Be Prepared

Make a Plan

Fail to plan? Plan to fail.  Failure is costly during emergencies. At its most basic level, being prepared means having a solid plan and access to the resources necessary to execute that plan. It’s also about peace of mind.  Because when communities, families, and individuals are prepared, the fear, anxiety and loss that accompany a disaster are greatly reduced.  READYColorado encourages every person to develop a plan for responding to disasters and to have well-stocked emergency kits at home, in the car and at work.

General Plans

Personal Plan

One of the most important steps you can take in preparing for an emergency is to develop a household disaster plan.

Family Communications Plan

This checklist provides information to help your family plan for the fact that they may not be together when disaster strikes. The Family Communications Plan helps you to detail how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different emergency situations. This checklist has important information about each family member (such as Social Security Numbers and important medical information). Communications Cards can be completed and carried by each family member so that they have easy access to important contact information, wherever they may be.

Household Plan

This checklist will help you to learn about community-specific risk information, a household evacuation plan, and how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity. In addition, this plan will help you to identify important documents that should be in your disaster preparedness kit, such insurance policies for home, life, and health.

Printable Kits

You can open a pdf version of the emergency kits below to complete your own emergency kit, save it on your local device and print it!
Animal Plan

Making a plan for household pets and livestock is an important part of disaster planning. Each type of disaster requires different strategies for keeping pets and animals safe. Get the best strategies by selecting the plans on the right about helping pets and livestock during emergencies.

More resources about planning for animals:

Financial Plan

If you need to leave quickly in the event of a disaster, having important documents, or copies of documents, in your READY kit will make recovery easier.

Information/documents you’ll want to include in your kit:

  • Bank accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Insurance policies
  • Homeowner’s insurance policies
  • Social security numbers

Put documents in a portable, fire-resistant, waterproof box that you keep nearby at all times. You might also want to keep irreplaceable keepsakes and photographs in this box. Consider sending copies of vital records to an out-of-town friend or relative. Maintain a written and photographic inventory of your possessions (property interior and exterior, vehicles, contents of garage, closets and attic), including model and serial numbers, so you can estimate the value of your property for insurance or tax purposes if it is damaged or destroyed.“Financial Planning: A Guide for Disaster Preparedness” is a website for citizens that has been developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the AICPA Foundation, the American Red Cross and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).

Visit the Red Cross website to access key information about financial recovery issues.

 

Neighborhood Plan

Working with neighbors can save lives and property. Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood can work together after a disaster until help arrives.

Join your Neighborhood or Homeowner’s Association or Crime Watch Group and introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Know your neighbors’ special skills (for example—medical, technical) and think about how you might help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home.

Citizen Corps

Citizen Corps provides a way for citizens to become involved as volunteers to support local emergency responders, disaster relief and community safety. Find out if there is a Citizen Corps Regional Council in your area, and contact them to get involved.

Neighborhood Watch

Plan to hold a Neighborhood Watch meeting. Your local Sheriff’s office or Police Station can help you get started or visit the Neighborhood Watch Program website for more information.

School Plan

Although every school has unique needs, there are a number of common steps that can be taken to ensure that schools are READY for natural or human-caused disasters.

Parents and school staff should check with administrators to find out more about their school’s emergency plan. If a plan isn’t in place, discuss ways that the school can begin the process of risk assessment and planning. Perhaps a special committee comprised of school staff, parents, and students can be formed to begin the planning process.

There are a number of resources available to assist schools in preparing for disaster.  The Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) is an excellent source of information regarding school preparedness. The CSSRC was created by the State legislature in 2008 through Senate Bill 08-001  (C.R.S. Section 24-33.5-1801, et seq.). It provides free consultation, resources, training, and technical assistance to foster safe and secure learning environments, positive school climates, and early intervention to prevent crisis situations. The CSSRC supports schools and local agencies in their efforts to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and crisis situations. Information and resources from the CSSRC are available to all schools, school officials, and community partners throughout the State of Colorado.

The U.S. Department of Education also has many resources related to emergency planning for schools. Their Action Guide for Emergency Management At Institutions of Higher Education is one on many resources that can be found on their website. It is an excellent resource for the development of emergency response plans for schools.Two new school preparedness guides have recently been published by the Federal government, one for K-12 and one for higher education. These guides, published in June 2013, align and build upon years of emergency planning work by the Federal government and are a joint product of Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Education (ED) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on this critical topic. The guides are customized to each community, incorporate lessons learned from recent incidents, and respond to the needs and concerns voiced by stakeholders following the recent shootings in Newtown and Oak Creek and the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma. Schools and institutions of higher education can use these guides to create new plans as well as to revise and update existing plans and align their emergency planning practices with those at the national, state, and local levels.

Guide for Developing High Quality School Emergency Operations Plans

Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education

Business Plan

One of the first steps that businesses can take to be READY is to conduct a risk assessment. Know what kinds of emergencies might affect your business, both internally and externally. Find out which natural disasters are most common in your area, and learn more about what do do during a biological, chemical, explosive, nuclear or radiological attack. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website, READY.gov, outlines common sense measures that business owners and managers can take to start getting READY. It provides practical steps and easy-to-use templates to help you plan for your company’s future.

In addition to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s resources, The Red Cross also provides excellent planning tools for businesses through their Ready Rating  program.The Ready Rating program is designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Members join this free, self-paced program and complete a 123-point self-assessment of your level of preparedness to reveal areas for improvement.

Plans for People with Disabilities

Communication Plan

Considerations for 72 Hour Emergency Kits:

  • Store hearing aids or adaptive equipment in a consistent, convenient and secured place, so you can quickly and easily locate them after a disaster. Consider storing them in a container attached to your night stand or bed post. Missing or damaged hearing aids and equipment will be difficult to replace or fix following a major disaster.
  • Store extra batteries for hearing aids and implants. If available, keep an extra hearing aid with your emergency supplies.
  • Store extra batteries for your accessible communication technologies and light phone signaler. Check your manual for proper maintenance advice.
  • Obtain an alternative power source (power converter, batteries) if you use a computer or laptop as a means of frequent communication.
  • Cell phone, Sidekick or other two-way pager and charging plug for vehicles
  • Access to a regular landline phone (not cordless), battery powered amplifier, or battery powered accessible communication technologies that do not require electricity.
  • Invest in a battery-operated charger for your pager or cell phone, if you use one.

Considerations for Communication:

  • Determine how you will communicate with emergency personnel if there is no interpreter or if you do not have your hearing aid(s). Store paper and pens.
  • Consider carrying a pre-printed copy of key phrases, such as “I use American Sign Language (ASL) and need an ASL interpreter.”
  • If possible, obtain a battery-operated television that has a decoder chip for access to signed or captioned emergency reports.
  • Determine which broadcasting systems will provide continuous news that will be captioned and/or signed.
  • Store paper, writing materials, copies of a word or letter board and pre-printed key phrases specific to anticipated emergencies in all your emergency kits, your wallet, purse, etc.
  • Determine how you will communicate with emergency personnel if you do not have your communication devices (augmentative communication device, word board, artificial larynx).
  • Be sure to plan carefully for contacting family members who are deaf or hard of hearing. Before an emergency happens, set up a place to meet if you are unable to make contact by phone. Amplified phones, accessible communication technologies, and computers may not work. In a public place, accessible communication may not be available. Think through different situations and consider how you will contact your family.
  • Do not get rid of your accessible communication technologies, even if you rarely use it. You may need the accessible communication technology and your home phone to make calls if your videophone or internet is down. Also, make sure your accessible communication technology is in full operating order. A fully-charged accessible communication technology can keep running for several hours without power.

Considerations for Notifications:

  • Deaf and hard of hearing people may not get important information quickly in a disaster. Emergency alerting systems often depend on sound. For example, many deaf and hard of hearing people cannot hear tornado sirens. Television has visual alerts, but closed captions may block emergency messages as they crawl across the bottom of the screen. Sometimes cable companies will interrupt all the stations and put up a sign that says “Emergency Alert!” A voice may explain the emergency, but this is not helpful to people with hearing loss. Many people with hearing loss cannot hear the radio.
  • Some news broadcasts may provide 800 numbers to call to find out whether or not to evacuate or to provide additional emergency information or resources. You can use your accessible communication technology and a state relay service to call these numbers.
  • Do not depend on only one method. Some additional options include:
  • Many cities and counties in Colorado offer a citizen alert service that allows you to choose your method of notifications that can include a text alert to your mobile phone. Please contact your local city or county to determine if this service is available in your area.
  • Make sure friends and close neighbors know that you need to be alerted in case of an emergency. A neighbor might be willing to wake you in case of a tornado in the middle of the night. That person could call or ring your doorbell.
  • Find out if your neighborhood has a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Make sure that team, and the local police and fire departments, knows that you need to be alerted in an emergency. Hearing people may not realize that people in their community are not hearing alerts. You need to tell them your needs.
  • NOAA Weather/All Hazard Alert Radio with Text Messages ─ these radios are specially designed to receive emergency information. Some radios can be connected to strobe lights, bed shakers, etc. When the alarm goes off, there will be a short text message such as “tornado.” Some radios can be used with an induction loop and the t-coil on hearing aids or cochlear implant speech processors.
  • A reverse notification system is also available in some communities. This service can call YOU in an emergency. Check with your local emergency management office to find out if this system is available and if they have accessible communication technology capabilities.
  • If your computer is operating (be careful during thunderstorms), check the sites below for emergency information.

Other Considerations:

  • Think about where you and your family spend time: school, work and other places. Does your children’s school have an emergency plan? Also, ask your employer about their emergency plans.  Learn how these public places will communicate during an emergency. Advocate now for accessible emergency communication.
  • Remember, schools already have plans to protect students who are in the building during an emergency. This may include a “lock down,” which means the children cannot leave. It is important to know the school’s policies and procedures for emergency events
  • Make arrangements to take public transportation ahead of time as another option for evacuation. Make sure you have enough money to use public transportation.
  • Find our more information on preparing a kit, making a plan, and preparing for any emergency go to:  www.ready.gov.
Children's Plan

Considerations for 72 Hour Emergency Kits:

In addition to supplies needed for a general disaster kit, you may need to add several things to the kit for your child with special needs.

A copy of your child’s up to date care plan including emergency contacts current medical information and records stored on a CD, flash drive, or phone app (keep one paper copy in a waterproof bag). Extra contact lenses, glasses, and lens supplies. Batteries for hearing aids and communication devices.

  • Special dietary foods and supplies.
  • Items that calm or entertain your child.
  • Identification to be carried by each child in case your family gets separated.
  • Proof of service animal status to insure a service animal can go with you into a shelter.
  • A generator for backup power support (due to deadly fumes, never use a generator indoors).
  • An AC adaptor for your car for small electrical equipment such as a nebulizer.
  • A way to charge your cell phone without electricity.
  • Battery powered versions of medical equipment your child uses
  • Manual wheelchair or other non-electric equipment.
  • Two-week supply of medical items your child uses on a daily or weekly basis.
  • At least a three day supply of medications (fourteen days is ideal).
  • Cooler and chemical ice packs for storing medications that must be kept cold.
  • Prescription information for your wallet, emergency kit, and car that includes the name, location and phone number of an out of town pharmacy.
  • Other things to think about when creating your Kit:
  • Pack a smaller “to go” kits for use in an evacuation and store in multiple places (car, work, school, etc.).
  • Store your supplies in an easy-to-get-to waterproof and pest-proof container.
  • Update supplies yearly, replace water every six months, and update emergency contact and medical forms as needed.
  • If you can’t contact your doctor or pharmacy in a disaster, ask for help from emergency responders or staff at emergency shelters or service centers. You can get help in getting medication from a Red Cross shelter

Considerations for Creating Your Emergency Plan:

The first step in creating an emergency plan that works for your family is to sit down and talk with your family about different types of emergencies, what everyone can do to prepare for them, and to brainstorm together ideas of how to care for your child with special needs during an emergency.  If children and the whole family are involved in the planning, everyone is more likely to take an active role. Emergency planning can be fun, and doesn’t have to be scary!

  • Learn about emergency plans at your child’s school or child care center. Learn their plans for shelter-in-place emergencies and how your child will get treatment, medications etc. Be sure to get their emergency contact numbers.
  • If your child depends on dialysis or other life sustaining treatment, know the location of more than one facility: find out the facility’s plans for emergencies and how your child will get treatment, medications, etc. Get their emergency contact numbers (these may be out of state).
  • Create and practice an escape plan for your home: be sure there are clear exit paths for a child who uses mobility devices or has vision loss and keep a pair of shoes stored under the bed of each family member in case of evacuation.
  • Talk to your local police and fire departments to see if they have emergency services or plans for people with special needs.
  • Plan for your child’s service animal.
  • Obtain a medical alert and/or identification bracelet for your child.
  • Know where to tune into your local emergency radio station or TV network, NOAA Weather radio, or city/county info to get information in the event of a large scale disaster.
  • Plan for and get supplies for the types of natural disasters that may be in your area.

Other Considerations:

  • You should also discuss how to care for your child during different types of emergencies with your child’s doctor or health care team. Be sure to develop a plan for how you will communicate with your child’s care team during an emergency.
  • Once you have created an emergency plan, it is helpful to have some back-up. Your support network may include family, neighbors, or friends that can help you and your child, be sure to tell your support network about your child’s needs and share your emergency plan and where your emergency supplies are stored.
  • Give a trusted member of your network a key to your house or apartment.
  • Agree upon a system with your network to signal for help if phones and electricity are not working.
  • Show others how to handle your child’s wheelchair or other medical or adaptive equipment.
  • Talk to other families who have a child with the same condition as your child about ideas and tips and consider sharing resources!
  • Go to www.ready.gov for more information on making a plan, creating an emergency kit, and preparing for all emergencies.
Visual Disabilities Plan

Considerations for 72 Hour Emergency Kits:

  • If you use a cane, keep extras in strategic, consistent and secured locations at work, home, school, volunteer sites, etc. to help you maneuver around obstacles and hazards.  Be sure to keep a spare cane in your emergency kit.
  • If helpful, mark emergency supplies with large print, fluorescent tape or alternate formats.
  • If you use any adaptive device, be use you have enough extra batteries to power this devise during an emergency.
  • Invest in a battery-operated charger for your pager or cell phone.
  • If you have some vision, place security lights in each room to light paths of travel. These lights plug into electrical wall outlets and light up automatically if there is a loss of power. They will, depending on type, continue to operate for 1 to 6 hours and can be turned off manually to be used as a flashlight.
  • Store high-powered flashlights (with wide beams) and extra batteries.
  • If you wear soft contact lenses, plan to have an alternative available because you may not be able to operate the cleaning unit without power.
  • Create a back-up system for important data and store it in your kit.
  • Do not get rid of your TTY or Alternate Format TTY, even if you rarely use it. You may need the TTY and your home phone to make calls if your videophone or internet is down. Also, make sure your TTY is in full operating order. A fully-charged TTY can keep running for several hours without power.

Considerations for Notifications:

For people who have both vision and hearing loss, getting information about an emergency is critical. So is getting adequate access to services so you can deal with how an emergency affects you, and recover from it. Planning ahead is particularly important, so you can be prepared.

  • Some news broadcasts may provide 800 numbers to call to find out whether or not to evacuate or to provide additional emergency information or resources.
  • Do not depend on only one method. Some additional options include:
  • Many cities and counties in Colorado offer a citizen alert service that allows you to choose your method of notifications that can include a phone call to your home or mobile phone. Please contact your local city or county to determine if this service is available in your area.
  • Make sure friends and close neighborsknow that you may need to be alerted in case of an emergency. A neighbor might be willing to wake you in case of a tornado in the middle of the night. That person could call or ring your doorbell.
  • Find out if your neighborhood has a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Make sure that team, and the local police and fire departments, knows that you need to be alerted in an emergency. You need to tell them your needs.
  • NOAA Weather/All Hazard Alert Radio with Text Messages ─ these radios are specially designed to receive emergency information. Some radios can be connected to alarm systems, bed shakers, etc. Click here(link is external) to learn more about NOAA radios.
  • A reverse notification system is also available in some communities. This service can call YOU in an emergency in your area. Check with your local emergency management office to find out if this system is available on your home phone.
  • Use the TV, Internet, email alerts, or a buddy system to get information about an emergency. Do not call 911 unless you have a serious emergency.

Other Considerations:

  • Service animals may become confused, panicked, frightened or disoriented in and after a disaster. Keep them confined or securely leashed or harnessed. A leash (or harness) is an important item for managing a nervous or upset animal. Be prepared to use alternative methods to negotiate your environment.
  • Plan on losing the auditory clues you normally rely on following a major disaster.
  • Predetermine which local broadcasting systems will provide continuous news that will be accessible to you.
  • Be sure to plan carefully for contacting family members who have a visual impairment. Before an emergency happens, set up a plan if you are unable to make contact by phone. Think through different situations and consider how you will contact your family.
  • Have at least three people you can contact in an emergency, and more buddies if possible. At least one person should be out of state. Another should be in your neighborhood. Don’t worry about calling them before you evacuate. You can call them after you leave to let them know where you are. It is often better to call a person out of state because phone lines may be busy or not working in your neighborhood.
  • Have a neighbor, family member or friend check on you in case an emergency happens or is about to happen. You may want to agree to meet at a specific place in case of emergencies.
  • You also may want to check on your neighbors or friends to see if you can help them and if they are all right during an emergency.
  • Arrange with a friend, family member or neighbor to take you to a different place if you have to leave. Work out a way to contact each other.
  • Make arrangements to take public transportation ahead of time as another option for evacuation. Make sure you have enough money to use public transportation.
  • Sometimes you can call a local police or rescue station, or your local emergency management office to find out whether or not to evacuate.
  • Also, you can check with your local service agency and/or school for people or are blind or visually impaired to see if they can help you with emergency planning.
Mobility Disabilities Plan

To be better prepared as a nation, we all must do our part to plan for disasters. Individuals with or without disabilities can lessen the impact of a disaster by taking steps to prepare before an event occurs. This information is designed to help people with mobility disabilities begin to plan for emergencies. The term “mobility disabilities” refers primarily to people with little or no use of their legs or arms. They generally use wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, and other devices as aids to movement.

Evacuation

If you believe the weather or other hazard directly threatens you, leave your home or workplace. If officials order a mandatory evacuation, you must leave. Remaining in the face of a known hazard puts you in danger.

Don’t expect rescue at the height of an emergency ─ first responders cannot risk their own lives driving into a chemical cloud or against hurricane-force winds. Long before the evacuation order, set aside money and supplies. It’s tough to do on a tight budget, but your life is at stake.

Fire: The Deadliest Threat

For a person with a mobility disability, no disaster is more frequent or deadly than fire. Contact your fire department for help in evacuation planning, but make sure the advice fits your needs. Besides heeding the usual advice about fire safety at home, such as buying and maintaining smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, follow these tips:

  • Buy clothing, linens, and blankets made of fire-resistant material
  • Arrange furniture so it does not obstruct a quick exit
  • Attach a small Go Bag to your wheelchair or walker
  • Contact support network members to help you if you must evacuate a building by stairway
  • Memorize a few critical phrases to quickly explain your situation to first responders, or write these phrases down
  • Practice your plan regularly

Multi-Story Buildings

The tragedy of September 11, 2001, focused the attention of people with disabilities on the potential for fire in skyscrapers and the challenges of evacuation. However, the threat is just as real when the fire alarm rings and the elevators stop in a smaller multi-story building. Evacuation plans must be in place for small and large multi-story buildings.

Evacuation Devices

Several companies make products to facilitate the evacuation of wheelchair users or others with severe mobility disabilities. The most common are lightweight chairs used to carry a person down a stairway. A man with quadriplegia safely evacuated the World Trade Center using such a device with the help of several co-workers. If your building has not purchased evacuation devices, take responsibility to educate the facility’s manager. Use of these devices requires training and cannot be left for the last minute. Finally, an evacuation device is not a substitute for a wheelchair, so plan how to get along if you must abandon your wheelchair. Evacuation devices are not universally accepted by all fire service and emergency management leaders. There is still a need to raise the awareness of emergency professionals about the benefits of these devices.

Areas of Refuge

Many fire chiefs support the concept of an area of refuge, a temporary shelter-in-place area in an office or public building. The area can be as simple as a stairwell, where wheelchair users and others gather to await rescue. Many modern buildings include a refuge area protected by flame retardants and equipped with two-way communication. Since September 11th, many people with disabilities have expressed reluctance to depend on areas of refuge, preferring to evacuate with everyone else. This may not always be possible, so learn the location of your building’s designated refuge areas.

Sheltering in Place

If you are home when a sudden disaster occurs, you may take shelter there, where all is familiar and resources are close. It is important to keep a battery-operated radio or TV with you so that you can listen and follow directions from officials about steps to take. Contact members of your emergency support network and keep them informed of your actions and any changes in your condition.

Shelters

Unless you have other severe disabilities, you should have little difficulty as a person with a mobility disability staying in a public shelter for a short time. Conditions in a shelter (usually a school building or an auditorium) are crowded, noisy, and boring. But these facilities can save your life. Wheelchair and scooter users may need assistance in transferring to and from a sleeping cot. People who use walkers or crutches might require aid navigating through a tightly-packed shelter. Staff in a general public shelter can assist you with these tasks, but they cannot perform more complex medical procedures or help you with other activities of daily living.

Ready Kit and Go Bag

People with mobility disabilities may want to pack:

  • Pair of heavy gloves to use while wheeling or making your way over glass and debris
  • Extra battery for your motorized wheelchair or scooter
  • Jumper cables or specific recharging device to be connected to an automobile’s cigarette lighter
  • Patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” to repair flat tires
  • Spare cane or walker  
Resource Links
Building Personal Support Network Tips

A personal support network can help you prepare for and respond in a disaster. They can do this by helping you identify and get the resources you need to cope effectively with a disaster. Your network can help you practice vital activities, like evaluating your home or workplace and putting together a 72 hour emergency kit. Network members can also assist you after a disaster happens. You should put together your network before a disaster and talk to each member about your individual needs. Here are some ideas to consider when creating your own personalized support network:

  • Organize a network for your home, school, workplace, volunteer site and any other place where you spend a lot of time. Members of your network can be roommates, relatives, neighbors, friends, and co-workers. They should be people you trust and who could check to see if you need assistance. They should know your capabilities and needs, and offer help within minutes.
  • Do not depend on only one person. Include a minimum of three people in your network for each location where you regularly spend a lot of time during the week.
  • Think of what your needs would be during a disaster and discuss these with each of your networks.. This can help your network members learn the best ways to assist you and offer additional ideas for you to think about.
  • Give your network members copies of your emergency information list, medical information list, disability-related supplies and special equipment list, evacuation plans, relevant emergency documents and personal disaster plan when you complete them.
  • Arrange with your network to check on you immediately if local officials give an evacuation order or if a disaster occurs. Also, ask your network to notify you of an emergency you may not know about. For example, if a siren or loud speaker system notifies a neighborhood of a disaster and you are deaf or have hearing loss, be sure that your network knows to give you this information. Ask them to give you any other disaster-related information that is not already in writing, such as radio information about the disaster or the location of shelters.
  • Agree on how you and your network will contact each other during an emergency. Do not count on the telephones working. Also, choose a signal for help that you both understand. Signals can be shouting, knocking on the wall, or using a whistle, bell or high-pitched noisemaker. Visual signals could include hanging a sheet outside your window.
  • Give the members of your network all the necessary keys they may need to get into your home, car, etc.
  • Show your network how to operate and safely move the equipment you use for your disability, if necessary. Ask them to “practice” with any of your special equipment. This will help them feel more comfortable when using it during an emergency.
  • Make sure your service animal knows the people in your network. This will make it easier for the animal to accept care from someone other than you.
  • Explain to your network any assistance for personal care that you may need. Give them written instructions on how best to assist you and your animals.
  • Label your equipment and attach instruction cards on how to use and move each item. Laminate the instruction cards for added durability.
  • Inform your network about any areas on your body where you have reduced feeling. Have them check these areas for injuries after a disaster if you cannot check them yourself.
  • Practice your plan. Based on your knowledge of the disasters in your area, simulate any problems or obstacles you may experience. Have the members of your network practice how to help you, and familiarize them with any adaptive equipment you may need.
  • Choose an emergency meeting place you are familiar with where you and others can reunite after exiting a building. You should select a meeting place for each area where you spend a lot of time.
  • Give your network your travel dates if you will be traveling.
  • Review and revise your personal assessment and disaster plan regularly, or as your condition changes. Your network should help in this review as well. You will also find that as you and your network practice, all of you will find problems and solutions you have not thought of before.
  • The trusting relationship you develop with the members of your network should be mutual. Learn about each other’s needs and how to assist each other during an emergency. You may be able to assist the members of your network in different ways during an emergency also, so take the time to see how you can prepare together.

Stay Informed

Know what’s going on in your area!  To best stay informed before, during and after a disaster, you are encouraged to monitor a number of information sources.

  • Sign up for emergency alerts.  You can do this by going to the county website in which you live. 
  • Visit local emergency services websites.
  • Listen for warning sirens.
  • Watch the local news.
  • Visit COEmergency.com, developed and maintained by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, for a list of local emergency management websites, emails and sms/txt alert systems in Colorado. In participating counties, you can follow the “alerts” link next to each of the identified counties to register for and begin receiving emergency alerts in that area. Check COEmergency.com for non-emergency contact information as well.
  • Follow @COEmergency on Twitter
  • You can also receive news, preparedness, response, and partner information direct from the Colorado Division of Emergency Management via sms/text by texting “follow coemergency” to 40404. You must have a capable phone and an applicable data plan from your service provider.
  • National Weather Service
  • The Weather Channel
  • Emergency Alert System
  • National Terrorism Advisory System

Get Involved

Volunteers are the backbone of Colorado’s preparedness plan, so step up and help.

Learn new skills to assist others during a disaster.  Help others impacted by disasters by donating money to - helpcoloradonow.org or your favorite charity.