Forest service recommends preparing a go-bag in case of wildfire threat

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 7:51 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Since Jan. 1, there have been nearly 800 wildfires across Texas, burning more than 350,000 acres of land and destroying homes.

Now the Texas A&M Forest Service is recommending having an emergency go-bag in case a wildfire forces you to leave your home.

“That’s the reality of it now. Knocking on the door and saying, hey you got 10 to 15 minutes to get out,” Chris Graham with the Texas A&M Forest Service said.

Dozens of families across the South Plains have been hearing that knock and warning over the past few weeks, with fires in Plainview, Levelland and one just outside Lubbock prompting evacuations.

Nearly all the threatened homes were saved from the flames, but that’s not always the case.

That’s why Graham says, preparing for the worst may be for the best.

“Just a matter of survival,” Graham said. “You may not be able to come back to your home.”

In that case, Graham recommends having an emergency bag ready and an evacuation plan laid out.

“Where are we gonna go? How are we gonna go? What are we going to take with us? These photos that we really like, our insurance cards ID cards,” Graham said. “That’s all important documents that you need to have in a to-go bag.”

Other items include prescription medicine, solar phone chargers and first aid kits.

Just as important as what goes in the bag is anticipating how much of each item you’ll need.

“Food, water, clothing,” Graham said. “Not just for yourself, but for you, your family, your pets your livestock.”

Be sure to keep those supplies where you can grab them and get out the door as soon as possible.

“Right at the front door,” Graham said. “Just have it ready to go, and if you get that knock on the door you’re ready to grab it and go.”

If you’re looking to put together your own go-bag, emergency preparation items will be sold tax free from April 23 to April 25.

That includes batteries, first aid kits, flashlights, and other supplies.

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