Preparedness Information

Are you prepared for an emergency in your neighborhood? The following information is brought to you by the Colorado Office of Emergency Management and the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.

Utility Disruption
You are probably aware of the possibility of a disruption in your home utilities (electric, phone, natural gas). Preparing is everyone's job - not just government agencies, but all sectors of society - service providers, businesses, civic, and volunteer groups, neighborhood associations, as well as every individual citizen. The information on this page will help you get ready for the possibility of a utility disruption.

Remember if there are utility outages, calls for emergency services may greatly increase. Available resources will be called in from local fire, ambulance, and law enforcement agencies to mitigate the risks. However, if there are an overwhelming number of calls, life threatening situations must receive the highest priority. Other lower-priority services may be severely limited. Prepare yourself and your family now to be self-sufficient.

72-Hour Family Emergency Kit

The 72-hour Emergency Kit should be individually tailored to meet the basic survival needs of your family. Most families prefer to store their emergency supplies in 1 safe location. Be sure you can reach your storage location if an evacuation is required. Items may be stored in a 32-gallon trash can, suitcase, duffel bag, footlocker or personal hiking pack.
Emergency Needs
  • Battery powered radio
  • Emergency candies
  • Essential medications
  • Extra clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses/contact lenses
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Manual can opener
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Sleeping bags and blankets (wool and thermal)
  • Utility knife
  • Water purification tablets
  • Water storage (1 gallon/person/day)
  • Waterproof/windproof matches
Non-Perishable Food Items
  • Canned meats, juice fruits and vegetables
  • Crackers
  • Freeze-dried and dehydrated goods
  • Infant care foods
  • Peanut butter
  • Powdered milk
  • Ready-to-eat goods in unbreakable containers
Standard First Aid Kit
  • Aspirin or pain relievers
  • Baking soda (1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 quart water for shock)
  • Band-Aids
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Diarrhea medicine
  • Disposable diapers (dressing/splint/padding)
  • Elastic bandages
  • First aid manual
  • Gauze
  • Heavy string
  • Individual medical needs
  • Laxatives
  • Matches
  • Micropore adhesive paper tape
  • Needles
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Salt
  • Sanitary napkins (pressure dressing)
  • Scissors
  • Small splints, popsicle sticks
  • Soap
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular bandages (36"x36"x52")
  • Tweezers
Sanitation Kit
  • Aluminum foil
  • Baby supplies
  • Disinfectant
  • Improvised toilet seat
  • Paper cups and plates
  • Paper towels
  • Personal hygienic needs
  • Personal toiletries
  • Plastic bags and ties
  • Plastic bucket with tightly fitted lid
  • Plastic utensils
  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
Other Emergency Needs
  • Address and phone numbers
  • Any special medical needs
  • Basic tools
  • Money
  • Pen and paper
  • Work gloves
Car Survival Kit
  • Always maintain at least 1/2 tank of gas
  • Bag of sand, shovel, and tools
  • Bottled water
  • Class ABC fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Jumper cables Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Non-perishable food stored in can
  • Radio and batteries
  • Reflectors and flares
  • Short rubber hose for siphoning
  • Sundry kit, paper and pencil, map, tissues, pre-moistened towels, plastic bags, essential medications
  • Waterproof matches and candies
Make Copies of All Legal Papers
  • Automotive ownership appraisals
  • Drivers licenses
  • House mortgage
  • Insurance policies
  • Marriage license
  • Motor home ownership
  • Trailers, snowmobiles, boat papers
  • Vacation home/ property ownership
Note: *Online storage is widely accessible for a nominal fee. In some cases, there is no fee at all to sign up for online storage (Google Documents.) You may chose to scan and upload documents to one of these services for secure online storage.
Out-of-state Contact
Establish an Out-of-State 24-hour Telephone Contact. Outgoing calls do not overload local telephone systems and will most likely be available during a disaster. All relatives should be informed now on procedures to call the phone contact, not after a disaster has occurred.

What to tell the out-of-state Contact
Inform members of your household to be prepared to provide your out-of-state contact with the following information:
  • Individual location
  • Health / safety status
  • Other family/household members with you
  • Any other pertinent information
You may also want to take color pictures of every room of your home plus pictures of valuables. Send 1 copy of legal papers and 1 copy of pictures to an out-of-state contact.

Plan How Your Family Will Stay In Contact If Separated by Disaster
Pick 2 meeting places
  • A location that is a safe distance from your home in case of fire.
  • A place outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
What To Do With The Family Pet
Many of us have pets in our homes. When assembling emergency supplies for the household, include items for pets. Extra food (The food should be dry and relatively unappealing to prevent overeating. Store the food in sturdy containers.) Some items to consider:
  • Kitty litter
  • Large capacity self-feeder and water dispenser
  • Extra medications
Meet with Neighbors
Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plan for child care in case parents can't get home.

Traffic Signals
Any driver who approaches an intersection and faces a traffic control signal which is not operating properly, shall treat the traffic control signal as if it were a stop sign. When 2 vehicles approach an intersection from different roadways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

How to Store Water
  • Store your water in thoroughly-washed plastic, glass, fiberglass, or enamel-lined metal containers.
  • Never use a container that has held toxic substances.
  • Remember that your hot water tank is a source for 40 to 50 gallons of drinking water
Emergency Outdoor Water Sources
If you need to find water outside of your home, you can use these sources.
  • Rainwater
  • Streams rivers and other moving bodies of water
  • Ponds and lakes
  • Natural springs
  • Snow
Be sure to purify the water by:
  • Boiling
  • Disinfecting with bleach (16 drops/gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes)
  • Distillation (Boil 1/2 pot of water and collect the vapors by tying a cup to the upside-down pot lid.)
Other Considerations
  • Stock supplies to last several days to a week for each family member.
  • Be prepared to relocate during a prolonged power outage.
  • Have extra cash on hand in case electronic transactions (ATM card, credit cards, etc.) can not be processed.
  • Talk with your family about the steps each needs to take to be ready if disaster happens.
For Additional Information Contact
  • Pitkin County Sheriff's Office - 970-920-5300
  • American Red Cross - 888-545-7800
  • Local Government
    • City Of Aspen - 970-920-5000
    • Pitkin County - 970-920-5200
    • Aspen Police Department - 970-920-5400