October 14, 2022

    Texas A&M Forest Service encourages evacuation planning during Fire Prevention Month

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas — While we can’t control when and where a disaster occurs, we can ensure that we are prepared. Texas A&M Forest Service urges Texans to have an evacuation plan in place that can be used during a wildfire or other disaster.

    Fire Prevention Month, observed each October, is a time to evaluate fire safety and to ensure that you, your family and your home are protected. This year’s campaign from the National Fire Protection Association, “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape”, works to educate everyone about simple actions that can be taken to increase safety.

    This year, Texas A&M Forest Service is focused on preparing Texans for any incident, including wildfires, hurricanes, winter storms or tornados, which may require evacuations.

    During what has become the most significant Texas wildfire season since 2011, Texas A&M Forest Service and local fire departments have responded to 10,257 wildfires for 634,022 acres across the state. Many of these wildfires prompted evacuations.

    “Texas experienced an extremely active wildfire year with a lot of impact to communities,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “Our firefighters, at the state and local level, are prepared to respond quickly but we need Texans to make evacuation preparations in advance. Listen to local officials and, if necessary, evacuate early to get yourself out of harm’s way.”

    When planning for an evacuation, regardless of the type of emergency, consider the needs of every person and animal in your home. Be sure to update your plan regularly to include seasonal changes, the needs of children as they grow and any updates to insurance or medications.

    “Don’t wait for an emergency to occur to start planning for it,” said Moorehead. “Be informed about the risk in your area, monitor conditions and ensure that you are prepared.”

    Some tips to help you get started in your evacuation planning include:

    • Assemble a Go Kit that meets the needs of all family members and start with the five P’s:
      • People and Pets – plan for the whole family, including pets and livestock
      • Prescriptions – bring extra medication, eyeglasses, hearing aids and medical equipment including necessary batteries and power cords
      • Papers – include copies of insurance information, phone numbers and other important documents
      • Personal needs – pack personal items including clothes, food, water, toiletries, first aid kit, cash, computers/tablets, phones, chargers and sanitation supplies
      • Priceless items – include items of sentimental value, such as pictures, heirlooms and irreplaceable memorabilia.
    • Identify at least two evacuation routes, in case one is impacted, and save them in a navigation system or phone.
    • Practice your evacuation plan. Locate and load your Go Kit into your vehicle and drive your evacuation routes. Include all individuals at your home in this drill and ensure they are confident with the plan.
    • Work with your local emergency responders. Learn what to expect, how you will be notified during an emergency and determine if you need to register for a notification service.

    For more information on evacuations, please visit


    Texas A&M Forest Service Contacts:
    Karen Stafford, Prevention Coordinator, 939-545-6991,
    Information Officer, 979-255-0591,
    Communications Office, 979-458-6606,