Emergency Evacuation Information – All You Need to Know to Evacuate in 15 Minutes
Last year one of my friends told me about the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs, where he lived. I remember well the statistics he told me about; 360 homes were destroyed, and 30,000 homeowners who had to be evacuated. That wildfire even traumatized many more on the sidelines, including my friend who still has occasional nightmares about the event.
He was 5 miles away, which sounds like a long-distance, but he could still smell the fire burning for days on end.
This year that same friend was witness to a new wildfire on the opposite side of the city. It is called the Black Forest fire and so far estimates are 379 homes lost and 38,000 people evacuated and as of this writing, only 5% containment in 105 square miles of the evacuation area. Since these numbers are only estimates, the mainstream thinking is that it will only get worse as far as statistics go.
Amazingly, only two people have died and their story was tragic. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa explained that at 4:30 they were talking to a friend on a cell phone. They told their friends that they could see the fire in the distance and were packing up getting ready to go. The friend called them back at 4:50 PM and they could hear the crackling sounds of the fire encroaching. The victims made it as far as the garage before they were engulfed in flames.
The only reason we mention this gruesome detail is to give you an idea of the speed with which a wildfire can move. The area had 35 to 40 mile an hour winds. Colorado and much of the West, has been in drought conditions for close to six years now, and even though this past winter had more precipitation than in recent years, vegetation in the whole state is tinder dry-ready to explode into flames.
The 38,000 people were given slightly more notice in the Black Forest fire than in the Waldo Canyon fire, plus the vast majority of them had the experience of the Waldo Canyon fire still burning freshly in their mind.
Sheriff Maketa pointed out that the response from emergency responders was no less than amazing which he attributed to lessons learned from the Waldo Canyon fire. The sad part is the fire season is just starting. There will be more wildfires you can rest assured. Are you ready for an emergency where you live?
So many parts of the country are susceptible to natural disasters. If you live in those areas and do not have an emergency preparedness plan with emergency supplies, you are flirting with disaster yourself. Everyone should have a plan that includes emergency tools and a minimum three-day supply of food.
Take a look at all of our Emergency Preparedness Tools And Supplies that can help get you thru any emergency.
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