Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Time to think about next year

While the days grow wetter and cooler it is a perfect time to prepare for wildfire.

 

We were VERY LUCKY again this year that we didn’t have fires get out of control. Much thanks goes to the first responders who stamped out fires while they were small. Thanks also that we didn’t have much lightning during the highest fire danger. We got lucky for the second year in a row. Most areas of La Plata County have received some good wetting rains over the last few weeks and fire danger has been reduced for the moment. We aren’t out of the woods yet. This area often sees a drying period in the fall between the end of monsoons and when the snow makes it to the mid and lower elevations where we live.

 

Look at your yard and landscape from the perspective of a wildfire: radiant heat, direct heat, blowing embers, creeping ground fires. Think of what it will take for your house to survive a fire without someone there to defend it. Do some of the work now to prepare for the next fire season.

 

You need to do as much as you can to protect your home from wildfire because when the day comes that the fire is in your neighborhood, the responders have to choose what to do for the greater good. That may not include saving every house along the way. The longer your home can stand on its own, the better chance it has.

 

Need some advice, check out http://www.ready.gov/wildfires

Monday, August 18, 2014

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT issued by NWS for western slope for potential HEAVY RAIN Tuesday

WWUS85 KGJT 182140
SPSGJT

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
340 PM MDT MON AUG 18 2014

COZ001>014-017>023-UTZ022>025-027>029-190945-
LOWER YAMPA RIVER BASIN-CENTRAL YAMPA RIVER BASIN- ROAN AND TAVAPUTS PLATEAUS-ELKHEAD AND PARK MOUNTAINS- UPPER YAMPA RIVER BASIN-GRAND VALLEY-DEBEQUE TO SILT CORRIDOR- CENTRAL COLORADO RIVER BASIN-GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS- GORE AND ELK MOUNTAINS/CENTRAL MOUNTAIN VALLEYS- CENTRAL GUNNISON AND UNCOMPAHGRE RIVER BASIN- WEST ELK AND SAWATCH MOUNTAINS-FLATTOPS- UPPER GUNNISON RIVER VALLEY-UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE- NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS- PARADOX VALLEY/LOWER DOLORES RIVER- FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER-ANIMAS RIVER BASIN- SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN-SOUTHEAST UTAH-EASTERN UINTA MOUNTAINS- EASTERN UINTA BASIN-TAVAPUTS PLATEAU-ARCHES/GRAND FLAT- LA SAL AND ABAJO MOUNTAINS-CANYONLANDS/NATURAL BRIDGES- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...RANGELY...DINOSAUR...CRAIG...HAYDEN...
MEEKER...RIO BLANCO...COLUMBINE...TOPONAS...
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS AND VICINITY...GRAND JUNCTION...FRUITA...
PALISADE...RIFLE...SILT...PARACHUTE...MESA...GLENWOOD SPRINGS...
EAGLE...CARBONDALE...SKYWAY...ASPEN...VAIL...SNOWMASS...
CEDAREDGE...DELTA...HOTCHKISS...MONTROSE...CRESTED BUTTE...
TAYLOR PARK...MARBLE...BUFORD...TRAPPERS LAKE...GUNNISON...
CIMARRON...RIDGWAY...GLADE PARK...OURAY...TELLURIDE...LAKE CITY...
SILVERTON...RICO...HESPERUS...GATEWAY...NUCLA...CORTEZ...
DOVE CREEK...MANCOS...DURANGO...BAYFIELD...IGNACIO...
PAGOSA SPRINGS AND VICINITY...BLANDING...BLUFF...MEXICAN HAT...
MANILA...DUTCH JOHN...VERNAL...JENSEN...BALLARD...FORT DUCHESNE...
RANDLETT...MOAB...CASTLE VALLEY...THOMPSON SPRINGS...
MONTICELLO AND VICINITY
340 PM MDT MON AUG 18 2014

..HEAVY RAIN TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT...

SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE WILL RETURN TO EASTERN UTAH AND WESTERN COLORADO TUESDAY. RAIN SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN COVERAGE TOMORROW AFTERNOON... WITH THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL POTENTIAL OVER EASTERN UTAH AND EXTREME WESTERN COLORADO LATE IN THE DAY TUESDAY.

RAINFALL AMOUNTS FROM SOME THUNDERSTORMS COULD EXCEED ONE INCH.
THIS COULD LEAD TO LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING...ROCK SLIDES...AND DEBRIS FLOWS. SLOT CANYONS...ARROYOS...AND WILDFIRE BURN SCAR AREAS WILL BE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE TO FLASH FLOODING.

STAY INFORMED ON THIS SITUATION AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/GJT. PLEASE REPORT ANY HEAVY RAIN...FLOODING...OR SEVERE WEATHER TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION OR TO YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICE.


$$

www.weather.gov/

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What is the difference between a Warning, Watch and Advisory?

The National Weather Service issues these hazard statements all the time and you should know what they mean. The National Weather Service (NWS) issues these statements based on the level of hazard or the severity of the weather. Here are the levels of hazardous weather statements the NWS may issue:

WARNING

A Warning issued be the weather service is the highest level of threat. Generally there is a life threatening situation occurring or about to occur. The NWS may also issue freeze and hard freeze warnings in the growing season that could be very damaging to crops. 

WATCH 

A Watch issued by the NWS means that conditions are right or will likely develop that could have dangerous or damaging effects. These are issued in storms that may not reach Warning criteria but will still pose danger to life and property. They are also issued when there is a developing weather system or where the dangers will be isolated in nature. 

ADVISORY

Advisories are issued by the NWS for weather that will likely have effects to people or property but will likely not be life threatening. 

Here is the NWS page explaining it all http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx/?n=wwadef 

What does this all mean to you? 

Any of the conditions where the NWS issues a hazard statement should be watched closely and not taken lightly. As we know, conditions vary across our region and what happens in one area may not happen in another. What level of threat it is to you as an individual may be different. For instance, if a flash flood watch is issued and you live at the bottom of a drainage, the threat is higher to you than someone who lives on top of the drainage. Many of the rescue missions La Plata County has performed in the back country had a similar cause: weather

  • Know your surroundings
  • Defend your home against weather impacts
  • Have a survival kit at your home, your office and in your car
  • Get to know your neighbor
  • Make a plan with your family - Remember that if we loose power for an extended period we may loose land lines, cell phones and internet. 

FLASH FLOOD WATCH continues through Thursday Evening in #LaPlataCo

FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
1018 AM MDT WED AUG 13 2014

$$

COZ001>014-017>019-022-023-UTZ023>025-027-140300-
/O.CON.KGJT.FF.A.0009.140813T1800Z-140815T0600Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
LOWER YAMPA RIVER BASIN-CENTRAL YAMPA RIVER BASIN- ROAN AND TAVAPUTS PLATEAUS-ELKHEAD AND PARK MOUNTAINS- UPPER YAMPA RIVER BASIN-GRAND VALLEY-DEBEQUE TO SILT CORRIDOR- CENTRAL COLORADO RIVER BASIN-GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS- GORE AND ELK MOUNTAINS/CENTRAL MOUNTAIN VALLEYS- CENTRAL GUNNISON AND UNCOMPAHGRE RIVER BASIN- WEST ELK AND SAWATCH MOUNTAINS-FLATTOPS- UPPER GUNNISON RIVER VALLEY-UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE- NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS- ANIMAS RIVER BASIN-SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN-EASTERN UINTA MOUNTAINS- EASTERN UINTA BASIN-TAVAPUTS PLATEAU-ARCHES/GRAND FLAT- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...RANGELY...DINOSAUR...CRAIG...HAYDEN...
MEEKER...RIO BLANCO...COLUMBINE...TOPONAS...
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS AND VICINITY...GRAND JUNCTION...FRUITA...
PALISADE...RIFLE...SILT...PARACHUTE...MESA...GLENWOOD SPRINGS...
EAGLE...CARBONDALE...SKYWAY...ASPEN...VAIL...SNOWMASS...
CEDAREDGE...DELTA...HOTCHKISS...MONTROSE...CRESTED BUTTE...
TAYLOR PARK...MARBLE...BUFORD...TRAPPERS LAKE...GUNNISON...
CIMARRON...RIDGWAY...GLADE PARK...OURAY...TELLURIDE...LAKE CITY...
SILVERTON...RICO...HESPERUS...DURANGO...BAYFIELD...IGNACIO...
PAGOSA SPRINGS AND VICINITY...MANILA...DUTCH JOHN...VERNAL...
JENSEN...BALLARD...FORT DUCHESNE...RANDLETT...MOAB...
CASTLE VALLEY...THOMPSON SPRINGS
1018 AM MDT WED AUG 13 2014

..FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING...

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* WESTERN COLORADO...EAST-CENTRAL UTAH AND NORTHEAST UTAH.

* THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING

* MONSOON MOISTURE WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD OVER THE AREA TODAY.
THIS DEEP SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE COMBINED WITH DISTURBANCES ALOFT
WILL TRIGGER SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING WITH SOME STORMS CONTINUING
OVERNIGHT. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL AGAIN INCREASE ON
THURSDAY FOR CONTINUED FLASH FLOODING RISKS DUE TO ALREADY
SATURATED GROUND. SOME STORMS WILL PRODUCE HEAVY RAINFALL IN A
SHORT PERIOD OF TIME WITH RAINFALL OF AN INCH OR MORE POSSIBLE.

* THE RAINFALL COULD LEAD TO LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING ALONG WITH
ROCK SLIDES AND DEBRIS FLOWS ESPECIALLY FOR LOW LYING AREAS
NEAR STEEP TERRAIN AND WILDFIRE BURN SCARS. SLOT CANYONS AND
SLICK ROCK AREAS...NORMALLY DRY CREEKS...STREAMS AND ARROYOS
WILL BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO SUDDEN INCREASES IN WATER FLOWING
THROUGH THEM DUE TO HEAVY RAIN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

&&

$$

www.weather.gov/

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Weather Svc issues FLASH FLOOD Watch for #LaPlataCo and much of wstrn CO for Wednesday

WGUS65 KGJT 122046
FFAGJT

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
246 PM MDT TUE AUG 12 2014

COZ001>014-017>019-022-023-UTZ023>025-027-130500-
/O.NEW.KGJT.FF.A.0009.140813T1800Z-140814T1200Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
LOWER YAMPA RIVER BASIN-CENTRAL YAMPA RIVER BASIN- ROAN AND TAVAPUTS PLATEAUS-ELKHEAD AND PARK MOUNTAINS- UPPER YAMPA RIVER BASIN-GRAND VALLEY-DEBEQUE TO SILT CORRIDOR- CENTRAL COLORADO RIVER BASIN-GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS- GORE AND ELK MOUNTAINS/CENTRAL MOUNTAIN VALLEYS- CENTRAL GUNNISON AND UNCOMPAHGRE RIVER BASIN- WEST ELK AND SAWATCH MOUNTAINS-FLATTOPS- UPPER GUNNISON RIVER VALLEY-UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE- NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS- ANIMAS RIVER BASIN-SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN-EASTERN UINTA MOUNTAINS- EASTERN UINTA BASIN-TAVAPUTS PLATEAU-ARCHES/GRAND FLAT- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...RANGELY...DINOSAUR...CRAIG...HAYDEN...
MEEKER...RIO BLANCO...COLUMBINE...TOPONAS...
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS AND VICINITY...GRAND JUNCTION...FRUITA...
PALISADE...RIFLE...SILT...PARACHUTE...MESA...GLENWOOD SPRINGS...
EAGLE...CARBONDALE...SKYWAY...ASPEN...VAIL...SNOWMASS...
CEDAREDGE...DELTA...HOTCHKISS...MONTROSE...CRESTED BUTTE...
TAYLOR PARK...MARBLE...BUFORD...TRAPPERS LAKE...GUNNISON...
CIMARRON...RIDGWAY...GLADE PARK...OURAY...TELLURIDE...LAKE CITY...
SILVERTON...RICO...HESPERUS...DURANGO...BAYFIELD...IGNACIO...
PAGOSA SPRINGS AND VICINITY...MANILA...DUTCH JOHN...VERNAL...
JENSEN...BALLARD...FORT DUCHESNE...RANDLETT...MOAB...
CASTLE VALLEY...THOMPSON SPRINGS
246 PM MDT TUE AUG 12 2014

..FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR WESTERN COLORADO...EAST-CENTRAL UTAH...AND
NORTHEAST UTAH.

* FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

* MONSOON MOISTURE WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA WEDNESDAY. THIS DEEP
SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE COMBINED WITH DISTURBANCES ALOFT WILL
TRIGGER SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SOME OF THESE STORMS MAY
PRODUCE HEAVY RAINFALL IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME...WITH RAINFALL
OF AN INCH OR MORE POSSIBLE.

* THIS COULD LEAD TO LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING ALONG WITH ROCK
SLIDES AND DEBRIS FLOWS ESPECIALLY FOR LOW LYING AREAS NEAR
STEEP TERRAIN AND WILDFIRE BURN SCARS. SLOT CANYONS AND SLICK
ROCK AREAS...NORMALLY DRY CREEKS...STREAMS AND ARROYOS WILL BE
SUSCEPTIBLE TO SUDDEN INCREASES IN WATER FLOWING THROUGH THEM
DUE TO HEAVY RAIN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

&&

$$

www.weather.gov/

Thursday, August 7, 2014

LPCOEM tips for back country safety - Help the rescuers help you when you need it most

Back Country Tips from La Plata County OEM
This guide should help you prepare for back country excursions and with how to help rescuers help you. 

In the back country, being prepared is of utmost importance… Be prepared for the unexpected! Even when you are near others, you may be out of reach from help for hours or even days. Many simple incidents become life or death situations because the person is ill prepared. Cell phones don’t always work, even the best outdoorsman can get turned around, an injury can make yards into miles and conditions can change without warning challenging the best of us.

Sheriff’s Responsibility – By Colorado Statute, the Sheriff is solely responsible for Search and Rescue within their county. The Sheriff is both fiscally and physically responsible to perform searches and rescues. Although there has been quite a bit of debate about paying for rescues, people across Colorado are not charged for SAR.
·         CORSAR – Colorado began the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search And Rescue fund in 1987 and it has become a national model of success and participation. After some changes over the years, the fund is now managed by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). The CORSAR fund is paid into by a small charge on recreational licenses or by purchasing a hiking certificate. The funds can ONLY be used for two purposes. Reimbursement of sheriff costs for SAR incidents and Volunteer training and equipment. Go Here to buy one or visit any of the outdoors shops in Durango
o    The CORSAR fund IS NOT INSURANCE! It is reimbursement fund to assist Sheriffs’ with expenses of their search and rescue obligations
o    The CORSAR fund will not pay for a medical care including ambulance, air-medical transport, on-road transport, or hospital care.
o    The CORSAR fund may pay for some flight time of helicopters. Although it can’t pay for the ambulance portion of a medical airship, it may pay for actual flight time on helicopter though. This could be 1/3 to ½ the cost of the total running 5K – 15K per hour!
o    CORSAR also does not pay for regular costs of the County like a Sheriff’s time on scene or fuel for County vehicles.
o    Who needs CORSAR? Everyone should participate if they plan to be anywhere away from civilization or where an ambulance can’t drive. That includes city trails to federal wilderness, or even your neighbor’s back 40!
o    How is the money distributed?
§  TIER I: The Fund immediately pays first for expenses incurred on those who participate
§  TIER II: The Fund pays second for expenses incurred on immediate family of those who participate.  This comes at the end of the year after all Tier I expenses.
§  TIER III: The Fund uses a portion of remaining funds to pay for expenses incurred for people who don’t participate after Tier II expenses.
§  Remaining funds at the end of each year go to train and equip the volunteer Search and Rescue teams and personnel
o    To participate, buy a  one or three year card, have a valid Colorado hunting or fishing license, or valid OHV (ATV, UTV, Side-by-Side, Dirtbike, Snowmobile) or boat registration
·         Location – We can not stress enough how important it is to know where you are. When you need help, we have to be able to find you, and the tree next to you likely doesn’t have an address. Often, calls come in where people don't know what trail head, what trail or what forest they are in. Many tools can help you find your way but you must know how to use them.
·         Maps and Compass – Simple, reliable and needs no batteries. ALWAYS CARRY A MAP AND COMPASS AND LEARN HOW TO USE THEM EVEN IF YOU HAVE A GPS. Get up to date USFS map and a shaded relief topographic of the area. Get the plastic waterproof version and make sure everyone in your group and your family at home have the same maps.
·         GPS – These have become invaluable tools in the back country for everyone. They are complicated to use effectively and batteries can die. Learn how to use your handheld GPS before you leave home. Except for the satellites, handheld units works totally different than the navigation system in your car. Get a quality high sensitivity unit. Don't try and use your phone as a GPS in the woods unless you are desperate. You should know how to set a waypoint, input a waypoint, read your current location, elevation and heading, trackback, change datum, use the tracklog, and use with a map. If any of these look confusing, get your manual or find an expert.
·         Not all GPS are equal! It depends on how you use them. Your GPS, phone, SPOT etc .  are set to use Latitude-Longitude  for the coordinates and WGS84 for the Datum. Unless you know what you are doing, don’t change this. Most rescuers use two forms of coordinates UTM and Lat Long. UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) is like the military grid with 1000 meter squares which make it very easy to calculate distance and direction from one point to another in small areas. Lat Long (in various forms) are easier for large distances and are used by everything from your cell phone to search aircraft. UTM coordinates are used with NAD 27 Datum. Degrees Minutes Seconds are used with WGS 84 Datum and come in several formats.
o    As long as you read the numbers correctly we can use any format, however we prefer to use lat long with WGS84 which is common to most all maps and electronics
o    Read coordinates as below. Don’t say “Thirty-seven”, say “Three, Seven”. The following are all the same point on a map:
§  DDMMSS.s – Degrees Minutes Seconds 
·         N37 14 12.2, W107 26 50.1
·         read as “North 3 7 degrees, 1 4 minutes, 1 2 point 2 seconds by West 1 0 7 degrees, 2 6 minutes, 5 0 point 1 seconds West”
§  UTM
·         13N 282915 4123933
·         Read as “1 3 “N”, 2 8 2 9 1 5 by 4 1 2 3 9 3 3”
·         SPOT and other PLBs – Personal Locator Beacons and other GPS-enabled emergency devices have been helpful to let others know where you are and whether you are in trouble or in danger. ONLY trip the emergency beacon when you are in dire need of being extricated from the woods. Use the OK button if your unit has one to ease friends back home. Use the Help button to bring your friends to you in non-life threatening incidents.
o    The tracking function and satellite texting have proven to be extremely helpful in getting the right resources to the right place.
o    Ask your dealer about adding insurance to the subscription, it may even help cover medical transport or towing not covered by CORSAR.
o    Remember that like a sat phone, the beacon needs a view of the sky to send its signal out. 
Communication from the woods – Knowing what works and when is a very big concern especially when you step away from civilization. You should know that your cell will drain its batteries in poor coverage areas as it continually attempts to connect to cell towers or operates in analog mode. Much of the Colorado Mountains have poor coverage if any at all. Many areas have zero coverage from cell, public safety radio repeaters or even sat phone. Turn off the phone if you can. If not: turn off data, turn off GPS (unless in an emergency), close all unneeded apps, don’t continually open the phone or activate the screen – all these activities aid in draining your batteries.
Use these tips to help make the most of what communications are out there.
·         Cell Phone – We count on cell phones every day and expect them to work. In the woods they probably won’t. Trees, moisture and terrain destroy cell signals. Often, the only way to get a signal is to go up. If you find a signal it may or may not be good enough to make a call out.
o    Even when a signal is good enough to call out, it may not be good enough to receive an incoming callIn an emergency, when you find a place that works, keep it: Don’t move, don’t spin, don’t change hands. Keep the signal, it is your life line! 
o    If you are in an emergency, call 911. Operators can often identify your location, sometimes very accurately which will help us find you. Try texting if calling doesn’t work. Sometimes a text works when calling doesn’t. You can’t text 911 but you can go through a friend or family to get help.
·         Family Radio – Also known as FRS and GMRS or "Talkabout" radios. Rescuers often use these inexpensive UHF radios to talk to each other and we can use them to talk to you. They can reach many miles under the right circumstances. People in your party and back home should know what channel your radio is on so we can find you.
o    Leave off the privacy channels in the woods (i.e. use 8-0 instead of 8-12). Privacy codes only filter out unwanted signals, they don’t scramble your voice.  
o    Go to channel 1-0 in an emergency
·         Sat Phone – These are expensive to purchase but can be rented from many outfitters and outdoors shops. They work almost everywhere but can lose signal under dense canopy, in steep canyons, against a steep slope or with heavy weather.
o    Sat Phones are at times difficult to call back. Get in the open and as with a cell phone, go up. Of Course if you find a signal, keep it!
o    Before heading into the woods make sure you have the number for the District Ranger, Sheriff’s Office and most importantly, the E-911 Dispatch center covering the area you will be in. 911 May not work.  La Plata County is 970-385-2900
·         Survival Kit – Never leave home without a survival kit, actually never be home without one either. Your home should have a 72hr emergency kit and your car should have an emergency kit. Check out the Red Cross for info on those. In the woods, you must have a survival kit to hike, hunt cycle or anything else - for your own personal safety. These items should be kept in an easy to access place in your main pack or separately on your person. If a bear runs you out of your tent at night, it should be the first thing you grab.
o    Keep a little food, water purifier, antibiotic, triangle bandage, needle/thread, small light, multi-tool, whistle, mirror, compass, waterproof fire starter, parachute cord, plastic trash bag/poncho and emergency blanket with you at ALL times. A small hip sack or a big hip pocket can hold all of this. Survival in the woods depends on a clear head and protection from the elements. You can survive days without food or overnight without water fairly easily. You won’t without shelter.
·         Weather – Mountain weather is extreme and can change very quickly without warning. Having appropriate clothing and protection from severe weather and temperature changes is required for your own life safety.
o    Storms may be convective and build out of thin air, temperatures can swing 50 or more degrees in a day, hurricane force winds can build without storms, many mountain storms don’t show on radar (some of SW Colorado has a 30K ft radar floor) and the whole mountain is a lightning rod. Hypothermia kills, even at moderate temperatures. In the valleys, your sky view is limited and you may have only minutes to seek shelter during storms. Our weather is different from yours, guaranteed.
·         Lightning – If lightning gets close, seek shelter fast. Lightning can strike many miles from a storm when mountains are involved. Get off exposed peaks, find shorter stands of trees, get out of stream beds and away from fences.
o    If you are near your car and it is not a convertible (like a jeep), get inside and close windows and doors.
o    If you are totally exposed and your hair stands on end, crouch down on the balls of your feet (don't lie down) to limit your height and surface area touching the ground. Lightning finds the path of least resistance which may mean you.
·         Altitude – If you come from anywhere lower than here you will likely be affected by the altitude, even if you come from 5,000 feet, 10,000 is a huge difference. The sun is stronger and the air is thinner.
o    Wear sunscreen, even under overcast skies.
o    Plan on not having the energy or strength you have at home no matter what your fitness level. Altitude especially hits your recovery time from exertion. You will also lose much more water just from breathing so drink much more than normal.
o    Pay attention to the early signs of altitude sickness: nausea, fatigue, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, rapid pulse, swelling of hands and feet, pins and needles feeling.
o    Severe symptoms can be fluid on the lungs (pulmonary edema) with dry coughing or fever, or swelling of the brain (cerebral edema) with headache, loss of consciousness, retinal hemorrhage. Altitude sickness is deadly.
o    Mild symptoms can be alleviated by moving a bit lower. Severe symptoms must be treated by a hospital. Get lower immediately, get help and get patient to a hospital.
·         Tell others – When you go into the woods, leave a plan with family or responsible friends.
o    Your plan should have details of where you are going (i.e. what trail, ridge, or draw), what map you have, what medical conditions may affect you, when you plan to return, when they should start worrying, what gear you carry, how experienced you are, how well you know the area, if you have a radio-what channel or frequency you will be on, do you carry your cell phone, where will you park.
o    We won’t know what to do or how to help if we don’t even know you are missing.
o    In a group adventure, you should all know the strengths and weaknesses of your partners, know their medical history as it relates to being out, have their phone numbers and an outside contact for everyone in the group.
·         When you call for help: The volunteers of Search and Rescue will do their best to find and rescue you. You and your party will have to help us to help you.
o    Have a plan – All your party should be on the same page and work together. You may be able to save yourselves without involving the volunteers of SAR
o    Leave an itinerary. Someone should have information about your trip so they can help if things go wrong. If you go alone, even for a short hour hike, tell someone or leave a message on your dash. 
o    Call us before it’s too late. It may take time to assemble teams and equipment. Weather and darkness may limit our abilities. Give us the benefit of being able to help you without putting our volunteers in more risk than needed. We may be able to talk you through helping yourself.
o    Call 911 not your mother. We can do more to find and help you when you call 911 than if you call a friend. Save your battery for rescuers. When you make contact: follow their instructions, stay put, and think before you speak. Small movements like turning your head can kill a cell signal when it is spotty to begin with. Getting higher may help.
o    When you call 911 you should be ready to help rescuers with information about when, where, how, and the conditions of wind, temperature, clouds, and vegetation. Be ready to describe medical conditions, mechanism of injury and what has been done to stabilize.
o    Know the strengths and weaknesses of those in your party. Illness, injury and recent surgery can play a big factor in how we formulate our response.
o    Be Visible – Blaze orange helps but it may not be enough. Fall leaves and red rocks can mask your high visibility vest. Have an emergency blanket that’s silver on one side and electric blue on the other. We will most likely search for you by air as well as the ground so do everything you can to help us find you quickly.
§  Signal Mirror can be seen incredibly well, especially from the air, but you need to practice before you need it
§  Signal Whistle carries sound very well in a forest. Use long bursts. Rescuers one blast, victim three blasts just like gun fire.
§  Be visible from air. We will usually make one pass overhead and then make a grid over a search area. Make yourself visible by waving, using a signal mirror, getting in a high clearing and wearing bright colors.
·         Helicopter Safety – A helicopter needs space to land. Medical ships ask for a minimum of 200’ by 200’ flat landing zone with space to gain lift. Although a football field is hard to find in the woods, do your best. They have poor performance at high altitude and need good landing zones. 
o    If you have to help land a helicopter,
§  Clear loose material that can blow into rotors,
§  Secure and tend animals (they tend to run into or under helicopters) move them far far away
§  Put your back to the wind, put glasses on and hold streamers (flagging) up high so the pilot can judge wind direction and speed
§  NEVER approach the helicopter until the pilot waves you in
§  NEVER approach the helicopter from anywhere but the front
§  NEVER go anywhere near the tail, the tail rotor is invisible and silent
·         If we come, don’t hide. If you are long overdue or injured please let us find you. Don’t hide (yes this happens). We won’t charge you. We would much rather have the training and find you alive and well in a few hours than not find you at all after a few days. Whoever called 911 for you overdue will surely be happy you are OK. 

La Plata County Emergency Management

Monday, August 4, 2014

FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING for #LaPlataCo per NWS #COwx

WGUS65 KGJT 042220
FFAGJT

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
420 PM MDT MON AUG 4 2014

COZ019-022-023-050600-
/O.NEW.KGJT.FF.A.0007.140804T2220Z-140806T0600Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-ANIMAS RIVER BASIN- SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...SILVERTON...RICO...HESPERUS...DURANGO...
BAYFIELD...IGNACIO...PAGOSA SPRINGS AND VICINITY
420 PM MDT MON AUG 4 2014

..FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL COLORADO AND
SOUTHWEST COLORADO...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...IN SOUTH
CENTRAL COLORADO...SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN. IN SOUTHWEST
COLORADO...ANIMAS RIVER BASIN AND SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN
MOUNTAINS.

* THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING

* THUNDERSTORMS ACCOMPANIED BY VERY HEAVY RAIN HAVE DEVELOPED IN
EASTERN LA PLATA COUNTY AND WILL CONTINUE TO DEVELOP AND MOVE TO
THE NORTHEAST THROUGHOUT THE EVENING. WITH MONSOONAL MOISTURE
HIGH TODAY...ANTICIPATING POTENTIAL FLOOD ISSUES THIS EVENING
IN THESE AREAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

&&

$$

www.weather.gov/

Monday, July 28, 2014

ARIAL FLOOD ADVISORY for La Plata County for heavy rain. Watch for debris and water on the roads




WGUS85 KGJT 282329
FLSGJT

FLOOD ADVISORY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
529 PM MDT MON JUL 28 2014

COC067-290230-
/O.NEW.KGJT.FA.Y.0028.140728T2329Z-140729T0230Z/
/00000.N.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
LA PLATA CO-
529 PM MDT MON JUL 28 2014

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION  HAS ISSUED A

* URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY FOR...
  CENTRAL LA PLATA COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST COLORADO...

* UNTIL 830 PM MDT

* AT 529 PM MDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED HEAVY RAIN DUE TO
  THUNDERSTORMS. THIS WILL CAUSE URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING IN
  THE ADVISORY AREA.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE...
  DURANGO.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE
ROADWAY. THE WATER DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW YOUR CAR TO CROSS
SAFELY. MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND.

&&

LAT...LON 3734 10775 3725 10774 3726 10790 3734 10790

$$

TGR

www.weather.gov/

FLASH FLOOD WATCH in effect from the NWS noon through midnight for potentially heavy rain across the region.

Stormy and wet weather are expected to continue through Wednesday, but are to be particularly heavy today.

WGUS65 KGJT 281034
FFAGJT

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
434 AM MDT MON JUL 28 2014

COZ006-UTZ027-282200-
/O.EXA.KGJT.FF.A.0004.140728T1800Z-140729T0600Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
GRAND VALLEY-ARCHES/GRAND FLAT-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...GRAND JUNCTION...FRUITA...PALISADE...
MOAB...CASTLE VALLEY...THOMPSON SPRINGS
434 AM MDT MON JUL 28 2014

..FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM NOON MDT TODAY THROUGH THIS EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION HAS EXPANDED THE

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH TO INCLUDE PORTIONS OF WEST CENTRAL COLORADO
AND EAST CENTRAL UTAH...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...IN
WEST CENTRAL COLORADO...GRAND VALLEY. IN EAST CENTRAL UTAH...
ARCHES/GRAND FLAT.

* FROM NOON MDT TODAY THROUGH THIS EVENING

* FLASH FLOODING IS POSSIBLE MONDAY DUE TO HEAVY RAINFALL FROM
MONSOONAL MOISTURE AND A DISTURBANCE THAT WILL MOVE NORTH OVER
THE AREA. STORMS WILL ALSO BE SLOW MOVING FURTHER INCREASING
FLASH FLOODING RISKS.

* DEBRIS AND MUD FLOWS WILL BE POSSIBLE ESPECIALLY NEAR OLD BURN
SCARS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

&&

$$

COZ009-011-012-014-017>023-UTZ022-028-029-282200-
/O.CON.KGJT.FF.A.0004.140728T1800Z-140729T0600Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS-
CENTRAL GUNNISON AND UNCOMPAHGRE RIVER BASIN- WEST ELK AND SAWATCH MOUNTAINS-UPPER GUNNISON RIVER VALLEY- UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE- NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS- PARADOX VALLEY/LOWER DOLORES RIVER- FOUR CORNERS/UPPER DOLORES RIVER-ANIMAS RIVER BASIN- SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN-SOUTHEAST UTAH-LA SAL AND ABAJO MOUNTAINS- CANYONLANDS/NATURAL BRIDGES- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...SKYWAY...CEDAREDGE...DELTA...
HOTCHKISS...MONTROSE...CRESTED BUTTE...TAYLOR PARK...MARBLE...
GUNNISON...CIMARRON...RIDGWAY...GLADE PARK...OURAY...TELLURIDE...
LAKE CITY...SILVERTON...RICO...HESPERUS...GATEWAY...NUCLA...
CORTEZ...DOVE CREEK...MANCOS...DURANGO...BAYFIELD...IGNACIO...
PAGOSA SPRINGS AND VICINITY...BLANDING...BLUFF...MEXICAN HAT...
MONTICELLO AND VICINITY
434 AM MDT MON JUL 28 2014

..FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON MDT TODAY THROUGH THIS EVENING...

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* PORTIONS OF COLORADO AND SOUTHEAST UTAH...INCLUDING THE
FOLLOWING AREAS...IN COLORADO...ANIMAS RIVER BASIN...CENTRAL
GUNNISON AND UNCOMPAHGRE RIVER BASIN...FOUR CORNERS/UPPER
DOLORES RIVER...GRAND AND BATTLEMENT MESAS...NORTHWEST SAN
JUAN MOUNTAINS...PARADOX VALLEY/LOWER DOLORES RIVER...SAN JUAN
RIVER BASIN...SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS...UNCOMPAHGRE
PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE...UPPER GUNNISON RIVER VALLEY AND
WEST ELK AND SAWATCH MOUNTAINS. IN SOUTHEAST UTAH...
CANYONLANDS/NATURAL BRIDGES...LA SAL AND ABAJO MOUNTAINS AND
SOUTHEAST UTAH.

* FROM NOON MDT TODAY THROUGH THIS EVENING

* FLASH FLOODING IS POSSIBLE MONDAY DUE TO HEAVY RAINFALL FROM
MONSOONAL MOISTURE AND A DISTURBANCE THAT WILL MOVE NORTH OVER
THE AREA. STORMS WILL ALSO BE SLOW MOVING FURTHER INCREASING
FLASH FLOODING RISKS.

* DEBRIS AND MUD FLOWS WILL BE POSSIBLE ESPECIALLY NEAR OLD BURN
SCARS INCLUDING THE PAPOOSE BURN SCAR.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

&&

$$

www.weather.gov/