COLORADO SPRINGS – Now is the time to start preparing for wildfires and flash flooding.
It’s why community meetings are being held around Colorado Springs to make sure you’re prepared.
On Tuesday, News 5 spoke with a resident of the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, an area that was devastated by the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire. After living through this disaster and losing her home she believes going to these community meetings and learning how to mitigate is essential.
Loretta Armstrong said, “You get tears in your eyes. You still get tears in your eyes because it affects you.”
It’s been more than six years since the Waldo Canyon Fire consumed Armstrong’s home and so many others, but for her it feels like it was just yesterday.
“We left a lot and we lost a lot.”
She said her mitigation efforts were pretty good before the fire, but she’s stepped up even more since rebuilding her new home.
“This was all lawn, but now we don’t have that anymore. We decided we want to put rocks because it’s safer.”
Instead of wood she now has a stucco home.
“I don’t want to lose a house again.”
She doesn’t want anyone else to either. That’s why she’s encouraging people to attend community prep meetings in Colorado Springs. One was held Tuesday night at Holmes Middle School to educate the public on wildfires and flash flooding.
Jeremy Taylor, program administrator for the wildfire mitigation section of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, said, “Homeowners need to do the small things as simple as cleaning out gutters, keeping the grasses mowed, mowing down that native vegetation around the house.”
When it comes to flash flooding, Kevin Madsen, deputy director for Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management, said it’s important to focus on ‘”knowing to avoid low lying areas, flood prone areas, and then also the old National Weather Service term “Turn Around Don’t Drown.”‘
Preparing your home with sandbags might be an option as well as using a sump pump.
Bottom line – no matter what the disaster is know the risks, do your prep work, and have an evacuation plan ready to go.
If you weren’t able to make it to Tuesday’s meeting another one will be held on Thursday, May 16th from 6-8 p.m. at Gold Camp Elementary School.