City hosts second wildfire, flood preparedness meeting - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

City hosts second wildfire, flood preparedness meeting

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For it's second wildfire and flood preparedness meeting, the Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management again educated a full crowd of residents with information on how to prepare for those emergencies.

Experts are using the damage and destruction from 2012's Waldo Canyon Fire, and the subsequent flooding, to help inform Colorado Springs residents of the dangers we still face.

Gordon Brenner, recovery coordinator for the city's office of emergency management, told News 5 he thinks that disaster caught the city's attention.

"Time keeps moving it past, but people are seeming to stay aware of the dangers that we have and how to prepare for them," Brenner said.

On Tuesday, the standing room-only crowd took plenty of notes, asked insightful questions and learned more on how best to prepare and respond to wildfires and floods.

"Make a plan. Know your exit routes if you have to evacuate," Brenner said. "Know where your family members are and how to communicate with each other."

Current weather conditions suggest southern Colorado is in for another long year of natural disasters, not just for wildfires, but also for the floods that only become stronger in burn scars.

Tony Anderson, who monitors southern Colorado's snow pack and water levels for the National Weather Service's Pueblo station, said the dry conditions propel flash flooding.

"It changes the chemistry in the soil for several years after the fire, and the fire, the land can no longer absorb water," Anderson said. "The water cannot get into the soil, and it just all comes off like it was concrete."

That's why experts came together to share this valuable information with the community — stressing the need to prepare now and be ready for the next time disaster strikes.

"And you've got very proactive agencies in the city and the county, that are trying to keep people informed, keep them reminded that Waldo can happen again, somewhere else," Anderson said.

If you weren't able to attend either of the meetings, you can find more information here.

Download the KOAA News 5 App iOS/iPhone here and for Android here.

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