Crews share training and machines for responding to Colorado natural disasters

Posted at 4:30 AM, Aug 30, 2017

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Local emergency crews are in Texas helping with the impacts of Tropical Storm Harvey. Back here in Colorado, Denver7 wanted to know how teams prepare for the natural disasters we face in our region.

South Metro Fire Rescue said the biggest threats for a natural disaster in Colorado are tornadoes, blizzards, wildfires and floods. It is unlikely that Colorado will see the same type of tropical flooding that is hitting the Gulf states, but the life or death training is still critical.

"Wildfire is almost a year round event for us now and going into the fall it starts to dry out, and it becomes our high season," said Steve Standridge, South Metro Fire Rescue Emergency Manager.

South Metro uses a variety of machinery and vehicles to respond to emergency situations including wildfire brush trucks, heavy rescue engines, a dive rescue truck and a snow cat rescue truck. Weather conditions and rescue needs determine which type of crew is dispatched.

South Metro also shared the importance of having emergency supplies at home and work so you can be ready for when disaster strikes.

"If you work across town or you're more than a few miles away from your home, you're going to want those emergency supplies and you're going to want that logistical support so that there is a way for you to contact a relative outside of the zip code so that they know you're safe without tying up the local phone lines," said Einar Jensen, South Metro Fire Rescue Risk Reduction Specialist.

Jensen recommended putting together a 96-hour kit, rather than a 72-hour kit, to provide for more support in case a disaster pulls you away from home for more than a day or two.