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Volunteers to fill 900 Sandbags to Fight Flooding in Colo Springs

Sandbags in Colorado Springs
This event could not be possible without the support of the community.

The Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross will be leading a daylong effort on Saturday, May 4, to fill 900 sandbags for distribution in local communities that are at higher risk for flooding due to damage from last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire.

Members of the public are invited to sign up to volunteer at the event. People wishing to volunteer for this project must complete the volunteer application and email it to:

PikesPeakARCCommunityEvent@gmail.com

The Pikes Peak Chapter organized the event as part of the statewide May 4 Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service. The Colorado Springs event is designed to provide direct mitigation of risks related to wildfires as well as to bring awareness to the importance of being firewise and to make people aware that the damage caused by wildfires often leads to dangerous flash floods and mud slides.

The communities of Green Mountain Falls and Cascade are especially vulnerable to flooding this year due to the damaged caused by the Waldo Canyon Fire of 2012. With that in mind, the Pikes Peak Chapter will be hosting a sandbagging event at Ute Pass Elementary School. The challenge for this event will be to fill 900 sandbags. Approximately 100 of the sandbags will be used to shore up the area around Ute Pass Elementary School. The remainder will be handed out to the residence of Green Mountain Falls and Cascade. Those residents can pick up sandbags at the School from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 4. There is a limit of 20 sandbags per household, and the bags will be available only while supplies last.

This event could not be possible without the support of the community. Special thanks go to Pioneer Sand and Gravel for their donation of sand and to the Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management for providing the sandbags. We also want to that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Friends of Rock Canyon, Trails and Open Space Coalition, and the Air Force Academy Spouse's Club.

People wishing to volunteer for this project must complete the volunteer application and email it to:

PikesPeakARCCommunityEvent@gmail.com.

About the Colorado Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service

The Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service is a statewide effort being led by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in coordination with the American Red Cross, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, READYColorado, and Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

During this Day of Service, Coloradans are encouraged to participate in wildfire mitigation projects to reduce wildfire damage to their homes, neighborhoods and communities. Individuals and groups can organize their own project or sign up to join community projects that have already been organized; events are happening all over the state, and a list of project ideas is available at Firewise.org/dayofservice.

In addition to the sandbagging event in Colorado Springs, Red Cross volunteers in communities all over the state have organized projects related to the May 4 Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service, including:

• Helping to remove fuels on Boulder County Open Space near Lyons

• Working with corporate partners to compile firefighter comfort kits (statewide)

• Chipping downed trees to reduce fire risk near Durango.

• Performing a neighborhood walkthrough with local fire department to identify well-mitigated properties and those that might need more work in Boulder.

• Clearing and hauling brush in Morrison.

• Providing defensible space safety training near Bailey.

The Wildfire Day of Service coincides with the International Association of Wildland Fire’s Global Wildfire Awareness Week and provides a unique opportunity for Colorado residents to get involved and take action against the threat of wildland fire across the state.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/colorado or join our blog at http://coloradoredcross.blogspot.com.