BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/FOX24) — With burn bans now in effect for all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley, it’s important to know how to evacuate if a fire breaks out near your home.

The USDA has a check list of things you should do when evacuating. It recommends closing all windows in your home and removing curtains.

You’ll want to turn off any propane gas tanks, and you want to grab any important documents, especially ones for your home and auto insurance.

Chief John Whisenant with the Beaver Lake Fire Department says there are some steps you can take to lower the chances of damage to your home.

“We would recommend that you keep your green space around your home clear and free of any debris,” he said. “Your brush piles keep them away from your house, burn them or keep them away from your house.”

Another important thing for your safety, send an email to friends or family about your travel plans. You should also keep your car at a half tank of gas, and store phone charges, a portable radio and some food in your car.