Pre Flood Preparation

Be Proactive and Maintain Situational Awareness

Take the time now to plan for how you will take care of yourself and your family during a flash flood or debris flow emergency. Debris flows and flooding can happen very quickly and you may need to take action before an "official" warning is issued.

Determine Your Risk

If you look at the stop signs in and around the City of Walsenburg, you will notice 3 colors of tape. They represent the minimum estimated water levels for the three main flooding scenarios. Red, Blue and Green.

  • Red is the 4.4" of rain in one hour (1% chance),
  • Blue is the 2.2" of rain in one hour (10% chance)
  • Green is the 1.1" of rain in one hour (99% chance).

It is based on the best available data they have so far. It is just an estimation and the water can exceed these levels, but hopefully it will help give you a visual of how deep it can get at certain points.

We have also posted Inundation Maps for these three scenarios to see how close your home is to the water pathway. This will help you determine if you should shelter in place or move to higher ground during a flood.

Prepare Your Family

Gather Important Documents

Having access to important documents can make recovery time after a disaster easier to manage. The following checklist contains suggested documents that you should locate, copy and store in a safe place.

Build an Emergency Kit

Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for petsseniors, or people with disabilities.

Create a Support Network

Contact family, friends and others who can assist you during an emergency, and share your disaster plans with them. Practice your plan with them. The City encourages everyone in the pre-evacuation zones to find a “Flood Buddy” outside the inundation areas before flooding begins.

Make an Evacuation Plan

Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. Choose two locations that are at a higher elevation and located outside the potential flood areas. Determine your safest route and alternate routes of escape,

  • Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.
  • Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
  • If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
  • Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
  • Always follow the instructions of local officials and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.

Have a household meeting to discuss and practice your emergency plan.

Stay Informed and Communicate

Stay Informed

  • Monitor local TV and radio. KSPK is available on UHF 28, channel 16 on cable, and at 102.3 FM.
  • Monitor NOAA weather radio (162.450 MHz or 162.400 MHz) 
  • Dial 2-1-1 for emergency information.
  • Follow the latest official news at fire.huerfano.us or on Facebook at One Huerfano
  • Attend community flood meetings. Walsenburg flood meetings are recorded and available for viewing here.

Sign up for CodeRED

Everyone is encouraged to register with CodeRED at (719) 738-1044

You must answer your phone and say something before the recording will play so please save these numbers in your phone for calls from CodeRed

(866) 419-5000 and (855) 969-4636

Make a Family Communication Plan

Your family may not be together when flooding occurs so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in various situations. The following form is designed to assist you.

Discuss Household Needs and Disabilities

Everyone's situation is different depending upon your location and the individual needs of your family. Take the time to ensure Your Plan addresses the unique needs of your family situation. 

Get Your Benefits Electronically

A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:

  • Direct deposit to a checking or savings account. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or sign up online.
  • The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper checks. Call toll-free at (877) 212-9991 or sign up online.

Protect Your Family and Property

Get Flood Insurance

Review insurance policies before disaster strikes. Make certain policies are current and meet your needs. Homeowner's insurance policies do not include flood insurance and it takes 30 days for federal flood insurance coverage to go into effect, so don't delay getting coverage. 

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies can be purchased through thousands of insurance agents nationwide. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may also be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance. If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661. 

More information is available at floodsmart.gov

Consider Strategies to Protect Your Property

Each property owner should determine whether flood control measures are warranted and desireable in their particular situation.

This section is intended to provide information and guidance ONLY.  The City of Walsenburg assumes no liability for the placement or effectiveness of sandbags or other methods of protection described on this website or the links included.

If your flood, debris, and erosion control problems appear to warrant facilities in excess of the measures described in these references, it is recommmended that you consult a competent expert for additional advice. 

MAKE A PLAN !

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a flooding strikes, so it is important to know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Begin by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.