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Should disaster strike, how would you be prepared?

The next time disaster strikes, you may not have much time to act.

Make preparations now for a sudden emergency. Learn how to protect yourself and cope with disaster by planning ahead. This checklist will help you get started. Discuss these ideas with your family then prepare your plan of action.

Before an emergency:

• Learn about the threats and hazards in your area and possible evacuation routes.

• Know the location of utility shut-offs (water, electric, gas, propane).

• Make special provisions for children, seniors, people with disabilities, livestock, pets, etc.

• Put together a 72-hour emergency kit for your home and all vehicles. Visit www.archuleta.colostate.edu for a detailed list of kit items.

• Learn about emergency warnings in your area. At-risk citizens or those with special needs should register with the county for assistance and information through the Senior Center at (970) 264-2167. Register cell phones and VoIP numbers for Code RED™ emergency notification at www.archuletacounty.org.

• Consider a safe alternative heat source for possible emergencies.

During an emergency:

• Keep fire hydrants, gas and propane meters clear of snow.

• Listen to a battery powered radio for evacuation information. Tune into KWUF 1400AM or KSUT 91.3FM for emergency updates.

• Utilize a communication tree and check on your neighbors; utilize non-verbal signals like flags in rural areas.

• Be patient ... we live in a remote mountainous community with a variety of possible weather issues (winter storms, floods, avalanches, landslides and wildfires). It will take time to gain access to certain subdivisions and areas of the county.

After an emergency:

• Evaluate your plan — what worked, what didn’t.

• Restock your supplies because you never know when disasters will strike.

For additional information concerning how to prepare for potential emergencies in your community, contact the local extension office at 264-5931. We can offer you information and point you in the right direction.

Garden success

The CSU Extension Office in Archuleta County is compiling information concerning vegetable and herb gardening to be published in a new document, “Successful Gardening in Pagosa Country,” which will be available at the Extension Office in the spring of 2011.

We encourage locals to submit entries for this publication to help gardeners be aware of edibles that can be grown in our area.

Multiple and single submission forms can be picked up at the Extension Office or online at www.archuleta.colostate.edu. Information to be collected includes: vegetable name; seed packager; variety name; where planted (raised bed, in ground, grow dome, greenhouse, cold frame, etc.); number of years grown; elevation and aspect would also helpful because of our varying microclimates.

Master Gardener

The Colorado State University Extension Office in Archuleta County is now accepting applications for the 2011 Colorado Master Gardener (CMG) program until Dec. 10.

Students will receive training in tree care, vegetables, soils, native plants, water wise gardening, pruning and much more. The training utilizes on-site and distant education experts to teach a series of ten classes.

Classes start Jan. 27 and will take place at the fairgrounds every Thursday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The cost is $190 if you intend to volunteer, $550 for a certificate without volunteer time. CMG volunteers are expected to complete 50 hours of volunteer time in the first year and 24 hours in subsequent years. 

If gaining knowledge and helping others through horticulture is of interest to you, the Colorado Master Gardener program is an ideal volunteer choice.

Contact the office at 264-5931 for more information.

Calendar

Nov. 4 — 6:30 p.m., Shady Pine Club.

Nov. 5 — 2 p.m., Colorado Mountaineers Club.

Nov. 9 — 6 p.m., Rocky Mountain Rider Club.

Nov. 9 — 7 p.m., Farm Bureau public forum.

Nov. 10 — 6:30 p.m., Pagosa Peaks Club.

Nov. 11 — Office closed in observance of Veterans Day.

Nov. 11 — 11:30 a.m., Mountain View Homemakers.

Nov. 11 — 5:30 p.m., Western Heritage Event Center, Inc. meeting.

Nov. 12 — 2 p.m., Wolf Creek Wonders Club.