Receiving alerts about threatening weather conditions is essential in rural mountain communities where electricity, landlines, and cell phones can be unreliable during disasters. Additionally, conditions can change quickly, so residents need to be able to tune in to information that will help them decide whether to evacuate, shelter in place, where to go – and when.
A special partnership of local residents and disaster response agencies has provided the resources that ensure access to this vital information.
In addition to recovering and rebuilding after last year’s devastating floods, strengthening community resilience and emergency preparedness has been a key priority for Boulder County’s mountain communities. Foothills United Way and the American Red Cross have been working closely with these mountain communities since the Fourmile Canyon fire of 2010 in order to help before, during and after disasters.
Foothills United Way’s Boulder Mountain Resources partners with the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the InterMountain Alliance, consisting of representatives from mountain communities, to determine the unique needs of mountain residents. Following the county’s OEM recommendation, the communities determined they needed to procure a large number of all-weather radios programmed to receive All-Hazard Notifications providing geographic, region specific, emergency information.
In the spirit of collaboration, Midland Radio offered to provide 100 all-weather radios at a 50% discount and the American Red Cross contributed the remaining cost for the radios, utilizing funds donated to support flood-affected communities. The Midland Radios will enable the remote mountain communities to receive real-time alerts regarding weather, fire, flood, evacuation, etc. Timely warnings make the difference between life and death in disaster scenarios.
These radios were distributed in recent weeks to mountain community leaders directly engaged in emergency preparedness planning in Allenstown, Gold Hill, Fourmile Canyon, Jamestown, Lefthand Canyon, Lyons, Nederland, Raymond/Riverside, Salina and Ward.
Every family should have a 72-Hour Emergency Preparedness Kit which includes a battery-powered all-weather radio and spare batteries. To learn more about building a kit to help you before, during, and after a disaster visit any of these helpful sites:
- American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/support/emergency-preparedness
- Boulder County: http://boulderoem.com/files/Boulder_Co_Emer_Prep_Guide.pdf
- Broomfield County: http://www.broomfield.org/DocumentCenter/View/1537