There was a listing published recently of the 10 most likely places for natural disasters to hit. Missouri came in at number 10. Topping the list was Texas, followed by California and Oklahoma. I was surprised to see Oklahoma in third place, but Texas topped the list for the third straight year. They are subject to a wider variety of natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes that Oklahoma is lacking.
The reason I bring this up is to give you an idea of the large number of people who are in natural disaster areas. The areas that seem most prone to devastation are the Gulf Coast states, including Texas, California and the Midwest from both floods and tornadoes.
So you wouldn’t think of Colorado as being in a particularly vulnerable part of the country, but yet wildfires in the past year have caused extreme havoc. Last year it was the Waldo Canyon fire that disrupted 36,000 people in Colorado Springs and destroyed over 350 homes.
This year that same city had the Black Forest fire that forced the evacuation of 38,000 people-from about 13,000 homes over a 93,000-acre area-with 478 homes destroyed so far because the fire is only 65% contained as of this writing.
The Black Forest fire got most of the headlines, but another fire in the Royal Gorge area near Canon City destroyed 4000 acres and jeopardized a national landmark-the Royal Gorge Bridge.
There were four other fires burning in Colorado at the same time and it’s just the early part of the fire season which does not bode well for residents of Colorado.
I remember well last year that the residents in the area of the Waldo Canyon fire had 15 minutes to evacuate. That is certainly not a lot of time and no time to start scratching your head wondering what you are going to do. It is absolutely essential for people who live in these parts of the country to have an emergency plan in place.
We have often recommended a “go box” that contains important documents, medications, and emergency supply of food and water, enough to last three days. That way when the time comes you just grab your go box and go.
So, in summary, develop a disaster plan that accounts for your smooth rapid evacuation if and when an emergency situation develops because of a natural disaster. You just never know when you may need it.
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