A Message From Chief Wolf
While I do not believe the Estes Valley to be in imminent danger, we have threats around us that require our attention and understanding. It’s also important to understand how our emergency management professionals are preparing for these threats, regardless of their probability. It’s important for each of us to take personal responsibility for ensuring our safety, and taking action when we feel it is necessary.
Natural disasters can have direct impacts, such as burning down a home or washing out a bridge. They can also have secondary impacts, such as impacting water supply, electricity, and sewage treatment. That is why Emergency Managers operate with a team of public safety professionals. This partnership enables the team to identify potential impacts, mitigate as many risks as possible, and work to protect citizens from them all. The scale of these problems can be immense, so the strength of the team can impact the outcome. Fortunately for the Estes Valley, we have a strong team.
For all of the current threats to our community, including fire (e.g. Cameron Peak), impacted escape routes (e.g. Cameron Peak, East Troublesome, Cal-Wood, Lefthand Canyon), and impacts on services (e.g. East Troublesome), your Emergency Management Team has been planning. The Team has identified Management Action Points (MAPs) that sets triggers to evaluate or take action based on what is happening. This helps decisions be made when there is time to think, and action to take place when it’s time to act.
This is a long way to say - we’re paying attention. We are aware of the threats around us, and we are planning to mitigate the ways they could impact us. Many of the mitigations have been in place for a long time, such as: redundant electric supply, redundant telecommunications fiber, adequate water supply, evacuation routes and triggers, and the list goes on. This year has certainly provided some challenges, but it is yet to be worse than the creative minds of emergency managers who dream up potential issues. And it is yet to be more determined than those of us in emergency response who want to see a successful outcome.
If you want to be prepared, take action to be prepared by: signing up for alerts, packing a go bag, and having a plan should evacuations be required. We have many resources on our website at www.estesvalleyfire.org. If you feel unsafe, take action to put yourself in a situation that makes you feel safe. The choice is a personal one. In the meantime, know your emergency responders are here, with support from hundreds (actually more than 1,000) of our closest friends helping us tackle these monsters at our doorstep. Together, we’ll get through it. Our team, and our community will make it possible.