DOUGLAS COUNTY, Color. — Hurricane Ian is a reminder for everyone to be prepared in the case of a natural disaster.
Saturday, several agencies in Douglas County came together to put on a large-scale wildfire exercise to make sure people know how to stay safe and are ready in the case of an emergency.
"This could definitely be a reality one summer, and just going through the process, and you know, just being prepared for something like this, what are the protocols and who's going to contact them and how are they going to evacuate their homes and know where to go," said Luke Roberts, who is an emergency supervisor for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
"We received the reverse 911 call, which was a little bit emotional," participant Kristyn Koller said. "It felt very real, it felt very much like this could really be happening."
Koller said when she heard about the exercise, she knew she wanted to participate.
"Really to understand where our blind spots were, where we were not yet prepared, and to really also understand our risk and where we live and what we could be facing," Koller added.
Koller said she now feels a lot more prepared.
"I would say, I feel like I know what I need to do. Now we know we need to go home and put bags together. My daughter has some severe allergies, I didn't really think about medicines, her Epipens, things like that," she said.
It wasn't just about wildfire preparations.
"So this system can be used for a flood, tornado, any sort of things like that, today obviously we're mimicking a wildfire, but this could be used for any natural disaster. It'll be the same sort of protocols so it's good to practice that depending on what happens," Roberts said. "A lot of the time these organizations don't work together. So for them all to come together, you know, and get on the same page with law enforcement and fire. And that's that's a huge deal."
Douglas County officials are asking the community to sign up for CODERED Alerts through the county's website.