Wilderness Do's and Don'ts: Watch the Weather

March 24 2009, 3:53 PM
From this month's Colorado Survival Guide, three tips to make it through terrible weather. Survive a Flash Flood Snowmelt and summer rainstorms make the Front Range vulnerable to sudden flooding. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder runs the Front Range Flash Flood Prediction System, which assesses which rivers or creeks may flood; unfortunately, the system can only provide 30-minute warnings. If you think a flood is coming, simply get to higher ground. In more than two feet of water, abandon your car and climb--more than half of all flooding fatalities are vehicle related. Battle the Elements In cases of frostbite, warm the injured area slowly, preferably with skin-to-skin contact. For severe frostbite, get to a hospital ASAP. Hypothermia sufferers should change into warm, dry clothes, get into blankets or a sleeping bag, consume warm fluids and carbs, and seek medical attention. Survive a Tornado Tornadoes are common on the eastern plains of Colorado, and they're just as vicious as Midwestern twisters. If you're stuck outside and see signs of a tornado--rotating clouds, whirling debris, heavy rain or hail, and then a dead calm, or an actual funnel--get away from trees and cars (or get out of your car if you're driving), and lie flat on the ground with your hands covering your head. After the tornado passes, get away from damaged buildings, avoid power lines, help others, and wait for emergency crews.