Flood and wildfire season is approaching: Know your risks, Make your plans, and Improve your outcome.
The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and our READYColorado program have joined the National Weather Service's Colorado forecast offices to share information that will make those living and visiting Colorado more prepared. Visit our COEmergency.com and READYColorado.com websites each day to learn more on floods and wildfires. Here is the first preparedness blog written by Tom Magnuson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service Pueblo
The National Weather Service wants everyone to be part of a Weather Ready Nation. Colorado has more than its fair share of floods, flash floods and wildfires. You should be Weather Ready and know how to stay safe when floods and wildfires affect your area.
Governor Hickenlooper has proclaimed this week, March 16 – 22, as Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Awareness Week. Now is the time to learn about flood and wildfire risks in Colorado and to develop your plans to improve your outcome.
Floodprone areas have been identified in over 250 cities and towns and in all of the 64 counties in Colorado. Over 250,000 people live in floodplains in Colorado. There are estimated to be 65,000 homes and 15,000 commercial, industrial and business structures in identified floodplains. There are likely many more structures located within unmapped flood hazard areas. The value of the property, structures and contents located in the identified floodplains is estimated to be nearly $15 billion.
Floods and flash floods have killed over 400 people in Colorado since the turn of the 20th Century. The historic weather pattern of September 2013 reminds us all that floods are a major concern across the Centennial state. Floods have caused billions of dollars of damage in Colorado.
On average 2500 wildfires occur across Colorado each year. Since 2013 eight people have been killed when wildfires occurred in the wildland urban interface (WUI).
The National Weather Service forecast offices which service Colorado will issue a series of public information statements during this Flood Safety and Wildfire Awareness Week covering the following topics:
- Sunday: Introduction to the Week
- Monday: Flood Watches and Warnings
- Tuesday: River Floods
- Wednesday: Flash Floods
- Thursday: Fire Forecasts, Watches and Warnings
- Friday: Wildfire Safety and Mitigation
- Saturday: Review of the Week
More information on floods and wildfires is available at your local National Weather Service websites: