Department of Public Safety Prepares for Major Winter Storm

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(March 12, 2021) -- The Colorado Department of Public Safety is leaning forward and preparing to provide safety and emergency support during severe winter weather predicted for Friday night through Monday. This includes:

  • The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management staff are already fully activated at Level 1 to provide support to COVID-19 and are now supporting the planning and resource needs of the incoming winter storm. For the safety of staff and continuity of operations, the SEOC staff will work remotely Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Colorado State Patrol is planning increased staffing for the duration of the predicted storm, and is collaborating with CDOT and local community partners to plan ahead for highway areas likely to experience extreme impacts. The State Patrol will assist with road closures, crash responses and motorist assistance as per usual.
  • The Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) has prepared a task force of high-clearance vehicles and operators to be available to assist with transportation of personnel and stranded motorists. DFPC has two high-clearance trucks capable of transporting up to 10 people, which we mobilized to assist with motorist rescues during the Bomb Cyclone of 2019. Weather permitting, the agency also can make the state multi-mission aircraft (MMA) available for information gathering and search and rescue operations.
  • CDPS will continue to monitor the forecast and will notify all personnel who can work from home to do so if conditions warrant, for the safety of our staff and others on the road.

CDOT and CDPS highly recommend that you avoid all travel Saturday and Sunday and stay off of the roads unless absolutely necessary.

If you must travel, check road conditions before you go; will have the latest details for any conditions, including possible road closures that may be necessary during the worst of the storm. For more winter travel information, see comprehensive resources at
If travel is unavoidable, take time before the storm begins to ensure your vehicle is properly equipped. 

  • Make sure your tires are up to the task with a minimum tread depth of 3/16”
  • Check your windshield wipers, replace them if needed, and fill your washer fluid.
  • Check your battery and ensure all your vehicle’s systems are working properly.
  • AWD or 4x4 vehicles would be best, also consider including tire chains or other alternative traction devices. Commercial vehicles should be ready with chains.

 If you must go out, take precautions in the event you become stranded. It is recommended that you bring:

  • Extra clothing
  • Snow boots
  • Blankets
  • Food and water
  • Carry a portable power bank or charger to ensure you can get help on its way

In an emergency, you should call 9-1-1 or *CSP from anywhere in the state. Be prepared to shelter in your vehicle as emergency responders come to assist, conditions are anticipated to be severe and can change quickly.