The mitigation and preparedness elements of emergency response are the ones that make the others - response and recovery - more manageable for communities and response entities. There are many partners we here at the Division work with to engage in mitigation and preparedness activities, before a disaster, to help identify, assess and confront disaster-related challenges.
I understand from Marilyn Gally, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, that one those groups we work closely with, the Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council (CCICC), was recently recognized as the 2009 International Code Council Chapter of the Year. According to the ICC, "to earn this designation, a chapter must demonstrate a high degree of professionalism in promoting the vision, mission and goals of the Code Council. The Chapter of the Year also distinguishes itself through the development and implementation of programs designed to the increase the professionalism of its members and code officials everywhere, and participate in local, state, regional or national activities to increase the public awareness of safety in the built environment."
Of specific interest to the Colorado emergency management community, the award was given, in part, to recognize the disaster assessment evaluator training and the chapter volunteer's support to the Windsor tornado (May 2008), where, according to CCICC President Stephen Kanipe, "volunteers assessed more than 1,000 damaged structures and then worked with local aofficials to process more than six-thousand repair permits."
The chapter provides a wealth of training activities and resources in Colorado, all of which are designed to make buildings and our communities safer.
One of the resources that the CCICC offers that, if you are in emergency management, you should check out is their updated "CCICC Disaster Operations Manual" as the field guide for how to initiate a disaster response, perform building damage assessments, engage in mutual aid agreements and other disaster-related actions.
Too, if you are interested in disaster assessment operations response training from DEM, check out the Disaster Assessment Course announcement for January 2009.