Apr 25, 2014 12:40 AM by Kelsey Kennedy

Public Meeting Readies Communities for Wildfire Season

At Cheyenne Mountain High School Thursday night, the community came together to be better prepared in the event of another catastrophic wildfire. First responders are learning from recent fires how to better prepare for them. They're forming and practicing response plans in case of another disaster, and they want you to do the same.

Life saving information was shared about how evacuation notices will be sent out. A pre-evacuation notice means you're not in immediate danger, but there is potential for disaster. Voluntary evacuation means you're encouraged to leave, and mandatory evacuation means get out now.

You can register your cell phone with the El Paso-Teller 911 Authority, watch the TV and radio, and in some cases officers will come door to door with an evacuation notice. This is when having a plan can save your life.

You need to have a 72 hour kit on standby containing important documents, food, clothes, first aid, a radio and a flashlight. You'll need to know where to meet your family, and how to get out. That's one of resident's main concerns.

"I think the evacuation aspect is difficult," says Deeann Rothstein. "Where I live we either go up, which could be where the fire is coming from, so we only have two ways out of our neighborhood."

"It seems like theres a good chance of getting trapped, says Earl Heflinger. "we'll be trying to get out with all the cars coming down and perhaps being stopped."

You should come up with multiple escape routes. Which one you take will depend on the behavior of the fire. Decide on a last resort open space like a large parking lot or park in case you can't get out. Of course, you'll also need to plan to take your pet along.

If you missed Thursday's meeting, it was a recorded and a link to the video will be posted on There you can also find the city's Emergency Preparedness and Safety Guide.



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