Monday, June 20, 2011

Huntsville, Texas Wildfires: Contact Information

As I am sure everyone knows by now, wildfires are currently claiming thousands of acres in Walker County and the surrounding areas. This is of course causing a panic as people try to find out the most up-to-date information about the spreading of the fires. There isn’t one perfect location for information, but both 101.7 KSAM and The Huntsville Item are updating their websites and Facebook’s with updated information. 107.5 KSAM is also having frequent updates on its radio station.

The Fire Department, Police Department, the Texas Forest Service, and The City of Huntsville are working hard to maintain and alleviate this situation. The biggest help that you can give them is to STAY AWAY FROM THE FIRE. Traffic is already bad, but it’s made worse by people stopping to take pictures and attempting to drive into the area of the fire when it may not be necessary or safe. Areas are being evacuated for a reason.

Everyone is worried about someone. However, unless it's an emergency, it’s best not to call the Fire Department and Police Department for simple information. This clogs the lines and prevents them from immediately picking up emergency phone calls. Information about the spreading of the fire is getting to the news sources as fast as possible, and they are updating it on their websites as soon as it reaches them. It’s frustrating to not have immediate five minute updates, but everyone is doing the best that they can in this emergency situation.

Still, what this situation is making very evident is that many people do not know where to get information about emergency conditions, because the information is spread thin throughout multiple websites and services. There is an over reliance with Facebook to spread information. Even in this day and age, everyone is not a member and are not getting all of the updated information that news sources are providing. People do not always think of Facebook as a valuable news source.
People also aren’t equipped with knowledge on steps that they can take to prepare for emergencies such as this massive outbreak of forest fires.
It may be too little too late for this current situation, but  HERE  is the American Red Cross Wildfire Preparation Checklist.

There is also a Protection Plan found on The City of Huntsville’s website.

Important Contact Information:

Texas Forest Service Website     
Regional Fire Coordinator: (936) 327-4832
TFS Headquarters: (979) 458-6650

Texas Interagency Coordination Center
(Shows map of fire activity throughout Texas)

City of Huntsville: 936-291-5400

Walker County Emergency Communication Enrollment: Sign-up for up-to-date email notifications and text messages!

Emergency Medical Services (EMS): 936-295-4848

KSAM 107.5: 936-295-2651
We hope that everyone is safe, and we appreciate everyone's hard work to stop the spreading of these fires and to evacuate people who are in danger! Hopefully, we will receive MUCH needed rain this evening and throughout the rest of the week!

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