One goal of the Town of New Castle is to help you plan and respond to emergency situations. Planning for any emergency requires considering all likely scenarios. Although Colorado does not experience disasters such as hurricanes, as residents you could experience winter storms, thunderstorms, or power outages for which you should be prepared.
What You Need to Know When Preparing for an Emergency
Electricity, water, heat, air conditioning, telephone service and transportation could be disrupted or lost for a considerable amount of time. Emergency preparedness means having enough food, water, medications and other essentials on hand to last your family for three to five days for weather-related events.
If you are required to evacuate your home, carry a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Suitable items include blankets, flashlight, shovel, jumper cables, road salt or kitty litter, flares or reflective triangles, local road maps, and high-calorie food like granola bars and cans of juice. Consider keeping an old cell phone and a power cord in each of your cars. Even if the phone does not have a service provider, it should still be able to dial 911.
Create a Family Emergency Plan
Meet with household members to discuss the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes and other emergencies. Explain how to respond to each. Find the safe areas in your home for each disaster. Draw a floor plan of your home and mark two escape routes from each room. Show family members how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at main switches when necessary.
Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones. Teach children how and when to call 911, police and fire. Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.
Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated during a disaster (it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area). Work with family members about the steps needed to be ready if a disaster happens.
View an example of a Family Emergency Guide.
Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit
Assemble supplies you might need in an evacuation. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or duffel bag. There are several basic supplies you should stock when preparing for an emergency. The following information provides suggestions for emergency preparedness in your home, neighborhood, school, workplace, places of worship and public areas. For each situation, it is important to develop a household emergency preparedness plan that includes:
- An emergency preparedness kit.
- An escape plan that includes at least two emergency meeting places: one location outside your home or building in case of a sudden emergency, such as fire, and a second location outside your neighborhood in case you can not return to your home, office or building.
- An emergency communications plan. Choose an out-of-town person to be your contact point for family members to call if you are separated. Make sure everyone has contact information including phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Follow the links below for additional information about other topics related to emergency preparedness.
The purpose of the burn ban is to preserve the quality of life, health and safety for the Town of New Castle, by prohibiting open burning and the use, sale, and possession of all fireworks. Open burning creates a substantial risk of wildfires and structure fires as do fireworks. Prohibiting such activities is not to inconvenience the citizens of New Castle. It is to merely reduce the risk of the incidents from happening within the Town of New Castle.
The question has been brought up many times, especially around the Fourth of July, “Can we have any fireworks?” The answer is yes, but you are limited to smoke bombs and snap caps. Unfortunately, fountains, bottle rockets, sparklers, fire crackers and other fireworks are not permitted in Town limits. Again, this is only for the health and safety of the entire community.
The question of open fires is also brought up this time of year as many of us like to barbecue and have family gatherings. Open fires means setting fire to weeds, grass, wood, or any other combustible material outside a completely enclosed structure. Open fires include campfires, fires in fire rings, and the use of stoves, broilers, or barbecues whether using either coal, wood or any other combustible material other than charcoal, propane, or gas as fuel. So, yes, you can have your summer barbecues; however, you must use gas, propane, or charcoal. Can I have a smoker and smoke food? Yes, you can also have a smoker as long as it is an enclosed smoker.
What happens if I am in violation? A violation of any part of the burn ban, if convicted, can lead to a fine punishable up to three hundred dollars, or ninety days in jail. To reduce the risk of fire danger to the citizenry the Town of New Castle asks that you abide by the New Castle Municipal Code and have a happy and safe summer.
Purchase bottled water, or store tap water in clean, airtight plastic containers. Avoid containers that will decompose or break, such as glass bottles. Plan to have one gallon of water per person per day available. Water should be stored in a cool, dark place with the date labeled on the container. Having some water purification tablets on hand could also be useful in the event of an extended water service outage.
Store a three- to five-day supply of nonperishable food per person. Foods should require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking, and little or no water. Examples include:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats
- Canned or boxed juices
- Foods for infants or individuals on special diets
- Fruits and vegetables
- Powdered milk and soup
- High-energy food like peanut butter, jelly, low-sodium crackers, granola bars and trail mix; vitamins
- Condiments such as sugar, salt and pepper
- Instant coffee
- Cookies; hard candy
- Sweetened cereals/li>
- Bulk food items such as wheat, powdered milk, corn and soybeans can be stored for extended periods
First Aid Kit
Assemble a first-aid kit for your home and each vehicle. Items should include:
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Sterile gauze roll bandages
- Tongue depressors
- Safety pins
- Latex gloves and sunscreen
- Gauze pads
- Triangular bandages
- Ace bandages
- Moistened towlettes
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Cleansing soap
- Other items include aspirin or other pain medication, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids and laxatives
Keep the Following Items Available for Sanitation Purposes
- Packaged toilet paper
- Feminine supplies
- A plastic bucket and lid
- Soap and liquid detergent
- Plastic garbage bags with ties
- Disinfectant and household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding
Assemble one or two complete changes of clothing per person, sturdy shoes or work boots, rain gear, blankets or sleeping bags, hat and gloves, thermal underwear and sunglasses.
Specialty Items to Consider
Infants and small children—formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk and medication. Adults—medications, prescriptions, denture needs, eyeglasses and/or contact lenses and related supplies, personal hygiene items.
Games, books and several quiet toys for children.
Important Family Documents
Wills, insurance policies, bank account numbers, contracts, deeds, passports, stocks and bonds, immunization records, important phone numbers, credit card accounts, Social Security cards and other personal family records.
Tools and Supplies
Keep the following items handy for all-around use:
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra batteries of assorted sizes (check shelf life before purchasing)
- Duct tape
- Whistle, plastic sheeting and local map
- Aluminum foil
- Mess kits or paper cups
- Cash / coins and/or traveler’s checks
- Small fire extinguisher
- Bow saw
- Plates and plastic utensils
- Non-electric can opener and utility knife
- Tube tent
- Plastic storage containers
- Paper and pencil or pen
- Adjustable wrench
- Waterproof matches
- Medicine dropper
- Needles and thread
- Signal flares
Only a professional can restore gas service once it is turned off, and this could take weeks in a disaster situation. If you must choose quickly what to take with you, grab these things and go: medical supplies, disaster supplies (flashlight, batteries, radio, first-aid kit, and bottled water), a change of clothes, sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each family member, and car and house keys.
If you plan to travel by car, become familiar now with alternate travel routes you can use to avoid congested main arteries in the event of an emergency. Remember, it is against the law to drive on the shoulder of the road. Shoulders are reserved for police, fire and rescue vehicles.
Regulations…” including but not limited to toy cannons or toy canes in which explosives are used, blank cartridges, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, rockets, roman candles, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, wheels, ground spinners, illuminating torches and colored fire in any form, dayglo bombs and torches, sparklers, snakes, and any other fireworks of like construction and any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound or any tablets or devices containing any explosive substance.”
“Fireworks” does not include toy caps which contain less than twenty-six hundredths of a grain of explosive compound per cap, highway flares, railroad fuses, ship distress signals, smoke candles, and other emergency signal devices, educational rockets and toy propellant device type engines used in such rockets when such rockets are of nonmetallic construction and utilize replaceable engines or model cartridges containing less than two ounces of propellant and when such engines or model cartridges are designed to be ignited by electrical means.
The New Castle Police Department or its designee is given the authority to seize any fireworks
Due to the extremely dry conditions existing in and about the Town, the Council of the Town of New Castle has enacted a prohibition effective throughout the above listed dates on open fires and fireworks of all types. Violation of the Ordinance (9.72.060), is punishable by a fine of up to $300 and/or up to 90 days in jail.
Open fires include the burning of any grass, wood or other combustible material outside of a completely enclosed structure, such as a house or building. Open fires also include campfires, fires in fire rings, fire pits or grates, and stoves, broilers or barbecues when using any combustible material other than charcoal, propane or gas fuel.
Fireworks include all items designed for the primary purpose of producing an auditory or visual sensation by combustion. For purpose of this Ordinance, fireworks include toy canes, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, sparklers, ground spinners, rockets, snakes and any other firework containing any explosive or flammable material, or tablets or devices containing any explosive substance. “Fireworks” does not include toy caps, highway flares, and other emergency devices.
The information listed above does not include all of the information included in the Ordinance. To avoid being in violation, please make yourself aware of the detail contained in the Ordinance by contacting the following departments:
- New Castle Police Department : (970) 984-2302
- Town of New Castle : (970) 984-2311
*Open burning fires and the sale, use, and possession of fireworks are prohibited in New Castle from April 1 through November 1 of each year, unless such open burning fire or sale, use, or possession of fireworks is authorized by exemption permit.
To apply for an exemption permit, fill out a Fire and Fireworks Ban Exemption Application and submit it to the New Castle Police Department. Contact the Police Department at (970) 984-2302 for more information.
Before Lightning Strikes
- Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing winds, and listen for the sound of thunder.
- If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
- Listen to television and radio stations for the latest weather updates.
When a Storm Approaches
- Find shelter in a building or car.
- Keep windows closed and avoid convertibles.
- Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone. Leaving electric lights on does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.
- Avoid taking a bath or shower or running water for any other purpose.
- Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.
Protecting Yourself Outside
- If you are in the woods, take shelter under shorter trees.
- If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately.
- Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles or metal objects. Make sure the place you select is not subject to flooding.
- Be a very small target. Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them.
- Do not lie flat on the ground; this will make you a larger target.
After the Storm Passes
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
- Listen to the radio for information and instruction.
If Someone is Struck by Lightning
- People struck by lightning carry no electrical charges and can be handled safely.
- Call for help. Get someone to dial 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services.
- A person who has received electrical shock may be burned both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones and loss of hearing and eyesight.
- Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, look and care for other possible injuries.
- An airline approved carrier for each dog, cat or other pet.
- ID with photo, vaccination records, and licenses, special needs list, sufficient medications, collar and a muzzle/leash.
- An extra supply of pet food, bowls (disposable containers if you must leave your residence), manual can opener.
- Plenty of clean water.
- Kitchen trash bags, bleach (disinfectant and water purification), towels, paper towels and other waste disposal supplies.
Visit ASPCA for more information.
When Power is Lost
- Check to see if your neighbors have power. The power loss may be only in your home, due to a blown fuse or a tripped circuit. If your neighbors also are without service, call your local power company. If you must go outside to assess the situation, take a flashlight and watch for downed power lines that could still be energized. If downed lines are located, do not go near them or touch them but, report downed power lines immediately.
- Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns for lighting. Candles and kerosene lanterns are not recommended for lighting because of fire hazards.
- Turn off all major appliances. When major appliances such as refrigerators, electric water heaters, air conditioners and pumps are left on, they could overload electric lines when power is restored, causing a second outage.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Food can be kept cold for a day or two if the doors are kept closed. During the winter, you may be able to store some items outside in a proper container. If temperatures are below freezing, it is possible to freeze water outside in containers and place them inside your refrigerator to help keep food cold. Try to consume perishable foods first. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Use portable generators cautiously. They can be used to provide limited electrical power during an outage. Take care to ensure that they do not pose a threat to you and your family. Never fuel or run a portable generator in the home or garage, as gas-powered generators pose a serious fire and carbon monoxide threat. Generators should be installed in compliance with your local power company’s guidelines. Always operate according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For additional information on the proper use of emergency generators, call your power company.
- If you depend on a well for your water supply, be prepared to use alternate sources of water until power is restored. These systems normally use electric pumps which may not operate when the power is out.
- Be aware that gas appliances may not work if the electricity is off because the equipment may require electricity for ignition or valve operation.
- Drain pumps, supply lines, water heaters, boilers and traps in drains of tubs, sinks, commodes, washing machines and dishwashers. Plumbing can freeze when power is lost during cold weather periods. To avoid major flooding when temperatures rise, turn off supply lines to outside spigots. Water heaters that are drained to prevent damage from freezing must have their power circuits shut off as well. Failure to do so could result in loss of the heating element when power is restored. Never turn on a water heater unless the tank is full.
- You should have a contingency plan that lists life support equipment required for family members who depend on these devices (respirators, ventilators, oxygen equipment or other life-sustaining devices). Always include an alternate power source for emergency support equipment.
- Select a single room in the home in which the entire family can live – ideally a room that gets sunlight during daylight hours. Use fireplaces and wood-burning stoves with care, and always supervise them when burning. Make sure the fireplace is in proper working condition and has been inspected regularly. Never use charcoal as an indoor heat source; charcoal produces deadly carbon monoxide gas. Wear layers of clothing, including sweaters and coats, which hold warm air and help to maintain body heat for longer periods. For homes with natural gas heaters, keep meters and vents clear of ice and snow.
Disaster can strike without warning and older adults can especially be vulnerable in disasters. Older adults can help ensure their safety in case of an emergency by:
- Having an emergency kit at home ready to take with you in case you need to evacuate your home. The kit can also help “shelter in place” if emergency officials direct people to stay in their homes.
- Knowing the location and phone number of your local emergency management and American Red Cross offices.
- Labeling any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers you would need.
- Listing the style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers.
- Planning for transportation if you need to evacuate.
- Filling prescriptions before they run out.
- Knowing the telephone number of a 24-hour pharmacy for emergencies.
- Knowing the 24-hour emergency contact number for your doctor.
- Posting emergency phone numbers near the phone.
- Keeping a copy of important contact numbers and medical information in your wallet or purse.
- Planning and practicing the best escape routes from your home.
Keep in Touch with Family and Neighbors; Share Emergency Information
- Establish relationships with nearby neighbors before an emergency or disaster happens. Ask nearby family or neighbors you trust to check on you during a disaster. Keep in touch with your family and neighbors and look out for each other by:
- Sharing your emergency contact and medical information with your apartment building management or condo association.
- Giving your emergency contact and medical information to your neighbors and family.
- Creating a contact list of your neighbors’ information.
- Arranging for someone to check on you.
- Teaching those who may need to assist you in an emergency how to operate necessary equipment. Be sure they will be able to reach you.
- If you have home health care services, plan ahead with your agency for emergency procedures.
- Notifying local police, fire and rescue responders of special needs or mobility issues.
In the downtown area snow is plowed to the center of the roadway. The snow is then relocated to snow storage sites no sooner than the following day.
Snow on residential neighborhood streets is typically plowed from the center of the street toward both sides. All snow from private property or adjacent sidewalks should be stored on private property.
Private Snow Plowing
Placing, dumping or pushing snow onto town streets or rights-of-way from adjacent properties is prohibited.
Snow Plow Safety
Please slow down and use caution when snow removal equipment is on the roads. Follow well behind the plow with your headlights on. Keep back a minimum of 50 feet to avoid driving in the operator’s blind spot and to allow for abrupt movements. Stay clear of flying snow and sanding material.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are streets prioritized?
The streets have been carefully prioritized according to traffic volume and public safety requirements. After plowing the first and second priority streets, the residential streets are next.
Who is responsible for snow removal on my sidewalk, driveway and mailbox area?
Property owners or occupants are responsible for snow removal on sidewalks adjacent to their property, and in or around driveways and mailboxes.
How can I avoid damage to my landscaping?
The public right-of-way extends beyond the edge of the street. A public right-of-way serves many purposes including providing for snow storage. Please keep any potential landscape obstructions outside of the right-of-way.
Why haven’t the main roads been cleared by the time I leave to work?
To provide safe access for commuters and to avoid high traffic volumes, the Public Works Department prefers to clear streets in the early morning hours, before you leave for work. Due to the timing and severity of the storm, this is not always possible.
Winter Driving Tips
- If you must travel, consider taking public transportation. If you travel by car, travel during the day, do not travel alone, and keep others informed of your schedule. Stay on main roads and avoid back-road shortcuts.
- Keep your car winterized with antifreeze and have adequate snow tires or chains. Carry a winter car kit in the back or trunk of your car.
- If a blizzard traps you in your vehicle pull off the roadway, set your hazard flashers, and hang a distress flag from your radio antenna or window.
- Remain in your vehicle. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a nearby building that you know will offer shelter.
- Run engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. Make sure the area around the exhaust pipe is clear and open a window to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Exercise frequently to maintain body heat. Insulate yourself with newspapers, seat covers, or floor mats if necessary to retain body heat.
- If not alone, take turns sleeping. Someone should always be awake to look for rescue crews.
- Be careful not to use up the battery – balance needs with supply.
- At night, turn on dome light so work crews may see you.
- If stranded in a remote area, place a large cloth over snow to attract rescue crews who may be surveying area by airplane.
What to do During a Winter Storm
- Listen to the radio or television for weather reports and emergency information.
- Wear several layers of loose-fitting, light-weight warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
- Mittens are warmer than gloves.
- Wear a hat; most body heat is lost through the top of the head.
- Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air.
- Be careful when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack – a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, do some stretch exercises before going out and do not overexert yourself.
- Watch for signs of frostbite – a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingertips, toes, ear lobes, or the end of your nose. Watch for hypothermia – uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, drowsiness, or slurred speech. If these symptoms exist, seek medical help immediately.
- Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.
Winter Car Kit
- Windshield scraper
- Battery operated radio
- Extra batteries
- Snack foods
- Tow chain or rope
- Tire chains
- Bag of road salt or sand
- Fluorescent distress flag
- Booster cables
- Road maps
- Emergency flares
|1||All Hazards Emergency Message||NWR broadcasts National Weather Service (NWS) warnings, watches, forecasts and other non-weather related hazard information 24 hours a day.||nws.noaa.gov|
|2||American Red Cross||Western Colorado Chapter : 970-242-48511-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767)||redcross.org|
|3||Centers for Disease Control and Prevention||One of the 13 major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is the principal agency in the United States government for protecting the health and safety of all Americans and for providing essential human services, especially for those people who are least able to help themselves.||cdc.gov|
|4||Colorado Division of Emergency Management||dola.colorado.gov|
|5||Department of Homeland Security||dhs.gov|
|6||FEMA||An in-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness is FEMA’s most comprehensive source on individual, family, and community preparedness.||ready.gov|
|7||FirstGov.gov||A treasure of online information, services and resources for the U.S. Government.||firstgov.gov|
|8||Garfield County Emergency Management||One of the 13 major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is the principal agency in the United States government for protecting the health and safety of all Americans and for providing essential human services, especially for those people who are least able to help themselves.||garfield-county.com|
|9||Garfield County Emergency Management||Garfield County Sheriff’s OfficeChris Bornholdt : (970) 945-0453|
|10||National Weather Service||The National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States.||National Weather Service
|11||Pets and Emergencies||ASPCA|
|12||Prepare.org||Prepare.org is offered by the American Red Cross and other community-based organizations to help you and your family prepare for natural and human-caused disasters. One of its key goals is to serve the vulnerable population: seniors, children, people with disabilities and animal and pet owners.||emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness|
|13||Ready Colorado||READYColorado.com is designed to help every Coloradan become prepared to respond to and recover from a wide array of disasters… both natural and human-caused.||ready.gov/colorado
|14||Ready.gov||One of the primary mandates of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is to educate the public, on a continuing basis, about how to be prepared in case of a national emergency – including a possible terrorist attack.||ready.gov|