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What Should You Bring If You Must Evacuate?

Photo by Mose Buchele, KUT News
A helicopter helps the fire fighting effort in Bastrop County today.

More than 4,000 homes have been evacuated in Bastrop County as a wildfire assails the area.  With tinderbox conditions raising the specter of more blazes in Central Texas, you might want to consider what you should bring if your neighborhood is evacuated.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has helpfully compiled this list of recommended items.

  • Food and water
  • Cash
  • First aid kit
  • Phone chargers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Extra clothes, shoes
  • Pet supplies
  • Prescriptions and backup medications
  • Baby items
  • Blankets, pillows
  • Maps
  • Photo IDs
  • Social security cards, birth certificates or proof of citizenship      
  • Computer files (hard drives, CD, DVD, USB drive, etc.)
  • Medical records, X-rays, benefits documents, etc.
  • List of medications with dosages, doctors’ phone numbers
  • Duplicate prescriptions from doctor
  • List of important phone numbers (family, friends, etc.)
  • Financial statements, insurance and property documents
  • Wills
  • Copies of important keys

The Humane Society is also asking people to take their pets with them if evacuating. Here's the list of items they say should be in a pet emergency kit.

  • Three-or-more-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof container, and drinking water.
  • Bowls for food and water.
  • Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings.
  • Medications, vaccination records and pet first aid supplies.
  • Comfort items such as a toy and blanket.
  • Small garbage bags.
  • For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.
  • For cats include:litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has also set up this site that allows you to create your own disaster plan. The federal government has its own advice on creating an evacuation plan at

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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