland or Texas

could be hit later, and Paulison says authorities were going to

continue preparing as if Dean is moving toward the United States.

The federal government was criticized for its response to

Hurricane Katrina two years ago, and Paulison says that storm was a

"wake-up call." He says he doesn't see this country ever allowing

another "Katrina-type event" to happen.

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