NEWS RELEASE: Severe Weather Awareness Week

DHSEM News Release image

Communications Specialist
Jennifer Hillmann

Colorado DHSEM Preparing Colorado Residents for Severe Weather

Centennial, Colo. – April 17, 2017 —The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s READYColorado program partners with the Colorado National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Offices to prepare individuals for hazardous weather year-round. Colorado DHSEM supports the National Seasonal Safety Campaign’s goal of building a Weather-Ready Nation, one that is prepared for extreme weather, water, and climate events. This week the READYColorado program focuses on thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding preparedness.


Thunderstorms can produce deadly lightning capable of striking up to 10 miles away from a storm even if you don't see rain you could be in harm’s way! Remember this simple message: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! Identify where the nearest shelter is located, and if the skies turn threatening, head inside immediately. Read more at:

Severe thunderstorms can produce damaging hail. Hail is a form of precipitation that occurs when updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops upward into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere where they freeze into ice. Hail can cause billions of dollars of damage to structures, crops and livestock. If hail is coming, find shelter, stay indoors, and stay away from windows.


Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard.


The National Severe Storms Laboratory states that flooding occurs in every U.S. state and territory, and is a threat experienced anywhere in the world that receives rain. In the U.S. floods kill more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning.

Here are a few flood safety tips:  

  • Turn Around, Don't Drown. Avoid flooded areas with rapid flowing water. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet.
  • Get to higher ground. Stay away from high water-prone areas including dips, low spots, valleys, ditches, washes, etc.
  • Don't allow children to play near high water, storm drains or ditches. Hidden dangers could lie beneath the water.
Want more tips and ideas? Head over to our website at and read the full blog post, or follow us all week on our social media accounts for new posts on severe weather awareness each day.

Follow READYColorado each week for new preparedness information:
On Twitter: @READYColorado