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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2016 Vol. 63 No. 12

Message From The Chief

As the holidays near, people are making lists, checking them twice and hunting for that perfect gift. The season of sharing is also a great opportunity to incorporate holiday planning into basic emergency planning!

  • When making your gift list, update family and friend contact information in your emergency contact plan and mobile phone.
  • When preparing for your holiday meal, purchase emergency food and water for the home.
  • When shopping around town, prepare your vehicle for winter weather.
  • When sending out holiday text messages, sign up for alert notifications from your local office of emergency management, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the National Weather Service (NWS).

Texas weather can change quickly and with limited warning as history as shown. Take the time during this holiday season and prepare yourself and your loved ones for the unexpected.

Avoid the holiday disaster!
I do enjoy the holiday season including putting up the tree, lights and decorating at home. If you are like me, I can become overzealous and go a little overboard. There is nothing wrong with being in the spirit, but always remember to put safety first.

Unfortunately, fires do happen during times of celebration. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 210 home structure fires per year that began with Christmas trees in 2010-2014. Four of every five Christmas tree fires occurred in December and January. I want everyone to enjoy the holidays, but before you put up that tree, decorate the exterior with lights or prepare a feast, check out safety tips from the NFPA website.

Let’s end the streak!
Fuel prices are moderately low for the holidays, and that means more Texans will be on the road to visit family and friends. Tragically, Texas has not had a fatality-free day on Texas roads since November 7, 2000. According to TxDOT during a span of 16 years, 55,578 people have been killed. The leading causes of fatalities continue to be failure to stay in one lane, alcohol and speed.

Starting today: Buckle up. Slow down. Pay attention. Never drink and drive.

As you travel, be safe and help #EndTheStreakTX!

For the latest road conditions, please visit

From all of us at Texas Division of Emergency Management family, we want to wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday season!

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