Harvey survivor urges neighbors to wait for boats

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With the threat of flooding, Houston area law enforcement are staging rescue equipment, and they're urging neighbors to remain calm if they need their assistance.

Watching your home fill up with water isn't easy. Choosing to wait for help might seem even harder.

If you find yourself in a flood, Hurricane Harvey survivor Lisa Friend says resist the temptation to leave on your own.

"The best thing we did was to stay here, and have a volunteer just simply say, 'Hey, I've got my boat, I'm going to come rescue people,'" Friend recalled.

After Harvey, many law enforcement agencies, including the Harris County Sheriff's Office, bought new equipment.

Right now, the department has 14 rescue boats, and 11 high water vehicles stations across the county.

If you need help, deputies say the most important thing is to stay calm.

"Listen to the deputies that are out there, and the firefighters that are out there operating these watercraft," Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Easthagen explained. "They're trained professionals. They know what they're doing. Listen to what they tell you to do. They're not going to let anything happen to you once they're there."

Part of the reassurance includes new training. Around 10 deputies underwent swift water and rope training after Harvey.

Friend is happy to hear upgrades were made. Waiting for hours for a boat, she says, was some of the longest time in her life.

"We must have had eight people on there, and dogs," Friend recalled. "You were just so grateful because you knew you weren't going to be standing in it."

Even with the new equipment, it could still take awhile to reach neighbors. This is why deputies say prepare now. Have supplies and essentials ready to go in case you have to leave quickly.

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