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Making Progress Toward Better Readiness for Emergencies

(Las Animas, CO) -- With a recent push to get more residents in the east end of Bent County signed up for Swift 9-1-1, a telephone alert system to residents, Emergency Manager Troy Abdulla says he feels much better. That campaign to get more folks on board with signing up happened after a gas leak in McClave earlier this spring.

Addulla says they used social media and passing along the information to sign up by word of mouth. "Since that gas leak I've probably added 60 to 70 people um to that system," Addulla added he's happy with that because the east end of Bent county has a lower population.

Other positive additions to the Emergency Management office include a giant printer or plotter that can print up to 38 inch maps. Abdulla said during the Ft. Lyon fire they didn't have any large maps, only maps on an 8 x 11 piece of paper. He added this was difficult because the state sent help who were not familiar with the county roads. Abdulla said they have to work together to be able to attack a fire of that size and for future fires and a large map that is accurate and up-to-date helps.

In the digital update, Abdulla said there's an app called "I am Responding" that other counties can respond to in the event of a fire. Information such as location as hydrants is available. It also saves time in that a list of people don't have to be called, they can just check the app to see if mutual aid on a fire or emergency is needed.

Abdulla said he feels that the county is getting better at being ready for emergencies and urged residents to be ready as well. He said it is vital to prepare a bag with medicine and documents needed should an evacuation be order.


Anne Boswell

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