Disaster Preparedness Guide

Disaster Preparedness Guide
This guide is based on the most reliable hazard awareness and
emergency education information that was available at the time
of publication. It was designed to provide a brief overview of
disaster information and to supplement guidance from the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and local authorities.
This guide also helps you get started with your emergency plans
for protecting yourself and your loved ones before, during and
after a disaster. To help you explore your interest further, additional sources of information have been included throughout
this guide, so keep it handy for quick consultation.
H ow to use thi s guide:
This guide is made up of two sections:
Section 1: Preparedness for the Whole Family
Section 2: Preparedness for Specific Disasters and Emergencies
Use t he tabs in each sect ion to quickly access the information
you need to prepare for the emergencies that may strike your
community in Douglas County.
-+ Learn about the hazards that may strike your community, the
risks you face from these hazards and your community's plans
for warning and evacuation. You can obtain this information
from the Douglas County Office of Emergency Management or
visit www.dcsheriff.net/emergencymanagement
-+ In addition to finding out about your community's plan, it is
important that you have a plan for your family and that you
know w hat plans are in place for your workp lace and your children's school or day care center.
Quicklin ks ~
Quicklinks are a fast and efficient way to browse the Web I
When the original Web address is too long and inconvenientto type, use
the shorter Quicklink ~to access the information you need.
-+ Many communities now have systems that will send instant
text alerts ore-mails. Douglas County has an electronic emergency notification system, CodeRED. Sign up today at:
.... The Emergency Alert System (EAS) can address the entire
nation on very short notice in case of a grave threat or
national emergency. News Radio 850 KOA. along with all
radio and television stations serving Douglas County, participate in the EAS.
.... Weather information is available from multiple sources in
Douglas County, including local Denver area TV and radio
stations, websites and social media.
.... Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are text-like emergency
messages sent by authorized government authorities
thro ug h your mobile carrier. WEA m essages show the type
and time of t he alert, any action you should take and t he
agency issuing the alert. For more information, go to:
www.ready.gov/ alerts
.... A key part of personal preparedness is knowing and practicing the routes from your home that could be used in an
.... When community evacuations become necessary, local officials use the media to provide information to the public. In
some circumstances, other warning methods, such as doorto-door contact, text and e-mail, social media or telephone
calls, are also used.
Review the information you obtained about local hazards,
community plans, warn ing systems/signals and evacuation
Mark escape routes from each room on a floor plan of your
Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency (e.g.,
a specific neighbor's house or the neighborhood grocery
store parking lot).
Store 3-14 days' worth of nonperishable food.
Select foods that do not require refrigeration, preparation
(including the use of water) or cooking.
Avoid salty foods, as t hey will make you thirsty.
Make sure that formula for infants and any child's or older
person's special nutritional needs are a part of your planning.
Store a manual can opener and eating utensils.
Examples of food /nonperishable items:
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes. Plan
how you will contact one another in different situations.
Identify an out-of-town relative or friend for family members t o notify that they are safe. It may be easier to make
long distance calls than to call across town.
Ready-to-eat canned meats,
fruits and vegetables
Protein or fruit bars
Dry cereal or granola
High-energy foods
Peanut butter
Dried fruit
Comfort/stress foods
Pet food
Complete a contact card for each family member and have
them keep these cards handy (e.g., in a wallet, purse, backpack). Include contact names, phone numbers, meeting
places and any other important information you see fit.
Samples can be found at: www.ready.gov/ make-a-plan
and OuickUnk " www.qsp.mobi/link.RedCrossContactCard
Canned juices
Nonperishable pasteurized
Contact your utility com panies for shutoff requirements
(e.g., natural gas, water, electricity), and be sure to record the
Annually review existing property, health and life insurance
policies, and obtain additional coverage as needed. Do this
before storm season - insurance companies may not issue/
change policies during storm season.
Store 3- 14 days' worth of water, one gallon of water per
person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food
preparation/sanitation), in clean plastic containers.
If you live in a flood-prone area, consider purchasing flood
insurance to reduce your risk of loss due to flooding.
Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more
water. Pets need water too!
Document important information about your personal
property for insurance purposes. This includes taking photos of high-value items. Consider storing digital copies of
photos on a memory drive at a safe off-property location or
in cloud-based storage.
Avoid using containers that will decompose or break. such
as milk cartons or glass bottles.
First aid kit
Maps of the area
Medications and other
medical equipment
according to the needs of
your family (e.g., contact
lenses, glasses, syringes)
Moist towelettes, hand
sanitizer, tissues, toilet
paper, sanitary napkins,
d iapers and other personal
hygiene items
Flashlight and extra
Battery-powered or handcrank radio
Emergency blankets
or sleeping bags (1 per
Whistle to signal for help
Make sure t hat you and your family know how to use a fire
extinguisher and how to administ er first aid and CPR. For first
aid and CPR training opportunit ies, visit: www.redcross.org/
Dust mask(s)
Garbage bags
Wrench, pliers or multipurpose tool
Copies of personal documents (medication list,
deed/lease, proof of
address, passports and
birth certificates, insurance
Extra cash
Plastic sheeting and duct
tape (to shelter-in-place)
Extra clothing
Store important documents, such as insurance policies,
deeds and property records, in a safe place, such as a safety
deposit box at a bank, in cloud-based storage or on a memory drive provided to a trusted out-of-state contact. Make
copies of important documents for your disaster supply kit.
Consider saving money in an emergency savings account.
Keep a small amount of cash or traveler's checks at home
in a safe place where you can quickly access them in case' of
Help may not be available for a period of t ime after a d isaster
strikes. Therefore, you should assemble a three-day disaster supply kit to see you through until help arrives. At a mini mum, t he
kit should include essentia ls such as water, food, a first aid kit,
tools, sa nitation items, hygiene items, clothing and bedding. For
help and advice on building all your disaster supp ly kits, visit:
www.ready.gov/build-a-kit and www.redcross.org/ prepare/
locatio n/home-family/ get-kit
First, consider the hazard, and then choose a place in your
home or other building that is safe from that hazard.
Sheltering outside the hazard area might include staying with
friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging or staying
in a mass care facility operated by the American Red Cross
and local authorities.
Mass care shelters may be opened if the situation dictates. You
should bring your disaster kits with you to ensure you have
what your family needs. These should include entertainment
for your family (books, puzzles etc.). Prepare your family for the
realities of living in a comm unal setting wit h limited privacy.
Keep in mind that alcohol, drugs and weapons are forbidden.
Pets will not be allowed in a mass care shelter, but separate
facilities will be provided for their care.
Keep a battery-powered radio with you so you can listen for
emergency updates and news reports.
Use a battery-powered flashlight to inspect a damaged
Watch out for displaced animals in and around buildings.
Use the phone to report life-threatening emergencies only.
Stay off the streets. If you must go out, avoid fallen objects
and downed electrical w ires. Also, beware of damaged
walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks.
Before entering your home, walk carefully around the outside to check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural
damage. If you have any doubts about safety, have your
residence inspected by a qualified building inspecto r or
structural engineer before entering.
Do not enter your home if you smell gas, if floodwaters
remain around the home or if your home was damaged by
fire and the authorities have not declared it safe to enter.
Enter your home carefully and check for damage. Beware of
loose boards and slippery floors.
Check for natural gas leaks; sparks; broken or frayed wires;
roof damage; foundation and chimney cracks; basement
flooding; household chemical spills; damage to your appliances, water and sewage system; and spoiled or contaminated food and supplies.
Always be careful when opening closets and cabinets;
objects may fall out of them.
Leave immediately if it looks like your home may collapse
or if you smell gas or hear a hissing sound.
For shelter information, download the American Red Cross
Shelter Finder app at: www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps
Not knowing if family members are safe and well can be
stressful. Register your current status or check the statuses of
loved ones on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website:
https://safeandwell.communityos.org/ cms/ index.php
Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Your
first concern after a disaster is your family's health and safety.
Check for injuries. If needed,
administer first aid and CPR.
Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless
they are in immediate danger
of death or further injury in
their current location. If you
must move an unconscious
person, first stabilize his or
her neck and back, then call
for help immediately.
Be aware of the potential for exhaustion.
Do not do too much at once.
Set priorities and pace yourself.
For the millions of Americans who have disabilities and other
access and functional needs (AFN), emergencies present a real
While each person's abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies
-from fires and floods to potential terrorist attacks.
Being ready is part of maintaining your independence. This sect ion o utlines measures that people w ith AFN and t heir families,
friends and caregivers can take t o prepare for emergencies.
Emergency personnel may also benefit from this information by
becoming more aware o f t he additional concerns people w ith
functional needs face during emergencies and in the aftermat h
of a disaster.
Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from
authorities on scene. Above all, stay calm, be patient and think
before you act. With these simple preparations, you can be ready
for the unexpected.
Rest, drink clean water and eat well.
Wear sturdy work boots and gloves.
Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and
clean water when working in and around debris.
Providing the basics of food, water and shelter to those in need
is the first priority of disaster relief organizations and government agencies. Your personal needs, such as replacing medicat ions and having electricity restored for assistive devices, may
not be met right away.
Be aware of new safety issues creat ed by the disaster.
Watch for washed-out roads, contaminated buildings,
contaminated water, gas leaks, broken glass, damaged
electrical wiring and slippery floors.
Inform local authorities about health and saf ety issues,
including chemical spills, downed power lines, washed-out
roads, smoldering insulation and dead animals.
Plan to be self-sufficient or without emergency services for several days. Work out a plan that fits your needs and is simple to
put into action.
If you have questions about preparedness, contact t he Douglas
County Office of Emergency Management at 303-660-7589. If
you are having a life-t hreaten ing emergency, d ial 91 1.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected,
such as putting together an emergency supply kit, are the same
regardless of the type of emergency. However, it is important to
be informed about w hat might happen and know what types
of emergencies are likely to affect your area.
Start by learning what kinds of risks your community faces.
Do you live near a stream or ri ver?
Do you live near the forest or where t rees and grasses are
not maintained?
If disasters that strike with little or no warning (such as flood
or fire) are a risk w here you live, you' ll want to know exactly
what your first response should be. Test your readiness by asking yourself the following basic questions:
If there were an evacuation order, what is the recommended route from where you live?
If you don't drive, w hat are your options?
Have you discussed your options with your caregiver
or service provider?
Where are the shutoff valves for your household utilities (gas, electricity, water)?
Do you know hqw to use them?
If you need special tools, do you keep t hem handy?
In an emergency, local phone service may be down
for quite some t ime.
Have you designated someone out of area as your
emergency contact?
Neighbors helping neighbors ca n be critical in an
Do you know your neighbors?
Do they know what special needs you have?
All of us need people we ca n count on during a crisis. Plan
ahead and consider how a disaster may affect your abilities.
During an emergency situation, there may be conditions,
such as flooding or debris, t hat make it more difficult than
usual to move around the neighborhood.
You may need to walk long distances and carry supplies.
... You may become fatigued, hungry, overheated or cold, which
can negatively affect your mobility.
These circumstances can create a need for more support than
you require regularly. Evaluate your capabilities and limitations
to determine w hat help you will need, for example:
Can you use a fire extinguisher? Have you practiced?
Will you be able to carry your ow n evacuation kit?
• What would you need to do in order to carry it?
• How much can you carry regularly?
How will you evacuate?
Be aware of possible hazards and barriers to a clear exit path.
Have you secured objects that might block your path if they
were to fall (e.g., bookcases)?
Keep copies of your plan in your emergency supply kits. Share
your plan w ith your family, friends, caregivers and anyone in
your personal support network.
Plan in advance for your pet or service animal. Remember:
What's best for you is typically w hat's best for your animals.
If you must evacuate, take your pet with you, if possible.
If you are going to a public shelter, by law, only service animals are allowed inside.
The Douglas County Office of Emergency Management will
establish a pet shelter co-located with the human shelter location during a disaster event. At that time, call 911 for more information and monitor local TV and radio stations for updates.
The reality of a disast er situation is that you will most likely not
have access to everyday conveniences. Think through every
detail of your d aily routine and plan alternative procedures.
If there are people w ho assist you daily, list who they are
and how you will contact them in an emergency. (Flip to
"Create a Personal Support Network" in this tab.)
Think about the types of transportation you use and
w hat alternatives could serve as backups.
If you need specific tools or aids, plan how you will
cope without them. For example, if you use a mobility
aid or rely on a service animal, w hat will you do if it is
not available?
If you depend on life-sustaining equipment or t reatment,
such as a dialysis machine or respiratory machine, talk to
your medical provider about emergency plans. Identify
backups or alternate places for treatment in your area or
areas you might evacuate to.
Escape routes:
In a fire or other emergency, you may need to evacuate on a
moment's not ice. Be ready to get out fast. Draw a floor plan
of your home and mark two escape routes from each room.
Contact your fire district to make them aware you are living
in their response area.
Fact-finding mission:
Information about emergency planning for yo ur community
should be easy to find. Contact your municipality's Office of
Emergency Management (flip to the "Important Resources·
tab), or call the Douglas County Office of Emergency Management at 303-660-7589.
If you know t hat you w ill need help to cope in an emergency,
you must set up a personal support network.
Make a list of family, friends and others w ho will check on you
to make sure you are safe and help you, if needed. Include a
relative or friend in another area who would not be affected by
the same emergency and who could help, if needed .
Do not depend on one person only. Try t o work out support
relationships with at least three people everywhere you regularly spend a significant amou nt oftime, such as at home and
at work.
Share copies of your evacuation plans (e.g., home o r
work), relevant emergency documents and emergency
health information card.
Make arrangements for your support network to check
on you immediately following a disaster and to offer
Exchange important keys.
Show your support network w here you keep your
emergency supplies.
Teach your support network how to use any lifesaving
equipment or administer medicine.
Show your support network how to use wheelchairs,
oxygen or other medical equipment you require so
they could move you or help you evacuate.
Practice your plan with your support network. Practice
contacting one another without relying on telephones.
The relationship shou ld be mutual. Learn about the needs of
the people in your support network and how you might help
t hem in an em ergency. For example, you could be responsible
for food supplies and preparation.
Think caref ully ab out w ho could help you:
... Does he or she have the physical stamina to provide physical assistance (e.g., lifting, helping with transfers, pushing
your wheelchair)?
Is it convenient for him or her to help (How many children
does he or she have, and how old are they? Is there room
in his or her car for one more? Etc.)?
If you need accessible transportation, would he or she be
available to stay behind with you until assistance arrives?
If you have advance warning of an emergency, such as w ith a
w inter storm :
... Contact your identified support network and find out if
their availability has changed.
Determine ahead of time who will assist you; if you can,
rotate your support people throughout the year so you are
not always calling on the same people.
... Physically connect with your support network early, so
there is no possibility that the storm may arrive and prevent them from getting to you.
You might be ordered to leave, or you may decide it would be
safest to get away. Plan how you wil l evacuate and where you
will go.
Arrange to stay with friend s or family outside the affected area
whenever possible. Choose several destinations in different
directions so you have options in an emergency.
Ask about evacuation plans at the places where you spend time,
including work, school, community centers, etc.
Supplies to Keep w ith You at All Tim es:
You never know when you might have to drop everything
and get to safety. Carry the following in a backpack, fanny
pack or drawstring bag that can be hung from a wheelchair,
scooter, etc.:
0 Emergency health information card
0 Instructions on personal assistance needs and how best
to provide them
0 Copies of emergency documents (safeguard these to prevent identity theft)
0 Essential medications/copies of prescriptions
0 Flashlight on key ring
0 Signaling device (e.g., whistle, beeper, bell)
0 Small battery-operated radio and extra batteries
Mark it on your calendar to touch base with your support network once every three months to see if their circumstances or
ability to assist you has changed. Be sure to keep them updated
with your contact information, including your home, cell and
work phone numbers.
At your service:
Service animals may become confused, panicked, frightened
or disoriented in and after a disaster. Keep yours confined or
securely leashed or harnessed. Be prepared to use alternative
ways to negotiate your environment.
Make co nt act:
To register for the Douglas County Access & Functional Needs
Registry, visit: www.dcsheriff.net; Under"Online Services; cl.ick
on "Access & Functional Needs Registry.• If you would hke
to discuss your needs directly, please contact the Douglas
County Office of Emergency Management at 303-660-75B9.
Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision you will make is whether
to stay or go.
Understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense
and available information to determi ne if t here is immediate
In any emergency, local authorit ies may or may not be able to
provide immediate information on what is happening and what
you should do. Monitor TV or radio news reports for information
or official instructions as they become available.
... If you're specifically told t o evacuate or seek medical
ment, do so immediately.
treat- ~
... If you require additional t ravel time or need transportation
assistance, make these arrangements in advance.
Whether you are at home or somewhere else, there may be
situations when it's simply best to stay w here you are and avoid
any uncertainty outside.
R0 UTE_____._;.j
Disaster shelt ering:
If you have no alternative, disaster shelters may be set up in
schools, municipal buildings, etc. If possible, bring clothes and
bedding in addition to your disaster supply kit.
If needed, plan to have someone in your support network
accompany you to the shelter.
Remember, shelters do not have special equipment (e.g.,
oxygen, mobility aids).
Service animals are allowed in shelters - pets are not.
Mobility impairments:
If you typically rely on elevators, have a backup plan in case
they are not working. Practice using alternate methods of
There will be times when you will have to leave your wheelchair behind to evacuate safely. If you cannot use stairs, discuss with your doctor and support network the lifting and
carrying techniques t hat will work for you.
Visual impairments:
Consider what you can do to safely shelter-in-place alone or
with friends, family or neighbors. Also consider how a public
shelter would meet your needs.
Sealing the room:
There could be times when you will need to stay put and create a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated
air outside. This process is known as "sealing the room." You
will have to be able to turn off your home's vent ilation system
and seal doors and windows when instructed to do so by
emergency officials.
People with AFN who are largely self-sufficient under normal circumstances may have to rely more on the help of others in a disaster.
If you have some vision, place security lights in each room
to light paths of travel. These lights plug into wall outlets
and light up automatically in a power outage. They will keep
working for one to six hours, depending on the type.
After a major disaster, you may lose the auditory clues you
usually rely on.
Cognitive/ intellectual d isabilities:
Practice what to do during and after a disaster. For example,
evacuate the places where you spend time, such as home,
work and school, until you feel confident that you w ill know
w hat to do.
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is
an important member of your household. The likelihood that
you and your pet will survive an emergency, such as a fir~, flood
or earthq uake, depends largely on the emergency plann1ng you
do today.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for an emergency,
such as assembling a pet emergency sup ply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency.
Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to
a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your
pet. Keep in mi nd that what's best for you is us~ ally what's best
for your animal. Plan for the worst-case scena no.
Actions you take to prepare your pets for a disaster include the
Get your pet used to sudden actions t hat may be needed
during a disast er.
Familiarize your pet wit h being t ransported in his or her
crate before a crisis.
Dogs and cats should wear a collar or harness, rabies tag
and ID tag at all t imes.
ID tags should include your name, address and phone
number, and t he phone number of an emergency contact.
Make sure your animal can be easily identified (with a
microchip, ID tag, tattoo, ear tag, etc.) so he or she can be
reunited with you after the disaster.
Consider p et ID microchips:
A pet ID microchip implant is a tiny device that has an ID numb er programmed into it. A sp ecial scann.er found. i~ veteri n~ry
offices and animal shelters reads t he ch1p. Once InJected w1th
the chip, your pet can be identified t hroughout his or her life
by t his one-of-a-kind number.
Enroll your pet in a recovery dat ab ase:
If your pet is m icrochipped, keeping your emergency contact
information up to date and listed wit h a reliable recovery dat abase is essential to your being reunited with your pet.
- Train your dog. Obedience may save his or her life during
an emergency and help to make your dog a welcome guest.
Create an evacuation plan for you, your family and your
- Talk to your pet's veterinarian about emergency planning.
He or she will likely be able to provid e helpful informat ion
and trusted resources.
Before an emergency, identify w here you will take your family and pet if you must evacuate your home. Douglas County
will provide an emergency pet shelter in conj unction with the
general population shelter. This allows evacuees to interact with
and care for t heir pets during designat ed times. Call the Douglas
County Office of Emergency Management at 303-660-7589 for
Prepare a list of animal shelters and humane societ ies,
boarding kennels, grooming shops and vet erinary offices
that could shelter your pet during an emergency, and
include 24-hour phone numbers. Animal shelters may be
overburdened, so they should b e your last resort.
Plan transportation for your pet; make sure you have all the
equipment you need to safely t ransport your pet during an
evacuation. Flip to the "Pet Emergency Supply Kit" tab.
their owners, under any circumstance.
... If you have an exotic pet (e.g., reptile, parrot, ferret), consider leaving your pet with friends or relatives w ho are
safely out of harm's way. Exotic pets usually need specialized care and feeding, and are more sensitive t o environmental changes than dogs or cats.
Identify a trusted relative, friend or neighbor to care for
your pet in your absence. This person should have a set of
your house keys, be familiar with your home and pet, know
your emergency plan and have your contact information.
Keep your pet's collar/ harness, leash and emergency kit in
a place where they can be easily found. Provide muzzles,
handling gloves, catch nets and animal restraints where
rescue workers can find t hem.
... During an emergency, if you or an approved relative,
f riend or neighbor can't get to your companion animal(s)
or your large domestic animal(s) (non-commercial livestock) t o evacuate, dial 911 .
Plan with neighb ors, friends or relatives to make sure that
someone can care for you r pet if you are unable to do so.
Tell your buddy where you keep your pet's emergency kit.
Pet-friendly shelter guidance does not apply to service
animals. Service animals should never be separated f rom
... Know your pet's hiding places, so you can easily find him or
her during an emergency.
- Contact hotels and motels o utside your immediate area to
check policies o n accepting pets.
... Take pictures of you with your pet, so you can show proof
of ownership if you are separated during a disaster.
... Order a free Pet Safety Pack, which includes a window
decal to alert rescue workers that a pet is inside your home.
Visit: www.aspca.org
- Talk to relatives and friends who would be w illing to let
your family and pet stay w ith them for a w hile.
... Make sure that your pet is up to date with vaccinations. Pet
shelters may require proof of vaccines.
Pet-friendly shelters:
Pet-friendly sheltering is one of the most common ways of
providing emergency accommodations for pet owners and
their animals.
Prepare your pet's emergency supply kit. Store the following items somewhere they can be accessed quiCkly and
~ A pet-friendly shelter is an emergency shelter for pets
that is located within the same area or facility as a public
human emergency shelter.
~ These shelters typically allow pet owners to help take care
of their own animals.
The presence of pet-friendly shelters can increase the likelihood that pet owners will evacuate to safety with their animals during an emergency.
0 A three-day supply for evacuating and a two-week supply
for sheltering-in-place at home
0 Manual can opener
0 Bowls for food and water
Flip to the "Pet Evacuation" tab for tips o n evacuating with
your pets.
If you evacuate your home, do not
leave your pet behind. Your pet
most likely cannot survive on his or
her own. If your pet does survive,
you might not be able to find him
or her when you return.
Leaving your pet at home alone
can place your animal: in great
danger, but if you have no other
options, here are some precautions
you must take:
Wat er t ip:
Make sure you have plenty of water for your pet at all times.
Dehydration is a serious health risk to animals.
0 Extra collar with ID tag, harnesses and leashes for all pets,
including cats (Your pet should wear a collar with his or
her ID and rabies tags at all times.)
0 Current photos and a physical description of your pet,
including his or her species, b reed, age, sex, color, distinguishing traits and any other vital information
0 Photocopies of medical records, vaccination records and
other important documentation in a waterproof bag or on
a memory drive or in cloud-based storage
~ Confine your pet to a safe area inside. Leave your pet free
inside your home with food and plenty of water.
NEVER leave your indoor companion pet tied up outside
or let your pet loose.
~ Provide water in a heavy bowl that cannot be tipped over.
Rotate all food into use and replace with fresh food every
two months
D Two-week supply of your pet's medications and a copy of
current prescriptions
D Comfort items (e.g., favorite toys, bedding and treats)
~ Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the
bathroom door open so he or she can drink.
~ Keep exotic animals in separate rooms. Leave warnings
First aid kit:
Ask your veterinarian for recommendations about what to
include in your pet's first aid kit (e.g., first aid guidebook,
bandage rolls, scissors, gauze, antibiotic ointment, flea and
tick treat ment).
and handling instructions. Post clear labels for rescue
workers about the animals they will find.
~ Place a notice outside in a visible area advising rescue
workers what pets are inside and where they are located.
Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be
reached and the name and number of your veterinarian.
Leaving your pets behind in a disaster may decrease their
chances of survival.
0 Muzzle, collar and sturdy leash
D Carriers (or crates) to safely transport your pet and to
ensure that he or she can't escape
Get"Animals Inside!" stickers:
Place stickers on your doors or windows that include information on the numbers and types of pets in your home to
alert firefighters and rescue workers. Provide a pho ne number where you or a contact can be reached. If time permits,
and it is safe to do so, remember to write "Evacuated with
Pets" across the sticker if you take your pets with you.
0 Pillowcase (to t ransport cats or other small animals, if
Carrier tips:
~ Carriers should be large enough for your pet to stand com-
fortably, t urn around and lie down in. Your pet may have to
stay in t he carrier for hours at a time.
~ On the crate, write your pet's name, your name and your
contact information with a permanent marker; include a
picture of your pet and any behavioral or medical issues on
the carrier.
~ Pack a cotton sheet to place over the carrier to help keep
your pet calm.
Pet litter and litterboxes
Small garbage bags
Paper towels
D Spray disinfectant (You can
use b leach as a disinfectant.
Dilute nine parts water to
one part bleach.)
0 Birds: catch net, heavy towel, cuttlebone, b lanket or sheet
to cover cage, newspaper
D Small animals: salt lick, water bottle, small hide box or cardboard tube (inside cage)
D Repti les: pillowcase, warming device (hot water bottle,
heating pad, etc.), soaking dish
Practice evacuation plans to familiari ze your pet w ith the
process and increase his or her comfo rt level.
Escort your pet to safety on a leash, in a crate or in a cage.
In an emergency, a cat can be safely carried inside a
If your pet will be riding in t he bed of a truck, make sure to
tether him or her with a safety harness or to place him or
her in a secured crate.
If your pet will be riding in t he car, place him or her in t he
back seat and lower t he window a few inches. Allow for
enough room so he or she can stretch out. Keep your car
cool when transporting your pet. To secure your p et, purchase a pet seat or dog safety belt.
A t hunderstorm is formed from
a combination of moisture, rapidly rising warm air and a force
capable o f lifting air, such as a
warm or cold front, a sea breeze
or a mountain.
A thunderstorm is classified as severe if it produces hail
at least % of an inch in diameter, has winds of 58 mph or
higher, or produces a tornad o.
All t hunderstorms contain lightning. The rapid heating and
cooling of air near t he light ning causes thunder.
Transport birds in sm all, secure carriers.
Try to minimize t emperature changes. Use a spray bottle
for misting in hot weather and a hot w ater bottle f or warming in cold weather.
Try t o minimize severe changes in noise and cover the
cage with a t hin cloth or sheet to provide security and
filtered light.
Talk to your veterinarian-or local pet store about special
food d ispensers t hat regulat e t he amount of food a bird is
g iven.
Lightning is an electrical discharge that results from the
buildup o f posit ive and negative charges within a thunderstorm. When the buildup becomes strong enough, lightning appears as a bolt.
If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm
to be struck by lightning.
A bolt of lightning reaches a temperature approaching
so,ooooFin a split second.
Remember the 30/30 lightning safety rule: Go indoors if,
after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing t hunder. Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes after
hearing the last clap of thunder.
Your chances of being struck by lightning are estimated to
be 1 in 600,000.
Transport amphibians in a watertight , plastic bag or plastic
cont ainer with ventilation holes.
Transport your reptile in a pillowcase, cloth sack or small
carrier, and transfer him or her into a secure cage as soon
as you can.
Use a spray bottle to keep your pet cool and a heating pad
or battery-operated heating lamp to keep him or her warm.
Try to minimize changes in temperature, lighting and diet.
Do not mix species.
Small pets, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats and guinea
pigs, ca n be transp orted using a covered carrier, cage or
secure box.
To minimize stress, keep t he carrier co vered and attempt
to minimize severe changes in t emperature and noise.
Service animals in public shelters:
While the Americans with Disabilit ies Act (ADA) g uarantees
service animals may remain with t heir owners in any public
accommodation (e.g., a shelter set up in response to a disaster), the ADA does not ensure other aspects of caring for
service animals during disast ers.
If you own a service animal, prepare to provide food and
water for him or her du ring an emergency, both at home
and if staying in an emergency shelter.
Access to veterinary care is also not guaranteed during
an evacuation.
Douglas County has an average of 11 ,000 cloud-to-ground
lightning strikes annually. The Rocky Mountain Region is
second to the Gulf Coast in lightning strikes nationwide.
Colorado ranks 4th for the number of lightning deaths
between 1959 and 2012, at 141.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Issued when conditions are favorable for t he formation of severe thunderstorms.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Issued w hen a severe thunderst orm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
Look for darkening skies, flashes o f light, t he sound of thunder
or increasing w ind.
Assemble a disaster supply kit and make a family communication plan.
Secure outdoor objects, such as lawn furniture, and take
light objects inside to avoid loss or damage.
Remove dead or rotting trees and branches around your
home that could fall and cause injury or damage.
Secure windows and doors, and unplug electronic equipment before t he storm arrives.
If ind oors:
Do not handle any electrical equipment or corded telephones because lightning could follow the wire. TV sets are
particularly dangerous at this time.
Avoid bathtubs, water faucets and sinks because metal
pipes can transmit electricity.
Turn off air conditioners.
Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
If outdoors:
Winter Storm Watch: Indicates that severe w inter weather
may affect your area.
.... If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter
immediately! Try to get into a building or car. If no structure is
available, get to an open space and squat low to the ground as
quickly as possible.
Winter St orm Warning: Indicates that a winter storm is occurring, or wi ll occur, in your area.
.... If you are in the woods, find an area protected by a low clump
of trees - never stand beneath a single large tree in the open.
Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground,
creating a coat ing of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power
.... Avoid tall structures, such as towers, fences, telephone lines or
power lines.
.... Stay away from lightning rods, such as tall, isolated trees; golf
clubs; tractors; fishing rods; bicycles; etc.
Sleet : Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the
ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and
become slippery.
.... If you feel your hair stand on end (which may indicate that
lightning is about to strike you), squat low to the ground on
the balls of your feet Place your hands over your ears and your
head between your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.
Wind Chill: Calculation of how cold it feels outside when the
effects of temperature and wind speed are combined.
Blizzard Warning: Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35
mph or greater and considerable amounts of fall ing or blowing snow are expected for a period of 3 hours or longer.
If in a vehicle:
.... Safely pull onto the shoulder of the road away from t rees, tum
on your emergency flashers and stay in your vehicle; avoid
touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity.
Frost / Freeze Warning: Below-freezing temperatures are
Heavy Snowfall: Snow accumulation of 4 inches in a 12-hour
period or 6 inches in a 24-hour period (depending on
locat ion).
If lightning strikes you or someone you know, call911 for medical help as soon as possible. If t he victim has st opped breathing
or if his or her heart has stopped, administer CPR if you are
trained. Check for burns where the light ning entered and left
t he body.
Ice Storm: An ice storm is an occasion when damaging accumulations of ice are expected during freezing rain situations.
Significant ice accumulations are Y• inch or more.
.... Call911 to report life-threatening emergencies .
.... Help people who may need special assistance (e.g., infants,
children, the elderly and people with access and functional
.... Never drive through a flooded roadway, and only drive
if necessary. Debris and washed-out roads make driving
.... Stay away from downed power lines and report them to 911.
A severe winter storm typically drops 4 or more inches of snow
during a 12-hour period or 6 or more inches during a 24-hour
period. The amount o f snow accumulation depends on the
geographic location.
.... All wint er storms are accompanied by low temperatures
and blowing snow, which can severely red uce visibility.
A winter storm can range from moderate snow over a few
hours to blizzard conditions with b linding wind-driven
snow that can last several days.
Most deaths related to winter storms occur in t raffic accidents on icy roads.
.... Elderly people account for the largest percentage of hypothermia victims. Many older Americans freeze to deat h
in their homes after being exposed to dangerously cold
indoor temperatures, or are asphyxiated (i.e., suffocated)
because of improper use of fuels, such as charcoal briquettes, that produce carbon monoxide (CO).
.... A bag of kitty litter (non-clumping) is an extremely useful
item in a winter storm disaster supply kit. It can be used on
walkways to prevent slipping and it provides traction to
vehicles stuck in ice and snow.
.... Douglas County can experience sudden and extreme
weather including severe changes in temperature, heavy
precipitation and high winds during any season.
.... Personal preparedness begins with getting the weather
forecast for the day of your outdoor or travel plans.
.... Frostbit e is a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance
in extremities, such as fingers, toes, tip of the nose and
.... Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops to less than go•F. Symptoms of hypothermia
include uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, memory
lapses, frequent stumbling, drowsiness and exhaustion.
If frostbite or hypothermia is suspected, begin warming the
person slowly and seek immediate medical help. Warm the
person's trunk first. Use your own body heat to help. Arms
and legs should be warmed last because stimulation of the
lim bs can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to
heart failure. Put the victim in dry clothing and wrap his or
her entire body in a blanket.
Never give a frostbite or hypothermia victim caffeine (coffee or tea) or alcohol. Caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol is
a depressant; consuming either can worsen the ill effects of
cold temperatures on the body.
.... Assemble a disaster supply kit and make a family communication plan.
-+ Winterize your emergency kit. Include rock salt, sand, kitty
litter, snow shovels, heating fuel (e.g., wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove), extra clothes and blankets.
.... Insulate the walls and attic.
.... Caulk and weather-strip the doors and windows.
.... Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from
the inside.
-+ Keep pipes from freezing: wrap pipes in insulation or layers
of old newspapers; cover the newspapers with plastic to
keep out moisture; let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing;
know how to shut off water valves.
If in a vehicle:
.... Stay in your vehicle. Do not leave the vehicle to search for
help unless you can see a nearby building where you know
you can take shelter.
.... If you are in a remote area, stomp large block letters in an
open area spelling out HELP or SOS and line it w ith rocks or
tree limbs to attract the attention of rescue personnel who
may be searching the area by air.
.... Occasionally run the engine (for about 10 minutes each
hour) to keep warm. Beware of CO poisoning. Keep the
exhaust pipe clear of snow, and slightly open a downwind
window for ventilation.
-+ Turn on the dome light at night so you can be seen.
-+ Do minor exercises to keep up circulation. Clap your hands
and move your arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay
in one position for too long.
-+ If you plan to leave your residence for an extended period
of time, do not turn off the heat. Open cabinets under sinks
to keep water pipes from freezing. Consider turning off
water, if appropriate.
.... Huddle together for warmth if you are traveling with
others. Use newspapers, maps and even the removable car
mats for added warmth.
-+ Acquire safe emergency heating equipment.
-+ Install and check smoke alarms and CO detectors and keep
fire extinguishers on hand and know how to use them.
-+ Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.
-+ Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and
snow removal.
.... Install winter tires with plenty of tread; install snow chains
as necessary.
.... Notify friends or family of your condition.
.... Use the phone sparingly.
.... Monitor local media for the latest information.
.... Help people who may need special assistance (e.g, the
elderly and people with access and functional needs).
.... Use the American Red Cross Safe and Well website at:
https:l/safeandwell.communityos.org /cms/index.php
-+ Maintain a full tank of gas during the winter season.
-+ Interstate and state highway travel and roadwork informa-
tion is available at: www.cotrip.org. Sign up for text or
e-mail alerts or download the CDOT Mobile app.
.... Local travel conditions are broadcast on local TV stations
and News Radio 850 KOA. Information about road conditions and closures can be found at: www.cotrip.org
If indoors:
.... Stay indoors and dress warmly.
.... Conserve fuel. Lower the thermostat to 65"F during the day
and SS"F at night. Close off unused rooms.
.... Open cabinets under sinks to prevent pipes from freezing.
If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets
and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they
were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most
likely to penetrate).
.... Monitor local media for the latest updates.
.... Stay dry and warm.
If outdoors:
A flood is an overflow or deluge of water that causes or threatens loss of life and property and damages the environment.
.... Floods can be local, affecting a neighborhood or community, or
very large, affecting entire river basins.
.... Overland flooding occurs when water volume exceeds a
defined river or stream but can still be destructive.
Flooding can also occur when a dam breaks, producing effects
similar to flash floods .
.... Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water, 10
to 20 feet high, that can carry rocks, mud and other debris, and
sweep away most things in its path.
.... Dress warmly, wearing loose-fitting, layered, light-weight
clothing, and try to stay dry. Wet clothing loses its insulating value quickly.
.... Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickups, and is unsafe for
any person to cross.
.... If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises
to warm up your body beforehand. Use caution, take
breaks, push snow instead of lifting it when possible and lift
lighter loads.
.... Winter snowpack and rapid spring warm-up temperatures, and
rain-{)n-snow weather events are common causes of flooding.
Avoid overexertion; cold weather puts an added strain
on the heart. Exercise you are unaccustomed to, such as
shoveling snow or pushing a car, can cause a heart attack or
make other medical conditions worse. Take frequent breaks
when performing strenuous activities.
.... Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extremely
cold air.
-+ Be on the lookout for symptoms of frostbite or
.... Floods and flash floods can happen in Douglas County during the
spring, summer and fall. Flooding is generally associated with the
seasonal monsoonal weather phenomena that occurs in Colorado during summer months, but can occur any time there are
high levels of precipitation, run-{)ff and rapid snow melt
.... Be aware offlood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if
you live in a lowiying area, near water or downstream from a dam.
.... Residents should not rely solely on flood maps published by
FEMA when making decisions to evacuate. Other factors are
more important during an active incident that can't be determined by a static flood map (e.g ., reverse 911 instructions,
your own judgment).lf you feel unsafe, evacuate.
-+ For information on flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
Insurance must be purchased 30 days before making a claim.
Flood Watch: Flood ing is p ossible.
Flash Flood Wat ch: Flash flooding is p ossible. Be prepared to
move to higher g round .
A tornado is a violent windstorm characterized by a twisting, funnel-shaped cloud. It is spawned by a thunderstorm
{or sometimes as a result of a hurricane) and produced w~en
cool air overrides a layer of warm air, forcing the warm a1r to
rise rapidly.
Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if
advised t o evacuate, do so im mediately.
Flash Flood Warning: A fla sh flood is occurring; seek higher
ground immediately.
Assemble a disaster supp ly kit and make a family communication plan.
Avoid building in a flood-prone area unless you elevate and
reinforce your home. Elevate the furnace, water heater and
electric panel in your home.
Install "check valves" in sewer t raps to p revent floodwater
from backing up into the drains o f your home.
Construct barriers {e.g., levees, b erms, floodwa lls) to stop
fl ood w ater from entering the building.
Seal w alls in basements with w at erproofing compounds to
avoid seepage.
If there is any possibility o f a flash flood, move immediat ely
t o higher ground. Do not w ait for instructions to move.
In Douglas County, tornadoes tend to occur east of
1-25 and are generally weak
in nat ure.
- Tornadoes may st rike
quickly, with little or no
- Tornadoes can occur at
anytime, but are most likely
t o occur between 3 p.m.
and 9 p.m.
- Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and
debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
Injuries or deaths most often occur as buildings collapse,
w hen people are hit by debris and as people try to escape
the storm.
- The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but
may vary from stationary to 70 mph .
.... When a tornado is over water, it is called a waterspout.
Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to damage during a tornado. A mobile home can overturn easily even if it
is tied down. When a tornado watch is issued, take shelter
in a building with a strong foundation.
- Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of ~ .
thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunht sk1es
behind a t ornado.
Secure your home. If you have t ime, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
Although all U.S. states can experience tornadoes, Alabama,
Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
Lo uisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South
Dakota and Texas have the greatest risk.
.... Turn o ff ut ilities if you are instructed t o do so.
Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical
equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
.... Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving
water can make you fall. If you must, walk w here it is not
moving and use a stick to check t he firmness of the ground
in front of you.
Tornado Watch: Issued when conditions are favorable for the
formation of tornadoes.
Tornado Warning: Issued when a tornado has been sighted or
indicated by weather radar.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around
your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you
can do so safely.
Listen for news reports to learn w hether your community's
water supply is safe to drink.
- Avoid floodwaters; wat er may be contam inated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged
from underg round or downed po wer lines.
Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads
may have weakened and could collapse.
Ret urn home only when authorities indicate t hat it is safe to
do so.
.... Use extreme caution w hen ent ering buildings; t here may be
hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
Damaged sewage systems are serious healt h hazards.
Service damaged septic tanks, etc., as soon as possible.
Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from
flood water can contain sewage and chemicals.
- An approaching cloud o f debris can mark the location of a
tornado, even if a funnel is not visible.
Before a tornado hit s, the wind may die down and t he air
may become very still.
You may hear the sound of a loud roar, similar to a freight
train, or see large hail.
- Assemble a disaster supply kit and make a family communication plan.
Monitor local media for the latest updates.
.... Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado
is headed your way. It might be your basement or, if there is
no basement, a center hallway, bathroom or closet without
windows on the lowest floor.
If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough
time to go to the lowest floor. Find a place in a hallway near
t he center of the building.
Above all, avoid exterior walls and windows.
If at home:
Go at once to a windowless interior room, storm cellar,
basement or the lowest level of the building.
Get under a piece of sturdy furniture and use your arms to
protect your head and neck.
Get out and find shelter elsewhere if you are in a mobile
Protect your home:
Assemble a disaster supply kit and make a family communication plan.
Replace attic and soffit vents with smaller opening screens
to keep burning embers from entering the home. Consider
enclosing or screening areas below decks to keep burning
embers from these areas.
Keep household items on hand that can be used as fire
tools: rake, axe, hand or chain saw, bucket and shovel.
Wooden roofing is the number one cause of home loss
during an ember shower from a wildfire. Douglas County
requires all new construction roofs be made of fire-resistant materials. Consider replacing wooden shingle roofs.
Create a defensible space zone that extends at least 120
feet around your home. Remove as many trees and shrubs
as possible within 30 feet of t he house. In the rest of t he
zone, t hin trees so t hat t here is a 10 foot gap from t ree
branch to t ree branch. On steep slopes, increase the size of
the defensible space zone.
Annually, mow grass w it hin 30 feet of the house and prune
all dead branches from t rees in the defensible space zone.
If at work:
Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level.
Avoid places with wide-span roofs, such as auditoriums,
cafeterias or large hallways.
Get under a piece of sturdy furniture and use your arms to
protect your head and neck.
If outdoors:
Get inside a building or shelter, if possible.
If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors,
move away from trees and cars, lie flat in a ditch or low-lying
area and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
If in a vehicle:
Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas.
Get out of the car and take shelter in a nearby building.
If there is no time to get indoors, pull over and park your car
(never under a bridge or overpass}. Keep your seat belt fastened, put your head.below the windows and cover it with
your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion, if possible.
Regularly clean your roof, gutters and chimney.
Ask the power company to clear branches from power
Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from
your home.
Contact the fire district serving your area and have them
conduct a defensible space survey of your property. Find fire
district contact information on the last page of t his guide.
Check for injuries and provide first aid and CPR, if you
are trained.
Watch out for broken glass and fallen power lines, and do
not enter damaged areas until you are told it is safe to do so.
Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights instead of candles or an open flame; combustibles may be present.
Use caution when entering a damaged building.
If time allows, close windows, vents, doors and blinds or
noncombustible window coverings. Shut off the gas at
the meter or turn off the propane at the tank. Open the
fireplace damper and close the fireplace screen. Bring any
patio furniture inside.
If you are concerned about a wildfire in your area, leave
and go to a safe place out of the area. Do not wait to be
told by local officials to evacuate. Tune in to local radio and
television sources for more information.
Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space
facing the direction of escape. Shut the doors and windows. leave the key in the ignition. Close the garage windows and doors, but leave them unlocked.
If power is lost, automatic garage door openers will not
function. To manually open the garage door, pull on the
red emergency cord and lift the door by hand.
Confine pets to one room. Make plans to care for your pets
m case you must evacuate.
If you are trapped in a wildfire, stay calm. Do not drive a
vehicle through the fire; the heat and smoke will disorient
you and may cause you to crash. Stay indoors, away from
flammable materials, moving side to side to find the coolest
area. Keep your body, including your head, neck and hands,
covered with natural materials such as cotton or wool and
drink plenty of water.
Wildfires start small and can grow rapidly given the right
combination of weather and fuel.
There are three different kinds of wildfires. A ground fire
bums on or below ground, moving slowly and burning for a
long time. A surface fire burns along the ground. This type
of fire may move rapidly in grassy areas. Crown fires move
from tree to tree and embers may land a mile or more in
front of the main fire, igniting spot fires. This type of fire can
be expected in the forests of Douglas County.
More than four o ut of every five forest fires are started by
people. Negligent human behavior, such as smoking in
forested areas or improperly extinguishing campfires, is the
cause of many fires. The other cause of forest fires
is lightning.
The Douglas County Community Wildfire Protection Plan
(CWPP} is the result of a broad scale countywide collaborative
planning effort that identifies strategies for the protection of
life, property and critical infrastructure in the Wildland Urban
Developed under the guidance of the core team, the Douglas
County CWPP identifies mitigation, prevention and preparedness strategies to benefit the citizens who live and work in
Douglas County. The document is organized to best assist the
residents of Douglas County in their mitigation efforts and
development of local-level CWPPs. The entire document and
appendices can be viewed at: www.douglas.co.us/cwpp
Follow the directions from the Sheriff before reentering a
burned area and be careful.
Beware of falling trees. The fire may have burned out roots
or weakened trunks and trees may fall at any time
without warning.
Check the roof immediately and extinguish any sparks or
embers. Check the attic for hidden burning sparks.
Continue checking areas in and around the home for smoke
and sparks several hours after the fire is extinguished.
Terrorism is the use of force or violence against people or
property in violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. for purposes of intimidat ion, coercion or ransom.
The National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) provides
t imely, detailed information on terrorist threats to the public,
government agencies, first responders, transportation facilit ies and t he private sector.
NTAS Alerts
When a potential or actual threat is received, the Department of Homeland Securit y (DHS) will issue an NTAS Alert
that advises w hat action to take in response.
Terrorists often use threats to create fear among the public,
to convince citizens that their government is unable to protect them and to get immediate publicity for their causes.
Imminent Threat Alert
Warns of a credible, specific and impending terrorist t hreat
against the U.S.
... High-risk targets for acts of terrorism include military and
civilian government facilities, international airports, large
cities and high-profile landmarks. Terrorists might also
target large public gatherings, water and food supplies,
utilities and corporate centers.
Elevated Threat Alert
Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the U.S.
NTAS Alerts contain an expiration date.lfthreat information
changes for an alert, the NTAS Alert may be updated.
... Acts of terrorism include: threats of terrorism; assassinations; kidnappings; hijackings; bomb scares and bombings;
cyberattacks (computer-based); and the use of chemical,
biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.
Sunset Provision
A n individual threat alert is issued for a specific t ime period
and then automatically expires. It may be extended if new
information becomes available or the threat evolves.
Alert Announcements
Chemical agents are poisonous vapors, aerosols, liquids and
solids that have toxic effects on people, animals or plants.
Alerts will be issued through:
The DHS NTAS web site- www.dhs.gov/alerts
... They can be released by bombs or sprayed f rom aircraft,
boats and vehicles. They can be used as a liquid to create a
hazard to people and the environment.
E-mails - sign up at www.dhs.gov/
... Some chemical agents may be odorless and tasteless.
Facebook - www.facebook.com/NTASAierts
... They can have an immediate effect (a few seconds to a few
minutes) or a delayed effect (2-48 hours).
Twitter- https://twitter.com/ NTASAierts
Local travel condit ions are broadcast on local TV stations and
News Radio 850 KOA.Information about road conditions and
closures can be found at: COTrip.org
rU1.11Jt LTnt lJU
... Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or
incapacitate people, livestock and crops.
The three basic groups of biological agents that would
likely be used as weapons are bacteria, viruses and toxins.
... Learn about the nature of the terrorism.
... Biological agents can be dispersed by spraying them
into the air, by infecting animals that carry the disease to
humans and by contaminating food and water.
... Be aware of your surroundings.
... Take precautions when traveling.
... Leave an area if you feel uncomfortable or if something
does not seem right.
... Assemble a disaster supply kit and make a family communication plan.
Terrorist use of a radiological dispersion device (ROD)
(often called "dirty nuke" or "dirty bomb1 is considered far
more likely than the use of a nuclear explosive device. An
ROD combines a conventional explosive device (such as a
bomb) with radioactive material. It is designed to scatter
dangerous and sublethal amounts of radioactive material
over a general area.
... Depending on how fast the area o f the ROD detonation
was evacuated or how successful people were at
sheltering-in-place, the number of deaths and injuries from
an ROD might not be substantially greater than
from a conventional bomb explosion.
A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a
damaging pressure wave and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water and ground surfaces
for miles around. A nuclear device can range from a weapon
carried by an intercontinental missile t o a small, portable
nuclear device transported by an individual.
... Create an evacuation plan for your family and have a
backup route in mind.
... Take cover immediately.
... Stay low to the floor or ground.
... Monitor local media for updates.
Evacuate immediately if you are directed to do so.
... Stay away from the event area; there may be secondary
... Check for injured and trapped people near the event area
and provide first aid and CPR, if you are trained to do so.
... Monitor local media for the latest emergency information.
... Check the foundation, chimney and surrounding land for
damage. Be especially careful of downed power lines and
gas lines that have ruptured .
... Notify friends or family of your condition.
... Use the phone sparingly.
Active shooter situations can happen anywhere and without
warning. They are unpredictable and evolve quickly. The random nature of active shootings means that t hreats cannot be
predicted, only responded to. This leaves government, public
and private institutions vulnerable to serious or violent crime.
How you respond to an active
shoot er will be dictated by the
specific circumstances of the
encounter. If you find yourself
involved in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm and use
these guidelines to help you plan
a strategy for survival.
To stop the shooting and lessen the amount of harm requires
the immediate action and rapid deployment of law enforcement to contain the sit uation. However, active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene.
Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Remember that customers, clients and students are likely to follow the lead of employees, managers and faculty/ teaching personnel during an active
shooter situation.
It is vital that people be instructed on how to respond during
violent criminal attacks so t hey can be prepared both mentally
and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.
This section provides direction for people who may be caught
in an active shooter situation.
If there is an accessible escape path, try to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
.... Have an escape route and plan in mind.
Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
.... Leave your belongings behind .
.... Help others escape, if possible .
.... Prevent people from entering areas where the active
shooter may be.
Follow the instructions of any police officer.
.... Keep your hands visible.
.... Do not move wounded people.
.... Call 911 once you are safe.
If evacuation is impossible, find a place to hide where t he active
shooter is less likely to find you. The safest place for you to be
is inside a secure room.
An active shooter is a person actively engaged in killing or
attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In
most cases, active shooters use firearms, and there is no pattern
or method to their selection of victims. Their main objective is
mass killing and injury.
Active shooters generally begin shooting at a number of people
without warning. The mot ives for t heir behavior range from
rage or vengeance to mental dysfunction.
Though each active shooter situation is unique, there are common traits:
Your hiding place should:
.... Be out of the active shooter's view.
.... Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (e.g.,
an office or room with a locked door).
.... Not trap you or restrict your movement
.... Lock the door.
.... Active shooters assault people with whom they come into
contact- quickly engaging multiple targets.
.... Active shooters may have a planned attack and may be prepared for confrontation with law enforcement.
.... Active shooters typically continue their attack de.spite the
arrival of emergency responders.
.... Active shooters may be suicidal, deciding to die in the
course of their actions. Escape is usually not a priority for
active shooters.
Block the door with heavy furniture.
If the active shooter is nearby:
.... Act ive shooters often go to locations where potential victims are close at hand, such as schools, shopping malls and
workplaces. They are usually familiar with the location.
To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
Lock the door.
.... Silence your cell phone or pager.
.... Turn off any source of noise (e.g., radios, televisions).
Hide behind large items (e.g., cabinets, desks).
.... Remain quiet
If evacuation and hiding are impossible:
.... Remain calm.
Dial911, if possible, to alert the police to the active shooter's location .
.... If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the
dispatcher to listen.
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger,
try to disrupt or incapacitate the active shooter by:
Acting as aggressively as possible against him or her.
Throwing items and improvising weapons (e.g., scissors,
fi re extinguisher).
-+ Yelling.
It is crucial that you commit ta your actions.
Use these tips to stop the spread of germs and sickness.
Avoid close contact .
~ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
~ When you are sick, keep your distance from others to pro-
tect them from getting sick too.
Stay home w hen you are sick.
~ If possible, stay home from work, school and running
errands when you are sick. You w ill help prevent others from
catching your illness.
Cover your mouth and n ose.
~ Cover your mout h and nose with a tissue when you cough
or sneeze. It may prevent t hose around you from getting
~ If you don't have a t issue, cough or sneeze into your inner
elbow, not your hands.
Put used tissues in the wastebasket.
Clean your h ands.
~ Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
~ Clean your hands after yqu cough or sneeze. Wash with soap
and warm water (for at least 20 seconds) or clean with an
alcohol-based hand wash.
~ Thoroughly scrub hands, wrists, fingernails and in between
fingers. Rinse and d ry hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mo uth.
~ Germs are often spread when a person touches something
contaminated and then his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
Pract ice other good hea lth habits.
~ Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your
stress, d rink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods.
Hazardous materials (hazmats) are materials that are flam ma ble, corrosive, oxidizing, explosive, toxic, poisonous, etiological. rad ioactive, nuclear or unduly magnetic, or any other
material t hat, because o f its quantity, properties or packaging,
may endanger life or property. Hazmats also include chemical
agents, biological research material and com pressed gas.
A pandemic is a global disease outbreak.The most likely cause
of a pandemic is a novel flu virus, for wh1ch there 1s little or no
immunity (ability to resist a particular disease), t hat begms to
cause serious illness and spreads easily from person to person
Seasonal flu
Pandemic flu
Outbreaks occur every
year, usually in winter.
Usually, a person has
some immunity built up
against it.
Hazardous chemicals are used in industry, agriculture,
medicine, research and consumer goods.
They are most often released as a result of transportation
accidents or chemical accidents in plants.
Varying quantities of hazmats are manufactured, used or
stored at an estimated 4.5 million facilities in the U.S.
As many as 500,000 products pose physical or health hazards and can be defined as hazardous chemicals.
Most victims of chemical accidents are injured at home.
Never mix household hazardous chemicals or waste with
other products. Incompatible chemicals, such as chlorine bleach and ammonia, may adversely react, ignite or
Never use hair spray, cleaning solutions, paint products or
pesticides near an open flame (e.g., pilot light, lit candle,
fireplace, wood-burning stove). Although you may not be
able to see or smell them, vapor particles in the air could
catch fire or explode.
Occurs rarely.
Usually, a person has
not been exposed to the
virus before, so he or she
has very little immunity
against it.
Healthy people may be at
increased risk for serious
The very young, the
eld erly and those with
certai n specific healt h
conditions are at an
increased risk for serious
complicat ions.
Doctors and hospitals can
meet pat ient s' t reat ment
Doctors and hospitals
might be busy and overcrowded, and not have
the proper treatments
The vaccine is effective
and available every year.
A vaccine is usually not
available in the early
stages of a pandemic.
Supplies of ant ibiotics for
secondary bacterial infections are usually available.
Effective antibiotics for
secondary bacterial infections may be in limited
Average U.S. deat hs can
range from 3,000 to 49,000
per year.
Number of deaths could
be quite high. The highest number of known
deaths from pandemic flu
occurred in 1918-19 with
the Spanish flu: More than
500,000 people died in
the U.S.
Symptoms: fever, cough,
runny nose, muscle pain.
Death is often caused by
comp lications, such as
May have a minor impact
on society (e.g., some
school closings, encouraging sick people to stay
There is little impact on
the world's economy.
Symptoms may be more
severe, and complications
are more frequent.
May have a major impact
on society {e.g., widespread restrictions on
travel, school and business
closings, cancellation of
large public gatherings).
There is the potential for
a major impact on the
world's economy.
The severity ofapandemicis also influenced by the tendency of pandemics
to circle the globe in two or three waves. The severity of each wave can
differ dramatically.
Get out of the home immediately if there is any danger
of fire or explosion. Do not waste time collecting items or
calling the fire department when you are in danger. Once
you are safe, call the fire department on your cell phone or
a neighbor's phone. Stay upwind and away from the home
to avoid breathing toxic fumes.
Call the Poison Help Line (1-80()-222-1222), 911, hospital
emergency room, county health department, fire department or local pharmacy for emergency advice if someone
has been exposed to a household chemical. Have any
containers of the substance readily available to provide
requested information.
Take immediate action if the chemical gets into the eyes.
Delaying first aid can greatly increase the likelihood of
injury. Flush the eyes with clear water for at least 15 minutes, unless authorities instruct otherwise.
Discard clothing that may have been contaminated. Some
chemicals may not wash out completely.
Be prepared to seek medical help if you have any of the following symptoms: difficulty breathing; irritation of the eyes,
skin, throat or respiratory t ract; changes in skin color; headache
or blurred vision; dizziness, clumsiness or lack of coordination;
cramps or diarrhea.
A hazmat accident can occur anywhere. Communities located
near chemical-manufacturing plants are particu larly at risk.
However, hazmats are t ransported on roadways, railways and
waterways daily, so any area is vu lnerable.
Assemble your disaster supply kit and make a family communication plan.
Determine evacuation routes and be ready to evacuate
should an incident occur.
Determine if your community has a warning system.
Determine the best place in your home to shelter if you are
directed to shelter-in-place.
Keep fire extinguishers in your home and car.
Post emergency contact numbers (e.g., poison control, hospital emergency room, local pharmacy) by the telephone.
Monitor local media for information and instructions.
Stay upstream, uphill and upwind. In general. try to stay at
least one-half mile from the danger area.
-+ Stop and seek shelter in a permanent building if you are in
a vehicle. If you must remain in your vehicle, keep windows
and vents closed and shut off the air conditioner or heater.
When directed to shelter-in-place:
• Bring pets inside.
• Fill up sanitized tubs for an additional water supply and turn
off the intake valve to the house.
• Close and lock all exterior doors and windows.
• Close vents, fireplace dampers and as many interior doors
as possible.
• Turn off air conditioners and ventilation systems.
• Find a room that is above ground and has the fewest openings to the outside.
• Seal the room by covering each window, door and vent with
plastic sheeting. Use material to fill cracks and holes in the
room, such as those around pipes.
• If gas or vapors could have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or a towel.
• Avoid eating or drinking any food or water that may
be contaminated.
Go to a designated public shelter if you have been told to
evacuate or you feel it is unsafe to remain in your home.
Text SHELTER with your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find
the nearest shelter in your area.
Act quickly if you have come into contact with or have
been exposed to hazardous chemicals. Follow decontamination instructions from local authorities. You may be
advised to take a thorough shower or to stay away from
water and follow another procedure.
Seek immediate medical treatment for unusual symptoms.
Place exposed clothing and shoes in tightly sealed containers. Do not allow contaminated items to come into contact
with other materials. Call local authorities to find out how
to properly dispose of items.
Advise everyone who comes in contact wit h you that you
may have been exposed to a toxic substance.
Report any lingering vapors or other hazards to your local
emergency services office.
If you were directed to evacuate, do not return to the area
until local authorities give the all clear.
Monitor local media for the latest updates.
You should not try to care for victims of a hazmat accident
until the substance has been identified and authorities
indicate that it is safe to go near victims.
Once it is safe to do so, move the victims to fresh air and
call for emergency medical care. Remove contaminated
clothing and shoes and place them in a plastic bag.
Clean victims that have come into contact with chemicals
by immediately pouring cold water over their skin or eyes
for at least 1S minutes, unless authorities instruct you not
to use water on the particular chemical involved.
For information and non-emergencies, please use t he following
numbers to contact the law enforcement and fire protection
districts protecting your area.
Douglas County Sheriff's Office
(DCSO) Di spatch
Douglas County Sheriff's Office
DCSO Office of Emergency
Management (OEM)
Castle Rock Police Department
Lone Tree Police Department
303-339-81 so
Parker Police Department
Castle Rock Fire Rescue
303-660-1 066
South Metro Fire Rescue
Franktown Fire Protect ion District
Jackson 1OS Fire Protect ion
Larkspur Fire Protection District
Littleton Fire Department
303-795-3800 or
Mountain Communities Volunteer
Fire Protection Di strict
303-64 7-2361
West Douglas Fire Protection
West Metro Fire Rescue
Castle Rock Adventist
Children's Hospit al Highlands
Littleton Hospital
Parker Adventist
Sky Ridge Hospital
Rocky Mountain Poison Control
Division of Parks & Wildlife
.-- ~!'!!~~~~~ ~:~!~~-?~~: -------- . l . . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . .
U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service
Douglas County Government
Douglas County Public Works
Douglas County School District
School Closures
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