Power outage illuminates strengths, identifies goals for improvements

Emergency Notification

Words by Nichole Zangara / Emergency Preparedness

On behalf of the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, Telluride Marshal’s Office, Mountain Village Police Department, the Town of Telluride, the Town of Mountain Village, San Miguel County Commissioners, and Telluride Ski & Golf Company, we thank everyone for their patience, understanding and overall good spirit during the nearly 23-hour power outage this past weekend.

In a debrief meeting Tuesday afternoon, representatives from the above agencies identified measures that will be taken to help maintain public safety and best obtain and disseminate information to the public, including during times when cell and/or internet service is not available to all.

Plans include but are not limited to:

  1. Improve communication plan with San Miguel Power and Tristate Power.
  2. Work with cell carriers to establish more reliable back up signals.
  3. Identify location(s) in the Town of Telluride and the Town of Mountain Village where people can gather for information, warmth and power to charge devices.
  4. Continue to educate the public for emergency preparedness, where to find existing county emergency plans, and how to best stay informed during an emergency incident.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to sign up for CodeRED alerts and “Notify Me” News Flashes from the Sheriff, like the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, and follow @SheriffAlert on Twitter to receive important information and updates during emergency incidents.

Sheriff Bill Masters said emergency preparedness plans are a priority of the county and its agencies, and this power outage serves as an opportunity to identify areas and take action for improvement. “We want to do everything we can to keep the public safe and informed during emergency incidents, and we are taking meaningful steps to do better.”