Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management

Emergency management has five phases including mitigation/prevention of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters.  Disasters can be anything from severe weather and tornadoes, to wildfires, hazardous materials incidents, winter weather, flooding and more!  Response to an emergency management incident is typically coordinated from an emergency operations center or EOC.  The best way to describe what we do is in our title as “Coordinators”.  We help coordinate information, resources, and situational awareness.  We work with all city and county departments and other organizations throughout our community to ensure whole community commitment to emergency management.

Our emergency management program is “interjurisdictional” in that we cover the City of Amarillo, as well as Potter and Randall counties.  Our “all-hazards plan” ensures the readiness of our community to respond to all hazards that may occur in the Panhandle.  We also encourage that individuals, families, and businesses make sure they are prepared for any hazard as well, as this is a critical element of any emergency program.  You can find more information on preparedness throughout our website and at www.ready.gov.


Wildfire Preparedness Tips

Dry conditions throughout this area have once again created the risk for wildfires. Careless use of fire can dramatically increase the chance of a wildfire, which can quickly spread across dry vegetation and threaten homes and businesses that are in the vicinity.

Wildfires often begin unnoticed and spread quickly. Every second counts! Reduce your risk by preparing now. Talk with members of your household about wildfires, how to prevent them, and what to do if one occurs.

Help prevent wildfires and be ready in case one does occur near you. The following are some things you can do to prepare for a wildfire:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communication plan. Post fire and other emergency telephone numbers.
  • Remove any debris, dead shrubs or bushes form around your home.
  • Keep yards cut short.
  • Clean rain gutters and remove any debris from your roof.
  • Clear items which could burn from around the house. Wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc should be moved outside of your defensible space.
  • Be sure that large fire vehicles can access your home and clearly mark all driveways with your address.
  • Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire.
  • Teach children about fire safety.
  • Plan escape routes in a car and on foot.
  • Know your neighbors, their skills, and what their plans will be when danger is imminent.
  • Always obey the law and check for local burn bans before setting a fire.
  • Know what to do with any animals on the property and how you will rescue them quickly.

Some good resources for more information:


Severe Weather Awareness Week

March 1-7, 2015 – Severe Weather Awareness Week

Spring marks the time of year when severe storms increase in frequency bringing devastating hazardous weather such as tornadoes, lightning, large hail, damaging winds, and flash floods to the Texas Panhandle. This is also a time when outdoor activities increase, placing residents at an even greater risk.

Weather in the form of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flash floods can strike very quickly. Once a tornado approaches or flash flooding develops, it is too late to start working on a preparedness plan! When severe weather develops and warnings are issued, you must take immediate action to protect yourself.

Take time now to be prepared for severe weather. A few simple steps, such as having a disaster supply kit, obtaining a NOAA Weather Radio, and creating a Family Emergency dPlan could save your life.

Visit the Weather-Ready Nation website for more information on severe weather preparedness.


Do 1 Thing in February

Water is an essential element to survival and a necessary item in an emergency supply kit. During the month of February, take action to store three days worth of water for your household.

FEMA’s “Do 1 Thing” offers the following list of ways to achieve this goal:

  • Purchase and store a 72-hour supply of commercially bottled water;
  • Bottle a 72-hour supply of water at home; or
  • Learn how to provide a safe supply of drinking water for your household in a disaster.

By completing one of these actions, you’ll be better prepared for the unexpected.