4800 West 92nd Avenue Westminster, CO 80031

Safety

 

Hazard Assessment

The City of Westminster Emergency Management Office has evaluated which disasters could potentially strike our community. You may be aware of some of them; others may surprise you. The following is a summary of Westminster's Hazard Analysis. Each type of hazard is evaluated based upon frequency, and impact estimates:

Frequency:
  Low 0 to 5 significant events in the past 25 years
  Medium 5 to 10 significant events in the past 25 years
  High 10 or more significant events in the past 25 years
Impact:
  Low Exposures have been partially or fully mitigated or minimal risk exists.
    The threat to property or population is considered minimal.
  Medium Exposures have either not been or can't be mitigated.
    The threat to property or population is considered possible.
  High Exposures have not been mitigated.
    The threat to population, widespread property loss, and damage are considered highly likely.

Aircraft Accident: Frequency:  Low Impact:  Medium

The volume of air traffic over the City is very high. Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport™ is one of the busiest airports in the region and Denver International Airport has holding patters over Westminster airspace.

Dam Failure: Frequency:  Low Impact:  High

Failure of any of Westminster's five dams could cause property damage, injury or death within the flood plain areas of the City. 

Earthquake: Frequency:  Low Impact:  High

At least four major faults exist along the front range including the Jefferson County.  The Major earthquake faults are located west of Interstate 25.  Earthquakes are very unpredictable and will be unexpected by the majority of the population.

Flash Flood: Frequency:  Low Impact:  Low

Waterways and gulches that are normally dry pose an extreme threat during heavy rains. High numbers of visitors and recreational enthusiasts may increase the number of people that may be affected and need warning and evacuation. Major drainage basins potentially at risk are Big Dry Creek, Little Dry Creek and Coal Creek.

Hazardous Materials Spill: Business Frequency:  Low Impact:  Medium

Businesses that operate 24 hours a day, such as gas stations may expose a risk at any time. Less than five businesses have reported significant hazardous chemical inventories to the City.  Examples of businesses that may utilize hazardous materials include water treatment plants, swimming pools and gas stations.

Hazardous Materials Spill: Highway Frequency:  Medium Impact:  Low

I-25 is a designated transportation route for hazardous materials, radioactive materials, and nuclear weapons. Hazardous materials may be transported on any road while being delivered to local businesses. Radioactive materials and nuclear weapon components have been transported for more than a decade.

Hazardous Materials Spill: Railroad Frequency:  Low Impact:  High

Fifteen to 30 trains a day cross many major thoroughfares and commercial and residential areas of the City. The majority of cargo is coal. However, shipping records indicate a daily presence of hazardous materials being carried in bulk by rail.

Mass Casualty Incident Frequency:  Low Impact:  Medium

City roadways are the greatest threat for a mass casualty incident. High speeds, foul weather and the sheer volume of vehicles provide a setting for an accident capable of injuring many people. Airplane crashes and rail related incidents also provide risk for mass casualty incidents.

Terrorist Incident Frequency:  No Record Impact:  Medium

No area in the United States is immune. The City has few areas that are considered potential targets. The threat to the City would most likely come indirectly on an attack in the Denver metropolitan area.

Tornado Frequency:  Low Impact:  High

Although tornados typically occur between April and June they are possible during other months of the year. According to the National Weather Service, the north metro area has averaged one confirmed tornado each year since 1950. Most tornados occur to the east of Westminster.

Utility Service Failure Frequency:  Medium Impact:  Low

A reliance on utilities has produced a life safety threat should any services be disrupted. Extended outages cause problems with food storage, communications, warmth, and travel. Disruption of service may include electric utilities, natural gas, and telephone services.  Disruption of communication systems may impact ability to warn of other hazards or pass vital information to the public.

Open Space Fire Frequency:  Low Impact:  Low

Open space and undeveloped property pose a threat for brush fires throughout the year. Most are contained immediately. Drought conditions, periods of low humidity, lack of precipitation, and high winds provide ideal conditions and increase the potential for these fires.

Winter Storm Frequency:  Medium Impact:  Medium

Heavy snowfalls can seriously disrupt transportation, communications, and complicate emergency response. Although not an annual event, the City is extremely susceptible to heavy snowfalls.

 

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