Arkansans learn from mistakes made during last year's deadly storm

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -It's been nearly a year since that major Christmas time storm that knocked down power lines in Arkansas leaving hundreds of thousands of people in the dark.

If you were affected by the power outage last year you know the worst time to start thinking about what you need is when you're left in the dark. For one Little Rock family a mistake made is a lesson learned.

"We actually did not prepare as well as we should have," said Hannah Dunlap, a Little Rock resident.

It's a sentiment many people shared after last year's deadly storm hit much of Arkansas on Christmas day that contributed to two traffic deaths.

"We really didn't think it would be that bad, it was Christmas. You know, it never snows like that on Christmas," she said "We never get that lucky."

The Dunlaps were just some of the more than 200,000 unlucky Arkansans sitting in the dark.

"We kind of knew it was coming, but at the same time we took it probably a little lightly or lighter than what we should have," said Zac Dunlap, Hannah Dunlap's husband.

For a week they sat in the dark with a four-month-old baby and anything but ready.

"We were really unprepared. We didn't have a lot of options," said Hannah Dunlap.

This year they insist it'll be different.

"We've obviously made preparations for the food in our refrigerator this year," he said.

Along with that, the Red Cross suggests you stock up on water, a gallon per person, buy dry cereals, nuts and dried fruits. If you have children, get extra batteries for video games to keep them busy. To keep them warm buy mittens instead of gloves and make sure you get any medications you or your child may need.

The city of Bryant has already activated The Center at Bishop Park to be a warming shelter in case of an outage. Stay with Channel 7 for more information on warming shelter in the next two days.

For more tips on how to prepare for this week's weather visit the Red Cross here.