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Colorado Springs Residents and Pets Prepare for Wildfires

October 2016

Members of the Colorado Springs Fire Department
prepared for the city’s wildfire evacuation drill.

The City of Colorado Springs teamed up with America’s PrepareAthon! to run its annual wildland fire drill on June 4, 2016. The Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management, area fire and police departments, the American Red Cross, and other local partners worked together to put on a community-wide PrepareAthon! 

Each year, different neighborhoods throughout the city practice a wildfire evacuation drill. This year, more than 70 people, 17 dogs, 5 cats, and other pets evacuated two of the city’s neighborhoods.

Before the drill, the Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management got people excited to take part through the help of local media partners, the Colorado Springs Police Department, and the Sky Sox Baseball team, among others. Through public service announcements, they also explained evacuation routes for individuals and families to follow in their vehicles.

"The wildfire evacuation drill gave
residents realistic practice for how
to respond to a wildfire so they can
quickly and safelyleave their homes."

- Bret Waters, Director, Colorado
Springs Office of Emergency
Management

Emergency responders kicked off the drill by sending an emergency alert call to all residents in the Broadmoor and North Cheyenne Creek neighborhoods. 

The call alerted residents that a wildfire was spreading to their area. This activated each family’s emergency plans, and soon each family drove to a pre-determined safe spot outside the neighborhood. In total, 17 local fire departments responded, which made the drill more realistic. Afterward, people rallied at a local preparedness fair. Here local agencies taught families tips for future evacuations.

The Colorado Springs Police Department and
neighboring law enforcement agencies
went house-to-house to make sure residents knew
to evacuate.

 Event organizers encouraged all Colorado Springs residents to register their phones with the city’s emergency alert service and to check on neighbors. Residents also practiced their family communication plans and checked to be sure their emergency kits had enough materials to last for 72 hours.

“By taking simple preparedness actions, residents have proven themselves ready to stay safe from wildfires,” said Bret Waters, Director of the Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management. “We know now that residents in the Broadmoor and North Cheyenne Creek neighborhoods will be ready for the inevitable tomorrow.”