Be Proactive and Maintain Situational Awareness
- Stay Informed
Monitor local TV and radio. KSPK is available on UHF 28, channel 16 on cable, and at 102.3 FM.
Monitor NOAA weather radio (162.450 MHz or 162.400 MHz) Dial 2-1-1 for emergency information.
Follow the latest official news at fire.huerfano.us or on Facebook at One Huerfano
Attend community flood meetings.
Walsenburg flood meetings are recorded and available for viewing here.
- Sign up for CodeRED
Everyone is encouraged to register with CodeRED at (719) 738-1044
You must answer your phone and say something before the recording will play so please save these numbers in your phone for calls from CodeRed (866) 419-5000 and (855) 969-4636
- Make a Family Communication Plan
Your family may not be together when flooding occurs so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in various situations. The following form is designed to assist you.
- Discuss Household Needs and Disabilities
Everyone's situation is different depending upon your location and the individual needs of your family.
Take the time to ensure Your Plan addresses the unique needs of your family situation.
- Get Your Benefits Electronically
A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:
Direct deposit to a checking or savings account. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or sign up online. The Direct Express prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper checks. Call toll-free at (877) 212-9991 or sign up online.
- Gather Important Documents
Having access to important documents can make recovery time after a disaster easier to manage. The following checklist contains suggested documents that you should locate, copy and store in a safe place.
- Build an Emergency Kit
Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets seniors, or people with disabilities.
- Suggested Emergency Kit Contents
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water-one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food- at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lense solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
- First aid kit Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Create a Support Network
Contact family, friends and others who can assist you during an emergency, and share your disaster plans with them. Practice your plan with them. The City encourages everyone in the pre-evacuation zones to find a Flood Buddy‚ outside the inundation areas before flooding begins.
- Make an Evacuation Plan
Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. Choose two locations that are at a higher elevation and located outside the potential flood areas. Determine your safest route and alternate routes of escape,Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate. Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend's home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
Have a household meeting to discuss and practice your emergency plan.
- If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
- Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
- Always follow the instructions of local officials and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.
- Get Flood Insurance
Review insurance policies before disaster strikes. Make certain policies are current and meet your needs. Homeowner's insurance policies do not include flood insurance and it takes 30 days for federal flood insurance coverage to go into effect, so don't delay getting coverage.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies can be purchased through thousands of insurance agents nationwide. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may also be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance.If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661.
More information is available at floodsmart.gov
NFIP Summary of Coverage - This document was prepared by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help you understand your flood insurance policy. It provides general information about deductibles, what is and is not covered by flood insurance, and how items are valued at time of loss.
NFIP Summary of Coverage for Commercial Property- prepared by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help you understand your commercial flood insurance policy. It provides general information about deductibles, what is and is not covered by flood insurance, and how items are valued at time of loss.
- VIDEO - Walsenburg Flood Insurance Meeting
- Consider Strategies to Protect Your Property
Each property owner should determine whether flood control measures are warranted and desirable in their particular situation.
This section is intended to provide information and guidance ONLY. The City of Walsenburg assumes no liability for the placement or effectiveness of sandbags or other methods of protection described on this website or the links included.
If your flood, debris, and erosion control problems appear to warrant facilities in excess of the measures described in these references, it is recommended that you consult a competent expert for additional advice.
Strategies to Protect Your Property
How might a disaster affect you? Could you make it on your own for at least three days?
After a disaster, you may not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore, so it's crucial to plan for the resources you use regularly, and what you would do if those resources are limited or not available.
Additional planning steps should include:
- Create a support network. Keep a contact list in a watertight container in your emergency kit.
- Be ready to explain to first responders that you need to evacuate and choose to go to a shelter with your family, service animal, caregiver, personal assistant, and your assistive technology devices and supplies.
- Plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic. Work with local services, public transportation or paratransit to identify your local or private accessible transportation options.
- Inform your support network where you keep your emergency supplies, you may want to consider giving one member a key to your house or apartment.
- Contact your city or county government‚Äôs emergency management agency or office. Many local offices keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be helped quickly in a sudden emergency.
- If you are dependent on dialysis or other life-sustaining treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility.
- If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor or health care provider about how you can prepare for its use during a power outage.
- Wear medical alert tags or bracelets.
- If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information notes the best way to communicate with you.
- If you use an augmentative communications device or other assistive technologies, plan how you will evacuate with the devices or how you will replace equipment if lost or destroyed. Keep model information and note where the equipment came from (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.)
- If you use assistive technology devices, such as white canes, CCTV, text-to-speech software, keep information about model numbers and where you purchased the equipment, etc.
- Plan how you will communicate with others if your equipment is not working, including laminated cards with phrases, pictures or pictograms.
- Keep Braille/text communication cards, if used, for 2-way communication.
- Preparedness tips for diabetics.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services online tool helps people locate and access their electronic health records from a variety of sources.
- Plan for children with disabilities and people, who may have difficulty in unfamiliar or chaotic environments.
Remember, during a disaster what‚Äôs good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured ‚Äì or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:
- Create a buddy system in case you're not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
- Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
- Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet's emergency kit.
- Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
- Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
- Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
- Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
- Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
- If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
- Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet\'s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
- If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!
- Tips for Large Animals
- If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
- Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
- Evacuate animals whenever possible.
- Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
- Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal.
- Also make available experienced handlers and drivers.
- Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
- If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.
Take the time now to plan for how you will take care of yourself and your family during a flash flood or debris flow emergency.
Debris flows and flooding can happen very quickly and you may need to take action before an "official" warning is issued.
- MAKE A PLAN !
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if flooding strikes, so it is important to know how you'll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that's familiar and easy to find.
Begin by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.
- What is my family/household communication plan?
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment.
Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.
- Determine Your Risk
If you look at the stop signs in and around the City of Walsenburg, you will notice 3 colors of tape. They represent the minimum estimated water levels for the three main flooding scenarios. Red, Blue and Green.Red is the 4.4" of rain in one hour (1% chance), Blue is the 2.2" of rain in one hour (10% chance) Green is the 1.1" of rain in one hour (99% chance).
It is based on the best available data they have so far. It is just an estimation and the water can exceed these levels, but hopefully it will help give you a visual of how deep it can get at certain points.
We have also posted Inundation Maps for these three scenarios to see how close your home is to the water pathway. This will help you determine if you should shelter in place or move to higher ground during a flood.