As tornado season approaches, the Town or Parker would like to remind residents of steps they can take to stay safe should a tornado hit.
Spring months in Colorado are known for their severe weather, which can include tornadoes, hail, high winds and lightning.
Because weather can move into the area very rapidly, it is important for citizens to be aware of and alert to the possibility of these events. Tornado sirens, also known as outdoor warning systems, are designed for one purpose – to alert people who are outdoors of potential tornadoes.
We do not have tornado sirens in Douglas County!
Since the occurrence of tornadoes in our county is very low, the cost is prohibitive (approximately $30 million for just the initial installation). In addition, the local terrain impacts the effectiveness of the sirens. The Town can use reverse 911 to contact Parker residents in the event of an emergency. However, preparedness begins with the individual and the steps outlined below will help you to be prepared.
Tornado Safety Tips for Douglas County CO
- When a tornado watch is announced, it means conditions are present for a tornado. Keep a radio/TV tuned for further information and gather emergency supplies.
- When a tornado warning is issued, it means a tornado has been sighted or is imminent. Take shelter immediately.
- If you are at home: go to your basement. If you don’t have a basement, go to an interior hallway or small room without windows on the lowest floor. Avoid windows. Do not remain in a trailer or mobile home if a tornado is approaching. Take cover elsewhere.
- If you are at work: go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor or a designated shelter. Avoid windows.
- If you are in a car or outside: seek cover in a nearby building or lie flat in a ditch or ravine.
- Stay tuned to your radio or TV for weather updates. Several local media outlets allow you to sign up to have severe weather alerts sent to your email, cell phone or pager.
- Purchasing an emergency weather radio is also recommended.
Before a Tornado
- Maintain an emergency 72-hour kit.
- Develop a family communication plan in case your family is separated.
- Identify a safe shelter location. A basement is best, followed by interior rooms on the lowest level of the building away from windows. Mobile homes are often unsafe in a tornado – identify a neighbor’s house or public shelter where you can go if a tornado warning is issued.
- Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio to receive alerts about impending severe weather.
- Sign up for reverse telephone alerts for your county and don’t forget to include your cell phone.
- Make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage – including flood insurance, which is separate from your homeowners policy.
- Photograph or video contents of your home in case you need to file a claim.
- Store copies of your important documents in another location, such as a bank safe deposit box.
During a Tornado
- Immediately go to your pre-identified safe shelter, there is no time to gather possessions.
- If possible, crouch under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a table. Cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
- If you are outside and no shelter is available, get in a vehicle and drive to shelter if possible. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to outrun a tornado.
- If you must use a vehicle for shelter, keep your seat belt on, cover your head and keep it below the window level.
- Do not use an overpass or bridge for shelter.
- If no other shelter is available, lie in a low spot and cover your head, but be alert for water filing the location.
After a Tornado
- Avoid downed power lines and leaking gas lines, report them to your utility company.
- Watch for broken glass, nails and other sharp objects.
- Avoid damaged building until declared safe by officials.
- Notify your family that you are safe, phone lines may be down, so be prepared to send text messages.
- Check property for damage and contact your insurance company to file a claim, if necessary.
Information courtesy the READYColorado project funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security program known as the Denver Urban Areas Security Initiative.
Emergency Preparedness Tips
- 72-Hour Kits (PDF)
- Make a Plan (PDF)
- Plan for Pets (PDF)
- Plan for Livestock (PDF)
- Be Prepared: Flooding
- Be Prepared: Tornado
- Be Prepared: Wildfire
- Be Prepared: Snow Storm / Blizzard
- How to Make an Emergency Preparedness Kit in Sign Language
For more information visit www.parkeronline.org/emergencypreparedness or contact Doreen Jokerst at 303.805.6515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are encouraged to contact your Parker Town Council with questions or comments at 303.841.0353 or email@example.com.