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General tips

We have provided a number of checklists, guides, kit instructions, and printable materials for your benefit in order to better prepare you and your family in case of an emergency.

Be prepared

Basic items should be stocked in every home: water, food, clothing, bedding, first aid kit, tools and supplies, and items for other needs. See the checklist on the next page for suggestions. Put items in airtight plastic bags. Keep items most likely needed during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. Possible containers include a large covered storage bin, backpack or duffel bag. Store the emergency kit in a convenient place known to all family members.

Keep a kit in your vehicle as well. Evaluate contents of the kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace items as needed. For additional information regarding an all hazards approach to preparedness, go to csready.org or call the City of Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management – 719-385-5957.

MEET AND DISCUSS AS A FAMILY:

  • Evacuation procedures
  • Individual roles

PLAN HOW THE FAMILY WILL STA Y IN CONTACT IF SEPARAT ED BY DISASTER:

  • Decide on two meeting places – one outside of the home and one outside of the neighborhood.
  • Choose an out-of-state friend or relative who will act as a point of contact for everyone.

MEET WITH NEIGHBORS:

  • Plan how everyone will work together.
  • Consider how to help neighbors with disabilities or access and functional needs.
  • Make plans for children if parents can’t return to the area where the children are located.

COMPLETE THESE STEPS:

  • Post emergency phone numbers by every phone and program the numbers into cell phones.
  • Know how and when to shut off water, electricity, and gas at main controls.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on each level of your home near bedrooms.
  • Make arrangements for animals. Public shelters do not accept them.

PERSONAL SAFETY SHOULD BE THE HIGHEST PRIORITY:

  • During an evacuation, immediately follow instructions from fire, police, and emergency officials.
  • Learn alternate ways out of the neighborhood; plan and rehearse an escape plan.
  • Make a list of items to take with you. Remember, you may only have a few minutes to evacuate.
  • If told to evacuate immediately, take only essential items:
  • Medications/Prescriptions
  • Identification
  • Eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aids
  • Financial Resources – cash, credit cards, checks, bank cards
  • Emergency Evacuation Kit for your household.

Have A Plan

The first step in preparing for an emergency is to have a plan. Determine how you will respond to an evacuation order and make sure everyone in the home is familiar with the plan.

  • Establish escape routes based on fire behavior
  • Have a back-up plan – Know two ways out
  • Identify safety zones
  • Determined family meeting place
  • Plan and practice

When To Evacuate

There are a number of ways that community members will be notified about an emergency in your area. If you receive the notice to evacuate, it is important to respond immediately. Waiting, or choosing not to evacuate when told to leave can put you and your family in danger. Some of the ways that information will be communicated to the public include:

  • Local TV and Radio
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS)
  • Emergency Notification System (ENS) (visit www.elpasoteller911.org for more information and to register cell phone numbers)
  • Emergency Personnel

Preparing For Immediate Evacuation

As soon as you are alerted to an emergency in your area, follow these steps and be prepared to leave immediately:

  • Back the vehicle into the garage, roll the windows up, and leave the keys in the ignition.
  • Close the garage door and set it for manual operation.
  • Load important documents, pets, valuables, evacuation kit, and prescriptions into the vehicle.
  • Take only one vehicle – stay together.
  • Do not take boats or RVs.
  • Wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy shoes.

During Evacuation

Conditions during an evacuation can be very disconcerting. It is important to stay calm, think clearly, and

avoid panic. Evacuating early and away from the emergency is recommended; however if you can not safely

evacuate, follow these guidelines:

  • If you become trapped by fire, seek refuge in a structure.
  • If you are trapped in your vehicle, park in a clear area, close windows and vents, and cover up with a
  • blanket on the floor.
  • If on foot, find clear area, lay down on the ground, and protect your airway.

If you become aware of a developing emergency, but your area is not yet directly affected, you may have time to take some action to increase your home’s survivability.

  • Attach garden hoses to reach around the entire house.
  • Fill sinks, tubs, etc.
  • Place a ladder against the house away from the fire.
  • Close windows and doors.
  • Turn lights on.
  • Move furniture to the interior.

Emergency Kit – Plan For At Least 72 Hours

Following a disaster, emergency workers may not be able to respond to your needs right away. Officials recommend that families stock enough supplies to last at least three days. The emergency kit should be individually tailored to meet the basic survival needs of your family for three days to a week. Take into consideration any special needs such as infants and elderly, persons with disabilities or access and functional needs, and pets. It is recommended that you store your emergency supplies in one location that is relatively safe, yet easily accessible and portable if evacuation is required. Rethink your kit and family needs at least once a year and replace items as needed. See page 53 for the recommended contents of an emergency kit.

Children’s Activity Survival Kit

You may have to leave your home during a disaster. It’s smart to put together your own Children’s Activity Survival Kit so they will have things to do and share with other children. We suggest you pack:

  • A few favorite books.
  • Crayons and pencils.
  • Plenty of paper.
  • Scissors and glue.
  • A few favorite toys.
  • Board games.
  • A favorite stuffed animal.
  • Pictures of family pets.
  • A favorite blanket/pillow.

Emergency Supply Evacuation Bags Items Often Overlooked

  • Wallet card with emergency and family phone numbers
  • Electronic copies of important papers, which can be stored on a small usb flash drive
  • Identification for each person
  • A change of clothes for each person
  • First aid kit
  • Medications with prescription directions
  • Glasses, hearing aid batteries, or necessary items for other medical devices
  • Batteries for cell phones and other items
  • Face masks
  • Toiletries including toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Plastic bags
  • Blankets
  • A non-electric can opener
  • Canned dog or cat food if you have pets
  • Good quality painting drop cloths (shelter-in-place)
  • Duct tape

Pet and Service Animal Evacuation Planning

Be Prepared

  • Be prepared to function without assistance from your service animal. Different disasters affect different animals in different ways. Always have a back-up plan.
  • Make sure your pets have current identification (tags or microchip).
  • Evacuation shelters won’t allow pets, except service animals. Make sure you make arrangements ahead of time.
  • Contact your local shelter, boarding facilities and hotels to find out if they will accept your pets. Check with friends or relatives to see if they can house your pets.
  • Have a pet evacuation and a pet first aid kit! See both checklists on page 57. Include a list of veterinarians and boarding facilities in your evacuation kit.

Evacuation

  • Take your pet(s) with you when you evacuate. Don’t leave them behind. They can easily be lost, injured, or killed in a wildfire event.
  • If you cannot safely evacuate them, leave them contained in the house or fenced area. Don’t turn them loose. Do not chain them up outside. Animals can become confused and run into the fire. They can also pose a risk to responders as the animals are under extreme stress.
  • Leave early—don’t wait for an evacuation order. You may not be allowed to return for your pets.
  • Keep dogs on leashes or in crates, and cats in carriers.
  • If your pets become lost, physically check animal control and animal shelters daily.

Away from Home

  • If you are away from home or at work, make arrangements with a neighbor to evacuate with your
  • pets.
  • Make sure they have a key to your house and are familiar with your pets.
  • Note the location of the pet evacuation kit for your neighbor; make sure they know where to access it, and are familiar with the contents (medicine, food, instructions, etc.).

Behavior

  • Conditions during a disaster will be very different than the routine pets are used to. Make certain that you keep them restrained and under control. They can easily get lost under the circumstances.
  • If animals are severely distressed, seek veterinarian care.

EVACUATION KIT

  • 2-week supply of food (dry and canned)
  • 2-week supply of water in plastic gallon jugs
  • Flashlight, radio, and batteries
  • Cage/carrier (labeled with your contact information
  • Manual can opener and spoons
  • Copies of veterinary records and proof of ownership
  • Emergency contact list
  • Familiar items (toys, treats, blankets)
  • Instructions for your animal’s care
  • Diet (including allergies)
  • Medications (including dose and frequency)
  • Veterinarian and pharmacy contact information
  • Leash and collar
  • Litter, pan and scoop
  • Food and water dishes
  • Muzzles
  • Current photos of you and your animals
  • Newspaper for bedding
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags
  • Consult your veterinarian when assembling a first aid kit. These items
  • FIRST AID KIT are only recommendations; your animal’s individual needs may vary.
  • Activated charcoal liquid
  • Antibiotic ointment for wounds
  • Anti-diarrhea liquid
  • Antibiotic eye ointment
  • Bandage scissors
  • Bandages/tape
  • Povidone-iodine
  • Cotton tipped swabs
  • Elastic bandage rolls
  • Sterile eye rinse
  • Gauze pads and rolls
  • Tongue depressors or similar sticks (for use as splints)
  • Isopropyl alcohol/alcohol prep pads
  • Personal protective gloves
  • Liquid dish detergent (mild wound and body cleanser)
  • Measuring spoons
  • 2-week supply of medications and preventatives
  • Non-adherent bandage pads
  • Saline solution (for rinsing wounds)
  • Sterile lubricant (water based)
  • Styptic powder (clotting agent)
  • Syringe or eyedropper
  • Thermometer (digital)
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Tweezers

Additional Information

Plan for all animals when preparing for a potential emergency. Here are some ideas for preparing to protect your animals during a disaster:

  • Talk to your veterinarian about evacuation and emergency care for your animals.
  • Identify an emergency animal shelter location nearby: kennels, adjoining farms, state and local fairgrounds, Community Animal Response Team (CART), etc.
  • Get to know the policies and staff of your local animal control authority, as well as the local animal non-profit rescue organizations.
  • Ask neighbors and friends to evacuate your animals if a disaster strikes while you are away from home.
  • Have a portable crate available for cats or small dogs and a leash available for larger dogs. For large animals, have halters and lead straps available. Make sure that your animals trust this person before an emergency, and that this person knows where to find the crates and leashes, etc. Agree on a post-emergency meeting place before the emergency happens.
  • License your service animals; make sure your animals can be easily identified so they can be reunited with you after the disaster; and keep all vaccinations current.
  • Consider microchips and/or tattoos as permanent identification. Take pictures of you with your animal(s) to show proof of ownership if you are separated during a disaster.
  • Have a record of the number of the rabies tag, license, microchip or tattoo with you for proof of ownership.
  • Have a copy of your animal’s medical records and list of necessary medications on hand.
  • Prepare an evacuation plan for large animals. Your plan should include a list of resources such as trucks, trailers, pasture and/or feed which might be needed in an evacuation, as well as a designated person who will unlock gates and doors and make your facility easily accessible to emergency personnel. Make sure that everyone who lives, works, or boards at your barn is familiar with the plan.
  • If you must leave animals behind, post a highly visible sign (either on a window or a door) letting rescue workers know the breed and number of animals which remain. Leave plenty of food and water with care instructions. If your animal becomes lost, immediately call or visit the nearest animal shelter or emergency command post.

If you find a lost animal, notify the local animal shelter as soon as possible and be prepared to give a full description of the animal (i.e., color, breed, sex) and its location. For more information visit the Humane Society, Pikes Peak Chapter at www.hsppr.org or call them at 719-473-1741

Car Survival Kit

Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid storms and severe weather. Maintain at least ½ tank of gas at all times

Fully check your vehicle before traveling. Be sure to winterize your vehicle before the winter season starts.

Carry a Car Survival Kit

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Map and compass
  • Shovel
  • Bag of sand or kitty litter
  • Hand-crank flashlight and radio
  • Reflectors and flares
  • Sleeping bags or blankets and emergency blankets
  • Tow rope
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit and duct tape
  • Class ABC fire extinguisher
  • Warm clothing for all travelers
  • Non-perishable food and water
  • Waterproof matches, candles, and a coffee can

Power Outage Preparation

Storms, fires and other emergencies may damage or disrupt electrical lines and systems, leaving you without power for up to several days. This can be life threatening to someone who relies on power to sustain life-support equipment.

Empower your family:

  • Hand-crank flashlights not only provide immediate light but also offer psychological comfort.
  • Lightsticks provide an excellent source of emergency light.
  • Hand-crank radios help you access emergency instructions and reliable information.
  • Extra batteries for hearing aids, TDDs, scooters, wheelchairs, or a generator for life‑safety equipment are essential.

Water and Food Storage

How to Store Water

Store your water in thoroughly washed plastic, glass, fiberglass, or enamel-lined metal containers. Never use a container that has held toxic substances. Plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles, are best. You can also purchase food-grade plastic buckets or drums. Seal water containers tightly, label them and store in a cool, dark place. Rotate water every six months.

Hidden Water Sources in Your Home

If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in your water heater tank, pipes, and ice cubes. As a last resort, you can use water in the reservoir tank of your toilet (not the bowl). To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your house at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the house. To use the water in your water heater tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve and turning on a hot water faucet. Do not turn on the gas or electricity when the tank is empty.

Water Treatment Methods

In addition to having a bad odor and taste, contaminated water can contain microorganisms that cause diseases such as dysentery, typhoid, and hepatitis. You should treat all water of uncertain purity before using it for drinking, food preparation or hygiene. There are many ways to treat water. None is perfect. Often the best solution is a combination of methods. Two easy treatment methods are outlined below. These measures will kill most microbes but will not remove other contaminants such as heavy metals, salts, and most other chemicals. Before treating, let any suspended particles settle to the bottom, or strain them through layers of paper towel or clean cloth.

Boiling: Boiling is the safest method of treating water. Bring water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking. Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by pouring the water back and forth between two clean containers.

Disinfection: You can use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms. Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners. Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. The only agent used to treat water should be household liquid bleach. Other chemicals, such as iodine or water treatment products sold in camping or surplus stores that do not contain 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite as  the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not be used.

Food Supplies

When Food Supplies Are Low

If activity is reduced, healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period and without any food for many days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women. If your water supply is limited, try to avoid foods that are high in fat and protein, and don’t stock salty foods, since they will make you thirsty. Try to eat salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content. You don’t need to go out and buy unfamiliar foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You can use the canned foods, dry mixes, and other staples on your cupboard shelves. In fact, familiar foods are important. They can lift morale and give a feeling of security in time of stress. Also, canned foods won’t require cooking, water, or special preparation. Following are recommended short-term food storage plans.

Special Considerations

As you stock food, take into account your family’s unique needs and tastes. Try to include foods that they will enjoy and that are also high in calories and nutrition. Foods that require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking are best.

Individuals with special diets and allergies will need particular food items, as will babies, toddlers, and elderly people. Nursing mothers may need liquid formula in case they are unable to nurse. Canned dietetic foods, juices, and soups may be helpful for ill or elderly people.

Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils. Don’t forget nonperishable foods for your pets.

Food Storage Tips

  • Keep food in a dry, cool spot – a dark area if possible.
  • Keep food covered at all times.
  • Open food boxes or cans carefully so that you can close them tightly after each use.
  • Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags, and keep them in tight containers.
  • Empty opened packages of sugar, dried fruits, and nuts into screw-top jars or airtight cans to protect them from pests.
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage before use.
  • Use foods before they go bad, and replace them with fresh supplies. Date all items with ink or a marker. Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in front.

Nutrition Tips

  • It is vital that you maintain your strength during and right after a disaster.
  • Eat at least one well-balanced meal each day.
  • Drink enough liquid to enable your body to function properly (two quarts a day).
  • Take in enough calories to enable you to do any necessary work.
  • Include vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements in your food storage to assure adequate nutrition.

Use within one year:

  • Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups
  • Canned fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables
  • Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Hard candy and canned nuts
  • Vitamin C tablets

Shelf life of Foods for Storage

(general guidelines for rotating common emergency foods)

Water and Food Storage

Use within six months:

  • Powdered milk (boxed)
  • Dried fruit
  • Dry, crisp crackers
  • Dried or powdered potatoes

May be stored indefinitely

(in proper containers and conditions):

  • Wheat, soybeans, white rice
  • Vegetable oils
  • Dried corn
  • Salt, baking powder, bouillon products
  • Dry pasta
  • Instant coffee, tea and cocoa
  • Powdered milk (in nitrogen-packed cans)
  • Noncarbonated soft drinks

Hospitals and Urgent Care Centers in Colorado Springs

University of Colorado Health (Central)
1400 East Boulder Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
719-365-5000
www.uchealth.org

University of Colorado Health (North)
4050 Briargate Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
719-364-5000
www.uchealth.org

Children’s Hospital Colorado Urgent Care
4125 Briargate Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
719-305-5437

Urgent Care at Circle Square
2767 Janitell Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
719-365-2888
www.uchealth.org

St Francis Medical Center
6001 E. Woodmen Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80923
719-571-1000
www.penrosestfrancis.org

Penrose Hospital
2222 North Nevada Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
719-776-5000
www.penrosestfrancis.org

Alliance Urgent Care & Family Practice
9320 Grand Cordera Parkway – Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80924
719-282-6337
http://alliancemedicalpractice.com/Home.html

CSHP Urgent Care Clinic
1633 Medical Center Point
Colorado Springs CO 80907
719-636-299
www.cshp.net

CSHP Urgent Care Clinic
600 South 21st Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
www.cshp.net

Express Care
2141 North Academy Circle
Colorado Springs CO 80909
719-597-4200
www.expresscareplus.net

Integrity Urgent Care
4323 Integrity Center Point
Colorado Springs CO 80917
719-591-2558
www.integrityurgentcare.com

Premier Urgent Care
8115 Voyager Parkway
Colorado Springs CO 80920
719-203-3000
www.premieruc.com

Premier Urgent Care
15854 Jackson Creek Parkway, Suite 120
Monument CO 80132
719-481-2335
www.premieruc.com

EmergiCare Medical Clinics
www.emergi-care.com 

4083 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs CO 80918
719-594-0046

402 West Bijou Street
Colorado Springs CO 80905
719-302-6942

3002 South Academy Boulevard
Colorado Springs CO 80916
719-390-7017

Concentra Medical Centers (Urgent Care)
www.concentra.com

5320 Mark Dabling Boulevard
Building 7, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-592-1584

2322 South Academy Boulevard
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
719-390-1727

Penrose Urgent Care
3205 N. Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80917
719-776-3216
www.penrosestfrancis.org

ER Specialists Urgency Center

4194 Royal Pine Dr, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
(719) 522-2727
https://erspecialistsuc.com/

Important Phone Numbers

For an Emergency........................................................................................................... 911

Poison Control Center, National................................................................ 1-800-222-1222

Colorado Springs Police and Fire, 24 Hour Non-emergency...................... 719-444-7000

Colorado Springs Police Department Text Your Tip........................................ Cell 847411

Colorado Springs Code Enforcement............................................................719-444-7891

Colorado Springs Crime Stoppers.................................................................719-634-7867

American Medical Response, Non-emergency.............................................719-636-2333

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Springs ..........................................719-227-5200

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Headquarters

Main Customer Service (M-F 8am-5pm MST).......................................303-297-1192

Colorado Springs Fire Department (M-F 8am-5pm).....................................719-385-5950

Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management (M-F 8am-5pm).......719-385-5957

Colorado Springs Police Department........................................................... 719-444-7000

Falcon Division....................................................................................... 719-444-7240

Gold Hill Division ....................................................................................719-385-2100

Sand Creek Division ...............................................................................719-444-7270

Stetson Hills Division............................................................................. 719-444-3144

Colorado State Patrol.....................................................................................303-239-4501

Colorado Springs Utilities..............................................................................719-448-4800

Colorado Department of Transportation...................................................... 303-639-1111

Colorado Road Conditions.........................................................Cell 511 or 303-639-1111

Colorado State Patrol District 2 Dispatch............................. Cell *CSP or 719-544-2424

Colorado State Patrol Headquarters, 24 Hours...........................................303-239-4501

El Paso County Public Health........................................................................719-578-3199

El Paso County Household Hazardous Waste Facility.................................719-520-7878

El Paso County Department of Human Services..........................................719-636-0000

El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Law Enforcement Bureau.........................719-520-7333

American Red Cross, Pikes Peak Chapter....................................................719-632-3563

Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.................................................. 719-473-1741

Pikes Peak United Way (Community Resources, Assistance)..................................... 211

Printable plans and guides

We have made available several downloadable preparedness guide documents for you to fill out.

Download the Family Communications Plan 

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations.

Download the Household Plan

One of the most important steps you can take in preparing for emergencies is to develop a household disaster plan.

Download Important Documents Checklist

Having access to important documents can make recovery time after a disaster easier to manage.

Download Plan for Disability, Access, and Functional Needs

You many have to take additional steps for friends, neighbors or family members with special needs.