PARK COUNTY HAZARDS

from the Park County, Colorado Emergency Preparedness Guide

 

Here in Park County, the natural disasters we see most commonly include:

Thunderstorms/Lightning

Winter Storms

Extreme Cold Temperatures

Flash Flooding

Fire (both structural and wild land)

 

Other hazards include:

Power Outages

Hazardous Material Spills

Tornadoes

Terrorism

Avalanches

Violence in Schools

 

NOAA Weather Radio Stations in and near Colorado

162.400:  Greeley, Pueblo, Sterling

162.450:  Fort Collins

162.475:  Alamosa, Colorado Springs, Longmont / Cheyenne, Wyoming

162.500:  La Junta

162.525:  Bethune

162.550:  Denver, Grand Junction

 

LIGHTNING

Most people struck by lightning are not in the rain.  Lightning can strike 5 to 10 miles in advance of the storm.

If you feel your skin tingle and your hair stands on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet, put your hands on top of your head and place your head between your legs.

DO NOT LIE FLAT ON THE GROUND!

 

Flash-to-Bang Ratio

When you see lightning, count how many seconds until you hear thunder.  If the time is 5 seconds, the lightning was one mile away; if it is 10 seconds, the lightning is two miles away.  Seek shelter if the lightning moves to within four miles of your direction.  Quickly go inside a completely enclosed building.  If no enclosed building is convenient, get inside a hard-topped all metal vehicle.

 

The “30-30 Rule”

Take cover if you hear thunder within 30 seconds of the lightning flash.

Wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning flash or thunder before resuming normal activity.

 

FLOODING

In Colorado, river floods occur most often in association with snow melt in May and June.  The flash flood season extends from May to September with July and August as the primary months.

Flash floods result from heavy rainfall (especially in burnt areas), snowmelt, and dam/levee failures.  Flash floods can erode an entire mountainside, roll boulders the size of trucks, tear out trees, roads and bridges, and cause the loss of lives.  Rain-weakened soils can also result in mudslides capable of closing interstates and blocking escape routes.

 

THUNDERSTORM WATCH

Conditions are favorable for thunderstorms to produce wind gusts to 58 mph or stronger or hail to ¾ inch or larger in the watch area.

 

THUNDERSTORM WARNING

A severe thunderstorm has been detected by radar or by a trained spotter.  Take cover.

 

TORNADO WATCH

Be alert and prepared to go to a safe shelter if a Warning is issued.

 

TORNADO WARNING

A tornado has been spotted or Doppler radar indicates a thunderstorm circulation which could spawn a tornado.

 

WINTER STORM WATCH

Severe weather may affect your area.  Be alert, a storm is likely.

 

WINTER STORM WARNING

Severe weather conditions are definitely on the way.  Take action; the storm is in your area.

 

BLIZZARD WARNING

Large amounts of falling snow and wind are expected for several hours.

 

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY

Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.

 

FLASH FLOOD WATCH or FLOOD WATCH

Be alert to signs of flash flooding.  Be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice.

 

FLASH FLOOD WARNING

A flash flood is imminent.  Act quickly to save yourself because you may only have seconds.

 

FLOOD WARNING

Flooding has been reported or is imminent.  Take necessary precautions at once.