Emergency Status
Feb 26

High Winds Safety and Preparedness

We realize the high winds the past few days can raise uneasiness and concerns about wildfire risk; with that we wanted to share some information and preparedness tips:

Safety Precautions In Action

The following tools and systems are in place and have been used throughout the weekend related to wildfire detection and response:

  • Fire and smoke detection cameras – this week the wildfire detection cameras that are in place have been working to support responders in keeping situational awareness related to monitoring fire speed, growth, and direction of spread which help first responders with a speedy response.

  • Indices-based dispatching – developed by our fire departments and used on days with higher fire danger, indices-based dispatching has been working and allows fire fighters to get fires under control faster by sending more personnel and fire trucks to the scene.

  • Alert and warning – first responders who arrive on-scene can authorize emergency alerts and evacuation orders to be sent, which helps get alerts to you faster.

  • Evacuation planning – responders have been planning and training for getting alerts out quickly, managing traffic, and working closely together to make sure evacuation decisions are made in a coordinated environment to support our community in the event that you have to evacuate.

We have had a few fires that have occurred over the past few days, and these systems have been working as expected to help keep our community safe. There have been no evacuation orders placed as a result of the fires, and they were identified, controlled, and extinguished quickly by our fire fighters.

Emergency Alerts

To help keep yourself safe you can sign-up or use the following alert types to get life-saving information during a disaster – and remember, you are always your first form of alert. If you see, hear, smell, or sense that something may be dangerous take action to keep yourself safe!

  • Opt-In Notifications
    • Ensure that you and your loved ones are signed-up for emergency alerts. To sign-up or manage your account visit www.bocoalert.org. We encourage everyone to sign-up so that you can tailor your contact information and addresses tied to your account to best meet your needs!
    • It’s important to put multiple addresses into your account – places like your home address, work, school, etc. By doing this you’ll be making sure that you have the ability to receive alerts that may impact any of those locations, which is a critical step. You will only receive alerts that are intended for the area around any of the addresses that you list.
    • Add multiple phone number and e-mail addresses to make sure the system can reach you on any device you may be using.

  • ReachWell Translation App
    • The ReachWell Translation App allows you to receive all alerts that go out through the Opt-In system in Boulder County in over 100 languages.
    • To get the app, use your smart phone to search for “ReachWell” – then download the app, use the menu to select your language, and search for and add “BOCO Alert”.
    • No sign-up or sharing of personal information is needed – just download the app, search for BOCO Alert, and start receiving life-saving information.

Personal Preparedness Steps

  • Sign-up for alerts (Opt-In or ReachWell App)
  • Assess your risk
    • Know your environment and what hazards exist – these can be things like higher risk for fire due to the environment around you, limitations around transportation, number of routes to get out of your area, medical or assistive devices you may need time to load up, or other things that may present challenges during a disaster.
  • Make a plan
    • Work with your support system to make a plan for communication, evacuation, and what you’d want to take with you
      • Communication – make sure you have the devices and backup power to help you communicate during a disaster
      • Evacuation – know at least 2 routes in and out of your neighborhood, and multiple modes of transportation you could use
      • Grab List – make a list of essential items (both life-safety and irreplaceable items) and their location to give yourself a focusing tool of what to grab if you need to evacuate
    • For more information on personal preparedness visit www.boulderodm.gov/preparedness/