Making evacuation part of your emergency plan - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Making evacuation part of your emergency plan

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September is Emergency Preparedness Month and this year there are multiple real examples of planning for disasters are important. There are wildfires, earthquakes, and hurricanes for the record books.

Video of traffic jams as people tried to get out of the way of hurricanes is telling of what can happen when tens of thousands hit the road at the same time. In southern Colorado the lay of the land can hinder evacuation routes. There can be mountains on side of a major road with bluffs on the other. limiting or preventing alternative routes.

Local emergency managers hope images like the traffic jams of people trying to evacuate in front of the hurricanes get people talking about the what if, if they had to evacuate.

It will not be a hurricane in Colorado, but it was only five years ago when the Waldo Canyon fire forced thousands to evacuate their homes and neighborhoods in just hours.

First responders say they will go to television, radio and social media to give directions for evacuation. "We'll be directing people on access points and roadways to use to reduce the chances of gridlock,” said Captain Steve Wilch with Colorado Springs Fire Department, “but the main thing is you have to take that early warning and get out early." It requires an creating and talking about emergency plan in advance so you can make good decisions while moving quickly.

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