Are you prepared for Texas wildfire season? Here's some prevention, survival tips

It's wildfire season in Texas, and another red flag warning has been issued from noon to 11 p.m Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. After numerous wildfires in Central Texas this week, here is what residents can do to prepare:

Preventing fires

Texas A&M Forest Service Prevention Program Coordinator, Karen Stafford, recommends taking certain precautions to prevent wildfires:

  • Obey local burn bans. The Texas A&M Forest Service has an online burn ban map.

  • Exercise caution when parking near grass because the heat from your car can ignite the grass.

  • When pulling a trailer, keep an eye on tow chains that could create sparks and start roadside fires.

To get immediately notified of nearby emergencies, people living in Central Texas can sign up for safety alerts at warncentraltexas.org, according to Travis County Emergency Services.

More: Firefighters making progress on Cedar Park fire Wednesday; 60% contained

Preparing for fires

Disaster preparation expert Bob Newman, a retired Navy SEAL master chief, recommends a few steps for those with no safety plan yet:

  • First, plan emergency evacuation routes from your home.

  • Communicate with all members of the household to ensure everyone knows the routes.

  • Gather tools to use in case of emergency.

  • Read the instructions on new items so that if the time comes, people can use the tools quickly and correctly.

Track Texas fires: Map traces current wildfires burning across state in real-time

Pack a survival kit

Newman also recommends everyone gather some basic survival tools they can use in an emergency. He said people should search for a survival kit online and read reviews to decide what works best for their needs. If they don't know where to start, the basics include:

  • Bottled water to take with you during evacuation or a water sanitizer to ensure access to drinkable water.

  • High-powered flashlight.

  • Something to generate heat in case the weather gets cold.

  • Emergency blankets.

  • Multiuse tools with folding knives and other tools.

In addition, it's a good idea to prepare prescriptions, important documents and pet supplies to include in the survival kit as well. Putting valuable items in a fireproof box also ensures extra protection.

More: Cedar Park wildfire destroys apartment building, forces evacuations

Protecting property

Stafford also recommends using the forest service website's resources and these tips for protecting your home:

  • Use fire-resistant landscaping to prevent the spread of wildfires.

  • Use fire-resistant construction materials, such as certain roofing, wall materials and windows, to reduce a home's risk.

  • Improve access for emergency responders by having clear street signs, addresses and accessible roads.

She also encourages people to keep up with current fire activity on the forest service's website or social media pages.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: How to prevent and prepare for Texas wildfires; experts weigh in