When floodwaters rose after undescribably heavy rains occurred over a period of days in Colorado, communities that don't normally experience floods were inundated.
Walls of water, tiny streams that became raging rivers and broken levies all created flooding in big cities and tiny hamlets high enough in the mountains that we easterners might think flooding would be impossible.
There were communities left stranded as islands for days before rescuers were able to arrive. Cell telephone service was simply gone, as was electricity.
Faced with the pain and loss of life, possession and home, what would you do?
One of the best ways to assure yourself that you would survive is to be prepared.
Hurricane season doesn't end until November, and though this year has been relatively quiet in terms of tropical weather, our region had its share of heavy winds and rain in the spring and early summer.
The full potential for heavy rains and floods resulting from stalled weather systems and the breakup of hurricanes should be remembered.
Beyond that is the potential of extreme cold, heavy snow and ice, all of which could leave area residents stranded or without power or cellular service.
Be sure you have flashlights and lanterns with batteries, blankets readily available, non-perishable food and water to sustain you potentially for a few days without access to power or fresh drinking water.
Be sure you and your friends and family have some way of being in contact or a rendezvous point in the event of heavy weather and a loss of communication systems.
Above all, don't panic. And being ready can help prevent panic.
One needs only to look to the peaceful places in the Rockies now covered in mud to recognize what can happen.