Preparing for Wildfires
Plan Ahead and Be Prepared
Having a plan in place will help you prepare quickly, evacuate safely, and settle possible claims faster.
- Have an Emergency Action Plan: Include details for handling pets & livestock
- Know How & Where to Evacuate: Know two ways out of your neighborhood & have a predesignated meeting place
- Evacuate if it's Unsafe: Don't wait to receive an emergency notification if you feel threatened from the fire
- Check your Insurance: Conduct an annual insurance policy checkup to adjust for local building costs, codes, & new renovations
- Create or Update a Home Inventory: Settle insurance claims faster.
Visit firewise.org for more details on preparation.
More Ways to Prepare
- Recognize Warnings & Alerts: Have several ways to receive alerts, such as CodeRED, the FEMA app, and the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Be aware of fire danger alerts. Follow the Abilene Fire Department on Facebook for fire danger warnings.
- Make an Emergency Plan: Make sure everyone in your household knows & understands what to do if you need to quickly evacuate. Don't forget to plan for your office, kids' daycare, & other frequented areas.
- Strengthen Your Home: Use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate, or make repairs. Create a fire-resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris, or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home.
- Review Important Documents: Make sure your insurance policies & personal documents, like your ID, are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure, password-protected digital space.
- Know your Evacuation Zone: You may have to evacuate quickly: learn & practice your evacuation route with your household & pets, & identify where you will go. Follow instructions from local authorities.
- Gather Supplies: Have enough supplies for your household, including a first aid kit, in your go bag or car trunk. Make essential purchases & slowly build supplies in advance. Be cautious when carrying flammable or combustible products. Keep your cell phone charged when wildfires could be in your area, & purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.
Returning Home after a Wildfire
- Do not return home until authorities say it is safe to do so.
- Avoid hot ash, charred trees, smoldering debris & live embers.
- Wear protective clothing when cleaning, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, & thick-soled shoes.
- Send text messages or use social media to reach out to family & friends as phone systems are often busy.
- Document property damage with photographs.
- Use a respirator & wet debris to minimize breathing dust.
Tornado Safety Tips
- Know your area's risk. Abilene, Texas is in a high risk area
- Know the signs. Rotation, funnel cloud, cloud of debris, train roar
- Get weather reports. Pay attention to local media & weather radio
- Sign up for CodeRED. Text ABITAYTX to 9941 or visit https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/5B6524CD675E
- Practice safety. Identify and practice going to a safe shelter.
- Get more information. Vist ready.gov/tornadoes
The Office of Emergency Management
The City of Abilene Office of Emergency Management develops, maintains, and implements a local community plan for mitigating, managing and recovering from major emergencies and disasters.
The Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)
The Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is consistent with and complements a comprehensive emergency management system for the state of Texas and the United States. Mission accomplishment will reduce the vulnerability of our citizens to injury and loss of life, and lessen the loss of property and damage to the city. This can be achieved by providing a system for the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from natural or man-made hazards, and terrorist threats.
Local Emergency Management
The Mayor of each incorporated municipality and the County Judge of each county is designated as the Emergency Management Director for each such political subdivision. As the Governor’s designated agents, the Mayor and County Judge may exercise the powers, on an appropriate local scale, granted the Governor by the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.
Emergency Management Coordinator
The Mayor and County Judge may designate an Emergency Management Coordinator to serve as an assistant to the presiding officer of the political subdivision for emergency management purposes. Political subdivisions may establish inter-jurisdictional agreements to manage and mutually benefit from local emergency management programs (Abilene and Taylor County, 1994).
Federal dollars routed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and administered by DEM under the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) are received locally (typically $42,000 annually) to help offset program costs.
Assisted Living Facilities & Nursing Homes
Only electronic copies of emergency plans submitted to the City of Abilene Office of Emergency Management will be accepted. Please email plans to Vincent Cantu.
- Abilene Hazards Analysis (PDF)
- Disaster - A Deaf Hard of Hearing Guide for Emergency Preparedness (PDF)
- Emergency Action Checklist (PDF)
- Emergency Supply List (PDF)
- FEMA Citizen Preparedness Guide (PDF)
- How to Shelter in Place (PDF)
- Lista Escencial De Emergencia (PDF)
- Prepare Family Documents for Emergencies (PDF)
- West Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update (PDF)