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City of Colorado Springs / Emergency Management / News

Prepare now for dangerous summer weather


New Emergency Preparedness and Safety Guides now available.            

With summer quickly approaching, the City of Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management (OEM) encourages citizens to prepare now for the area's most common natural hazards: severe weather.  Governor Bill Ritter has proclaimed April 11 through 17 as SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK in Colorado.           

To mark the season the OEM has published a new 71-page Emergency Preparedness and Safety guide to assist citizens in preparing for the inevitable storms and more.  No local tax dollars were used to create the guides.  Costs were paid with a $17,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Colorado Division of Emergency Management State Hazard Mitigation Program.  Interested citizens can access an on-line version by visiting springsgov.com and navigating to the Office of Emergency Management Web page.  Citizens can pick up a printed copy at any of the following locations:

  • City Administration Building, 30 South Nevada Avenue
  • City Hall, 107 North Nevada Avenue, First Floor
  • Fire Department Complex, 375 Printers Parkway
  • Police Operations Center, 705 South Nevada
  • Police Department Falcon Substation, 7850 Goddard Street
  • Police Department Gold Hill Substation, 955 West Moreno Avenue
  • Police Department Sand Creek Substation, 4125 Center Park Drive
  • Police Department Stetson Hills Substation, 4110 Tutt Blvd.

Severe Weather

            Colorado Springs' most common natural hazard is severe weather.  As weather warms, powerful thunderstorms can produce lightning, heavy rain, strong winds, hail, flash flooding and even tornadoes.  A typical storm is 15 miles in diameter, and lasts approximately 30 minutes.  When these storms appear citizens should seek shelter in sturdy buildings or hardtop vehicles until the storms pass.            

Sometimes heavy rains can produce flash flooding - even in typically dry streambeds.  Runoff from our nearby mountains also can quickly cause water levels to rise to unsafe levels.  During floods citizens should immediately seek higher ground and never attempt to cross moving water either on foot or in a vehicle.  Six inches of fast moving water can knock an adult off his or her feet.  It only takes 10 inches of moving water to move a car, and two feet of water can float a vehicle.

Tornadoes, although rare in Colorado Springs, are fairly common in eastern parts of El Paso County, such as Falcon and Calhan. When a tornado is coming, citizens only a short amount of time to make life-or-death decisions.  Advance planning and quick response are the keys to surviving a tornado.  It is important to designate an area in the home as a shelter, and practice tornado drills will all residents.  Also, assemble and keep an emergency supply kit handy for quick access; and create an emergency communication plan.            

To help protect citizens during severe weather, The National Weather Service will often issue watches and warnings to alert of dangerous weather conditions.  A "watch" is issued when atmospheric conditions are present that could produce severe weather.  A "warning" means severe weather is occurring.  Tune into local broadcast media during thunderstorms for the latest news from the National Weather Service.

Severe Weather Awareness Training

The Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management, in cooperation with the National Weather Service, is offering Severe Weather Awareness and Spotter Training on Tuesday, April 14th.  The free training will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will take place at the Stetson Hills Police Substation, 4110 Tutt Blvd.  Those interested must RSVP by contacting thomas.magnuson@noaa.gov.           

For more information, please contact the Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management at (719) 385-5957.