Douglas County is currently revising the Hazard Mitigation Plan and is requesting public input. This Plan is updated every 5 years and allows Douglas County and partnering municipalities and agencies to access mitigation project funding through FEMA based upon identified hazards in the County.
Emergency Mass Notification System
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has upgraded the emergency notification system for our residents and businesses. Douglas County will now be using CodeRED Emergency Notification System. The system, CodeRED, is a high-speed telephone emergency notification service allowing public safety agencies the ability to deliver pre-recorded information to targeted areas within the county. The system may be implemented in situations such as police activity in an area, a lost child (Amber Alert), wildfires, or any other incidents in which residents in the immediate area and surrounding areas would need to be notified to take appropriate steps to safeguard life and property.
Severe Weather in Douglas County
The summer months are known for their severe storms here in Colorado. Severe weather can include: tornados, hail, high winds and lightening. Severe weather can move into the area very rapidly so it is very important for citizens to be aware and alert to the possibility of these events. Tornado sirens, better known as outdoor warning systems, are designed for one purpose – to alert people who are outdoors of potential tornadoes. We do not have tornado sirens in Douglas County because the occurence of tornados in our county is very low, the cost is prohibitive (approximately $30 million for just the initial installation), and the terrain impacts the effectiveness of the sirens. We recommend that citizens purchase a NOAA radio with a battery backup which provides direct notification from the National Weather Service. We also recommend that citizens sign up for Weather Alerts which are customized to their address provided by the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov/emailupdates/index.php.
This information is up to the minute and the service allows you to tailor your alerts to the level that you would like to receive i.e. watch vs. warning.
Preparedness begins with the individual, and the above are easy steps to take to be more prepared.
If there is a threat of severe flooding in an area, we will notify the public through our CodeRED Emergency Notification System electronic alert system which is used for many types of emergency situations in the county.. This system does capture existing landlines but requires sign-up for other types of devices (cellphones, pagers, blackberry, e-mail). This system is not practical for tornado alerts because of the time it takes to notify in a county-wide event (about 20 minutes to all citizens).
What to do in the event of Flash Flood?
Ongoing severe storms have created hazardous conditions along the Platte River in the Deckers area. Saturated soils,denuded by the Hayman fire are prone to mudslides. Dead trees have also been washed onto the banks of the river, ready to be dislodged into the current. This creates a hazardous situation for fisherman and others who are recreating on the river as many of these trees are large and can cause serious injury to individuals in their path.
Please take precautions when recreating in the Platte River near Deckers:
- Maintain situational awareness: have your eyes open for these types of hazards
- Pay particular attention to children as they are much more vulnerable to floating debris and mudslides
- If possible, have at least one other person with you who can call for help
- If you see debris in the water- get out and move to a safer area
- Use flotation devices
- If you see others who are in danger, please warn them
- If you witness a water emergency, please call 9-1-1
The Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Guide is an important tool in preparing yourself and your family for a variety of emergencies. The Guide touches on topics such as: emergency alerts and warnings; West Nile Virus, Pandemic and Avian influenzas; severe weather readiness; wildland fires; home safety; family emergency information and emergency kits; terrorism; disasters and your business; Homeland Security Advisory System recommendations; school safety; senior safety; special needs; enjoying the outdoors safely; living with wildlife and wildlife diseases; helpful phone numbers; and more.
Are you prepared for Colorado’s Weather? Click on “Colorado Severe Weather” to to see what you can do to get the facts.
The Douglas County Emergency Management Access and Functional Needs Registry is a database containing information about individuals in Douglas County with special needs who may require assistance in the event of a disaster. The information may also be used to assist emergency personnel and volunteers in providing assistance. Participation in the Access and Function Needs Registry is voluntary.
An influenza pandemic is a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza A virus appears or “emerges” in the human population, causes serious illness, and then spreads easily from person to person worldwide.
About Emergency Management
The Douglas County Office of Emergency Management is the main hub for the coordination of disaster management and training; homeland security; emergency preparedness and education; multi-agency cooperation; and emergency medical and trauma system coordination within the County.
The County works in cooperation with other agencies including the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Tri-County Health, Public Works, and various municipal and district Fire/Rescue and Police Departments.