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Get prepared for fire and flood season

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By Feruz Tewolde

With summer just around the corner, Coloradans are beginning to prepare for the possible fires and flooding that have become the main concerns of the season.  

No one ever wants to be caught in a flood or fire, but knowing how fast weather conditions can change in Colorado, it’s always important to stay one step ahead of it and to be prepared if you are ever caught in one of these two situations.

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According to the emergency planning website, www.ready.gov, there are some guidelines for being prepared that everyone should follow when dealing with flooding or fires.

Keeping up with radio and television, having an emergency kit stocked and ready and having a family communication plan in place are three of the most important tips to remember in any emergency situation, especially floods and fires because they can move quickly and happen with very little notice.

The website also gives specific instructions about each type of disaster.

When dealing with a possible flash flood, some important reminders are to move immediately to higher ground, and be aware of stream and drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can happen in these areas without warning and without significant rainfall. Waiting for instructions to move is the last thing you should do.

 

Fires are just as destructive according to the same website because they “spread quickly, igniting brush, trees, and homes.”

 

When preparing for fire season, it is important to follow some guidelines that can help make your home safer and easier for firefighters to protect.

 

Make sure to clear items that will burn from around the house including dry brush and trees, wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills and tarp coverings.  Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.

 

Keep handy household items that can be used as fire tools such as a rake, axe, handsaw, bucket and shovel, and have a ladder accessible that can reach the roof.  Teach each family member how to use a fire extinguisher, and show them where it’s kept.

 

Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area in case you need to evacuate.  If evacuation orders are given, don’t stop to pack valuables.  Get out immediately, and leave lights on inside and out to make your home easier for firefighters to see in smoky conditions.

 

Taking the proper precautions during fire and flood season can save lives and property.  These are just a few of the helpful tips available at www.ready.gov, so visit the website for more information.