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El Paso County conducts large-scale emergency evacuation drill with local residents

Posted at 7:35 PM, Sep 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-08 21:35:51-04

EL PASO COUNTY – El Paso County conducted a large-scale evacuation drill for families in Cedar Heights and Manitou Springs Saturday.

The drill, to prepare local residents for an emergency. The drill started with a simulated reverse 9-1-1 notification and families had to evacuate their homes along the predetermined evacuation route.

After the drill was over, families were given lunch and an opportunity to visit several displays from groups that assist in large-scale emergencies.

“The good thing about an exercise scenario is that there is no actual life threat so that makes the urgency it dials that down a notch so we have a bit more time to problem solve,” said Sara Fant, Emergency Preparedness Planner.

Before the drill went down, News 5 spoke with a woman who lives in Cedar Heights and is no stranger to emergencies as she had to evacuate during the Waldo Canyon Fire.

She says she thought she was ready to go at a moments notice, but the blaze taught her she had to be more organized.

“I feel I am as prepared as I can be given the fact that I really needed to get more organized the last time because as you’re madly running through your mind about what do I need, what do I need,  what do I need, is not the time to start thinking in terms of I forgot that oh gee I forgot that,” said evacuee Kathy Bohanon.

She said she participates in drills like this to help share what she learned with emergency responders and her fellow neighbors so they can all build a better plan in the event of a disaster.