© 2013 by Gilpin County Sheriff's Office

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Blizzards and Heavy Snow

Winter in the Colorado Mountains can be tough. Most winters we usually have at least one storm with about two feet of snow. In the past, we have had blizzards with as much as seven feet! Along with the cold and snow come power outages and hazardous driving conditions.

 

Protect Your Home
  • Cold temperatures can freeze pipes, sometimes causing them to burst. Insulate pipes in crawl spaces and be certain to blow out pipes for outdoor hoses.

  • Heavy snow can damage decks and roofs. If it is safe to do so, try to shovel off decks as snow falls to decrease damage.

  • If you use a wood-burning stove for heat, be certain you have the chimney cleaned and checked for obstructions before using it. 

  • Space heaters, especially ones with open heating elements, can cause house fires, so be certain to turn off space heaters before leaving your residence.

Protect Yourself

 

  • Snowy/ Icy roads cause hazardous driving conditions. Before the first big storm, check your tires for tread, change your tires to snow tires, or make certain you have chains in your vehicle.

  • Remember, 4 wheel drive does not mean your vehicle will not slide. Use caution and drive at slower speeds when roads are snow-packed and/or icy.

  • In case of a blizzard, do not leave your residence unnecessarily, especially if conditions are particularly hazardous.

  • If you do leave your residence, have a blanket per person in your vehicle along with some snacks, such as granola bars, in case you get stranded on the side of the road. If you do get stranded, do not leave your vehicle. Call 911 for assistance. Having some cat litter to put at the base of your tires may help you regain traction to get back on the road.

  • Have extra blankets and alternate heat sources available at your residence in the case of a long power outage. Small outdoor generators can power a space heater for a few hours. Wood burning stoves/ fire places are also excellent sources for heat. Be sure to have extra firewood and/or pellets for your stove.

  • Stock up on non-perishable foods and water in case you do get snowed in at your residence for an extended eriod of time.

  • Familiarize yourself with our Evacuation Levels. In the event of an emergency, officials will notify you of the threat and evacuation level determined to be necessary through CodeRedTwitter, and media.

  • Have an Evacuation Plan and practice it. Have alternate routes, in case your primary route is snowed in, or too hazardous to drive.

  • Include children in preparedness planning.

  • Have a Family Contact Plan (who to call, where to meet, where to meet if separated, etc...)

  • Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit, also known as a 72 hour kit, with items you may need if advised to evacuate. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy to carry containers such as backpacks, duffle bags, or trash containers. There are an endless number of these kits for purchase, but one of the simplest ways to do this is to create your own and have a separate bag/pack/container for each person. Keep each kit in a place where it will be easy to locate at a moment’s notice.

    • Here is a sample list of items to consider placing in your kit:

      • Three day supply of water (1 gallon for each person)

      • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper. Add six drops (1/8 tsp) of unscented liquid bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes.

      • One change of clothing and footwear per person and one blanket or sleeping bag per person

      • Cell phone w/chargers, inverters, or a solar charger

      • First aid kit

      • Prescription medicines

      • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

      • Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries

      • Matches in a water-proof container

      • Extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash, or traveler’s checks

      • Sanitation supplies

      • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members

      • Local maps

  • Know where to grab information and supplies for your animals in the event you have to evacuate.

Road conditions

Call: (303) 639-1111

www.cotrip.org