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We are based out of Monument, Colorado and intend to stay small so that we can know and personally take care of our clients. We partner with other professionals to extend our capabilities to serve our clients, and we often work through our partners to help them serve their customers.

The Fire Hits Home

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blackforestfireSteve, Lisa, and their three children lost their home in a few minutes Tuesday afternoon when the Black Forest Fire (#blackforestfire) blew up around them.

Steve bought the forested lot more than 30 years ago.  When he and Lisa married, they camped on the site while building the garage themselves.  The lived in the garage while building the house stick by stick over several years.  They have added onto it and updated it themselves through the years.

We have known Steve and Lisa since the mid-80s.  We enjoyed their home deep in the forest north of Colorado Springs, even before we moved south from Greeley in 1996. We have stayed connected while the children that we have been blessed with have grown up. 

That part of the burn area is still too dangerous for them to visit.  I don't know what they will do next.  They have family in the area and a strong church to support them.  They are heartbroken but they are survivors as are the 370+ other homeowners who literally saw a portion of their lives go up in smoke (the white smoke above tends to indicate grass and forest, the darker smoke is usually buildings).

Part of what makes their loss so touching is the story that goes with the home, the emotional investment that we all can identify with when we learn of security threatened and lives changed.  Stories have that unique power to move us and we don't embrace them enough in our own lives. "We are our stories"

This fire is hitting closer to our home than the Waldo Canyon Fire of 2012.  At this time our home is ~6 miles from the closest burn area and we are not in an evacuation zone.  We have moved several loads of important stuff, including Wave's End backup disks, to some friends' home in Colorado Springs. Unless the winds change dramatically, we expect to be able to stay in our home.

We know dozens of people, including clients, who have been evacuated from their homes, taking their most important possessions,  their horses, and their pets, out of the danger zone.  Al, a close friend and business collaborator, moved parts of his home business, plus a freezer full of frozen Elk meat, into our garage as he was evacuating Wednesday evening.

This area has learned a lot from last year's traumatic fire.  The government agencies came together more quickly, the resources came online faster, and they seem to be getting on top of this fire.  El Paso County launched their local service center within hours, got lists of destroyed homes out within a day, and the combined police and fire agencies from around Colorado and from the local military services have improved communication and coordination.

The media is even more social-savvy than last year, using Facebook and Twitter heavily to get stories and to complement what as been round-the-clock coverage.  We keep our laptops open to Facebook, Twitter, and Google Maps to stay on top of changes that might impact us. 

macketaThe twice-daily press conferences have been handled as well as last year, including bringing back El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa and Rich Harvey who was the Tier 1 Incident Manager last year.


In my Advanced Presentations Class I give guidance on how to present and how to handle Q&A well.  Watch and Learn from how these folks do it.  A positive story is well done about saving a local school about 17:30 in.


If you want stories, here are some powerful ones.


I preach to my class participants that stories matter and this week has shown me more evidence of that fact. If you want to learn more, I highly recommend Nancy Duarte's book"Resonate".

Scott is co-owner of Wave's End Services, LLC, a Colorado-based provider of Web, IT Consulting, photography, video, and training services.