West Texas A&M University experts talk on preparation for emergency situations

Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 5:36 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2023 at 6:10 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The recent disaster in Maui coupled with an approaching dry winter season here in the Panhandle highlights the dangers of wildfires and how being prepared makes a big difference.

Experts with West Texas A&M University emphasize the need for individuals in the community to consider utilizing every lifesaving material available.

“Response has been viewed as the main task of emergency management but actually community members, they need to know what they can do, they need to know where is the emergency route.” said Dr. Ming Xie, director of the Emergency Management Administration Program for WTAMU.

Natural disasters like grassfires happen quickly and often, especially here in the Panhandle, and it’s important to have a plan for safety.

“Response is not the only task of emergency management and we can work together to invest more preparedness and planning,” said Dr. Xie

NewsChannel 10′s Chief Meteorologist Doppler Dave gave his insight for this winter.

“When all that tall vegetation is dead then it becomes fuel for wildfires, so it will come down to what kind of season we have as far as moisture,” said Doppler Dave.

While we are in an El Nino year and are more likely to get vital moisture, we aren’t in the clear.

“It’s not 100% that we’re gonna get all that moisture: if we do I think it’ll take a lot of the danger away from wildfires, if we don’t and we have this you know probably above normal growth of vegetation and it dies and we have more fuel, if we don’t get that moisture it could turn serious,” said Doppler Dave.

Look into local resources to ensure you know what to do to keep you and you loved ones safe.

“Letting people know the information is there is very important so we have an all hazard approach, I think whole community on whole hazard approach so that we can prepare,” said Dr. Xie.

By working together, the community is better able to make a difference before disasters strike.

To join the City of Amarillo’s Civillian Emergency Response Team, click here.

To sign up from Text Alerts from the City of Amarillo, click here.

You can also receive up to date information about weather by downloading the NewsChannel 10 First Alert Weather App.