Wildfire Preparedness is Year-Round-Pack a Go-Bag and Keep it Near

It is vital to have an emergency kit and an evacuation plan in place for you and your family. The 2023 Wildfire Preparedness is Year-Round campaign provides monthly wildfire preparedness tasks that follow the changing seasons. The February message from your NM wildfire partners, agencies and non-governmental organizations is, “Preparedness is all Year, Pack a Go-Bag and Keep it Near.”

Whether you live in the wildland-urban interface or in a rural area in the mountains, communication is key during wildfire season. Be sure to register with your local government’s emergency management office for text or email notifications and connect with your county or city’s social media. The Ready, Set, Go! New Mexico program provides tips and tools to prepare for a wildfire emergency and create a personal action plan.

Ready – Get Ready

  • Create a family disaster plan that includes meeting locations and communication plans and rehearse it regularly. Include the evacuation of large animals, such as horses, in your plan.
  • Put together an emergency supply kit or go-bag. The NM Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Preparedness Guide is a good resource for items to include. Keep an extra kit in your vehicle. Don’t forget important family documents like birth certificates, wills, deeds and insurance policies.

Set – Be Prepared to Go

  • Monitor fire weather conditions and fire status. See InciWeb and NM Fire Info. Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for updates and check official information sources on the internet.
  • Have an evacuation plan for your family and pets in place, and make sure all family members have a copy of evacuation and contact information.
  • Load your supplies and go-bags in your vehicle.

Go – Act Early, Evacuate

  • Do not wait to be advised to leave if there is a possible threat to your home or evacuation route. Leave early enough to avoid being caught in fire, smoke or road congestion. If you are advised to leave by local authorities, do not hesitate. If you don’t follow the Go order, understand that emergency services may not be able to assist you.
  • Head to a predetermined location in a low-risk area, such as a relative’s house, Red Cross shelter or evacuation center, motel or school. Identify several routes in case your first choice is closed due to the fire.

Other helpful resources include the Ready, Set, Go! Program (video), Living with Fire: A Guide for the Homeowner, New Mexico, and Firewise USA®.

Your NM wildfire partners, including the BLM New Mexico, New Mexico Forestry Division, the Forest Stewards Guild, the Fire Adapted New Mexico learning network, Santa Fe, Cibola and Carson National Forests, New Mexico Coalition of Conservation Districts, National Park Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs, continue to provide a wildfire preparedness calendar and share the message across multiple platforms, including social media, webinars and community events. Bookmark the wildfire preparedness webpage to follow the campaign throughout the year. 

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