Why I Prepare: Lessons Learned from the Colorado Floods Part 3
October 8, 2013
In light of the recent flooding in Colorado and all the damage that has occurred as a result, we want to share a series of posts from one Colorado woman’s perspective. Opinions expressed are hers and do not necessarily reflect those of Emergency Essentials. If you lived through the recent Colorado floods and want to share your story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The damage caused by the Colorado floods will last for many, many years. The damage you see on TV is nothing like seeing it in person. So many people lost everything. Communities are gone. Where there were once fields of corn there are now just large lakes, even a week later. Homes are still under water; roads and bridges are just gone; and businesses are destroyed.
The weekend of September 20th, I went to see if there was anything I could do to help. The images that most affected me were of two farm houses and their barns still under water. Their fields had turned into lakes. They lost everything.
Landfills were full of so many destroyed memories. I saw Flood Assistance signs directing people to tents that would give them clothing, food, and assistance to help with additional relief. It was so sad to see. But it was also exciting to see as I witnessed so many people wanting to help. I saw entire communities working together to help each other. People helping people they didn’t even know, and wanting nothing in return.
As I watched these people working together to clean up the devastating effects of this storm, I was trying to think about how someone could ever prepare for an emergency of this magnitude. The flood victims needed food, warmth, and a roof over their heads. I started to think that if my family and I had been affected as badly by the storm that all the goodies we have in our bug out bags wouldn’t be enough.
I decided to help out at the tents giving clothing and food. I listened to stories from people that had it so much worse than me. They all talked about how thankful they were. They said, “It could have been so much worse.”
Many organizations teach us to be prepared for emergencies, but this was big. You need to get everyone in your community involved, not just a few people. Everyone should know how to prepare for emergencies. It’s that old saying “It takes a village.” After the floods, I contacted my neighbors to schedule a meeting to start teaching them all how to prepare for future emergencies. We have to start somewhere.
Note from the editor: We offer free emergency planning resources for families and neighborhoods on our Downloads page. We encourage you to create a plan as soon as possible—even a very basic plan will help—and provide you a foundation to build on.
Check out the rest of the series: