PREPARE FOR WILDFIRES: PROTECT YOUR COMMUNITY
 
By MCESD#2 - Montgomery Fire Department
April 7, 2022
 

The expanding threat of wildfires to Texas communities is a result of the state’s ever changing land use, climate and population. Many Texas communities are within or are growing into the Wildland Urban Interface. The WUI is an area where flammable homes are mixed with flammable vegetation.

Community leaders such as city managers/planners, fire chiefs, emergency management coordinators and home owner associations, with the assistance of a local Texas A&M Forest Service WUI Coordinator, can implement community wildfire preparedness plans and programs to help your community withstand the next wildfire event.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs launched the "Ready, Set, Go!" program nationally in 2011. Texas is very active with nearly 400 members. “Ready, Set, Go!” is administered at the fire department level. The program helps your community learn how to protect homes ahead of time, stay abreast of current fire dangers and evacuate safely if a wildfire is bearing down on your community. It's based on a three-prong approach:

Ready: Your home and family should be ready long before a wildfire ignites. Creating defensible space through proper landscaping techniques and using fire resistant building materials designed to withstand a wildfire are part of this step.

Set: When a wildfire is headed your way, it’s time to start preparing to leave. Alert your family and friends. Stay tuned to news reports. Grab your emergency kit, and be ready to head out at a moment’s notice. Make sure you know where you're going and what you're taking with you. The American Red Cross can provide shelter and basic necessities during a disaster and can help you get back on your feet after it's over.

Go! Once the fire is bearing down on you, there is often nothing you can do but get out of its way. At this point, it’s time to go!

Don't wait. Evacuate early and you're more likely to avoid being caught in traffic jams or worse—trapped by smoke and fire.