Dome Fire - Boulder OEM Info/Resources

Local OEM Information (shelters/housing, volunteers/donations and local gov response)
Boulder Emergency Management -
Boulder County (and City) Government -

Boulder Call Center for public inquiries - (303) 413-7730

For additional information monitor #boulderfire on Twitter at

Course Announcement - Grant Writing - 12/2-3/2010 - Denver, CO

The Denver Regional Council of Governments and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop, December 2-3, 2010.  In this class you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals.

This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines. Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.

Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available.  For more information on the course, go to the course announcement website or contact Cathy Rittenhouse, Grant Writing USA Registrar, at (800) 814-8191 or at (217) 935-5886.

Colorado Winter Weather Terminology and Information Sources

While yesterday we focused on travel tips/safety under Colorado's Winter Weather Awareness Week, today we shift focus to winter weather advisories, watches, warnings and all the other terminology that accompanies the notice that winter conditions are either on the way or ongoing.  Today, we will cover both the terminology and also how to gain access to it using Colorado-specific points for information.

Winter weather conditions arguably have the most fascinating and colorful language of all the weather periods.  Starting with horrifically-sounding "thunder snow" (thunderstorm where precipitation is snow rather than rain) to the equally attention-grabbing "snow eater" (term used to describe warm, dry wind that melts snow) or even "freezing drizzle" (describes condition where small water droplets freeze upon contact with a surface), winter weather is abound with great terms.  Incidentally, our other non-winter weather terminology favorites that could also double as rock band names?  Hail Core.  Fire Tornado.  Wall Cloud. 

The most important words, of course, according to our friends at the National Weather Service, are:
  • Winter Storm WATCH - A winter storm watch is issued when winter storm conditions are possible within the next 3 days but the timing, intensity or occurence may still be uncertain.
  • Winter Storm WARNING - Heavy snow is occurring or will develop in the next 36 hours.  This snow may be accompanied by winds greater than 15 mph and blowing snow.
  • Blizzard WATCH - A blizzard watch is issued when blizzard conditions are possible in the next 12 to 36 hours.
  • Blizzard WARNING - Blizzard warnings are issued in lower elevations when heavy snow is expected to last 3 or more hours with sustained winds of 35 mph or greater and when there is considerable falling and or drifting snow that reduces visibility to less than 1/4 mile.  In the mountains, a blizzard warning is also accompanied by an expectation that winds will exceed 50 mph at higher elevations.
  • Wind Chill WATCH - A wind chill watch is issued in advance of a wind chill warning, usually 12 to 36 hours in advance of the expectation that a warning will be issued.
  • Wind Chill WARNING -  The wind chill warning is issued for wind chills of least -25 degrees on the plains and -35 degrees in the mountains or foothills.
  • Freeze WATCH - Similar to the wind chill watch, a freeze watch is issued in advance of an anticipated freeze warning, usually 12 to 36 hours in advance of when the freeze warning will be issued.
  • Freeze WARNING -  Freeze warnings are issued during growing seasons when temperatures are expected to drop below 32 degrees.
  • High Wind WATCH -  When high wind conditions are expected to develop in the next 12 to 36 hours, a high wind watch is issued.
  • High Wind WARNING - Sustained winds of 50 mph for at least 1 hour or gusts up to 75 mph for any duration in the mountains or foothills will trigger a high wind warning.  In lower elevations, the criteria is somewhat less, set at sustained winds of 40 mph for at least 1 hour or gusts up to 58 mph for any duration.
  • Winter Weather Advisory - A winter weather advisory is the "heads up" that general snow accumulations between 4 and 8 inches over a 12 hour period in the mountains and 3 to 6 inches over a 12 hour period in lower elevations, are expected.  In addition, if visibility is expected to diminish as falling and blowing snow make it difficult to see or if wind blown snow is anticipated to create a visibility hazard for travelers, a winter weather advisory may be issued.  Even freezing drizzle and other conditions involving snow and sleet that primarily impact driving conditions may trigger a winter weather advisory.
  • Dense Fog Advisory - Dense fog advisories are issues when fog will reduce visibility to less than a quarter mile.
  • Wind Chill Advisory - In the mountains, a wind chill advisory will be issued when values are in the -25 degree range and on the plains, a wind chill advisory will be issued when values are between -18 and -25 degrees.
  • Frost Advisory - Unique to the growing season, a frost advisory is issued when temps are expected to drop to between 32 and 35 degrees on clear, calm nights.
There are a number of ways in Colorado to keep up with the advisories, watches and warnings.   As with all emergency public information and warnings, the best practice is to monitor a number of different information points.  So, where can you go in Colorado for advisories, watches and warnings?
And for the best information regarding your own emergency kits for your home/car, for tips on creating a family communications plan and much, much more, keep up with READYColorado at

2010 Colorado Rural Electric Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan - Draft Document for Comment

The Mitigation and Recovery Team is pleased to release a draft of the Colorado Rural Electric Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.  This plan serves as a supporting document to the State of Colorado Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.

The Mitigation and Recovery Team, along with the Colorado Rural Electric Association and rural electric cooperatives serving Colorado, has been working since March to develop this new mitigation plan. The goal was to develop a plan that meets national planning standards while providing additional opportunities for disaster resilience and recovery activities for the State’s rural electric providers.

Portions of the hazard risk assessment in the rural electric mitigation plan refers to the state plan for details and statewide analysis. Please see the risk assessment from the state plan for additional information.

Colorado Rural Electric Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan
-- Project Summary - view online or download
-- REC Mitigation Plan - view online or download

Links to these documents will also be maintained on the DEM Mitigation Team's page at (at the "mitigation" tab, above)

Before the Division of Emergency Management submits this plan to FEMA for approval, we wanted to provide our state’s rural electric cooperatives, as well as our federal, local and non-profit partners and individual citizens with a chance to review the plan and provide any comments that might make this plan stronger.  If you have any, please forward them to Ken Brink ( as soon as possible, and by the close of business on Wednesday, October 27 at the latest.

We are extremely grateful to our partners who helped to develop this plan!

Colorado Winter Weather Awareness Week - 10/24-30

This October 24-30, Governor Ritter and Colorado's Division of Emergency Management joins the National Weather Service to remind Coloradans about Winter Weather Preparedness.  With the first major storm of the season hitting the high country and other areas of the state, the timing couldn't be better.

There are a number of resources available to keep you, your family and friends prepared and informed as the snow and ice return to Colorado.  The National Weather Service maintains a comprehensive Winter Weather links page that provides a number of Colorado-specific reports, avalanche information and preparedness information.  In addition to keeping up with the latest NWS Colorado Weather Advisories/Watches and Warnings, you should know what your local "sources" for emergency information, including available sms/text/email alerts, websites, local contact numbers and emails.  These local sources will be the best contacts for specific hazard and response actions in your area or the area to which you are traveling.  For specific tips on preparedness, there are some great winter preparedness checklists available online from READYColorado.

Each day this week we, along with the National Weather Service, will be emphasizing a certain aspect of winter preparedness including winter travel safety, watches/warnings/advisories, high winds, wind chill temperatures and hypothermia, and avalanche safety.

We are kicking off the week with a focus on winter travel safety.  At the beginning of the winter season and periodically through the season, it is essential to ensure your vehicle(s) are equipped to head out into the snow.

Suggestions on how to winterize your car include:
  • Battery and ingnition system should be in top condition and battery terminals clean
  • Ensure antifreeze levels are sufficient to avoid freezing
  • Ensure the heater and defroster work properly
  • Check and repair windshield wiper equipment; ensure proper washer fluid level
  • Ensure the thermostat works properly
  • Check lights and flashing hazard lights for serviceability
  • Check for leaks and crimped pipes in the exhaust system; repair or replace as necessary
  • Check breaks for wear and fluid levels
  • Check oil for level and weight - heavier oils congeal more at low temps
  • Consider snow tires, snow tires with studs or chains
  • Replace fuel and air filters - keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining full tank
  • Remember to keep a winter weather emergency kit in your vehicle, just in case...
Winter Weather Vehicle Emergency Kit - more from READYColorado
  • Extra clothing, such as blankets, coats, hat and gloves
  • Shovel
  • Flares and jumper cables
  • Water and foods, such as trail mix and snacks
Driving safely on icy roads
  • DO NOT PASS snow plows or sand trucks in operation!!!
  • Allow extra time for any travel
  • Decrease speed - stopping on ice and snow requires greater distance
  • Brake gently to avoid sliding or skidding
  • If your brakes do lock up, ease up on the brakes to regain traction
  • Use lower gears in poor conditions to maintain traction
  • Be careful when crossing bridges/overpasses as they will ice faster than roadways
Help, I am stuck!!!
  • Do not spin your wheels - this is only going to dig you in deeper
  • Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to clear snow immediately around the tire(s)
  • Use a shovel to clear snow around the wheels and underside of the car
  • Use sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in front of the tires to increase traction
Be sure to check out our earlier article for more Winter Weather Preparedness Tips!

Winter Weather Preparedness Tips

It is about that time to get our winter weather legs under us and remember what it is like to properly prepare for and get through winter storms.  What follows are number of general safety tips regarding what to do in advance of and during winter storms.  Be prepared and be safe!

BEFORE the storm...
  • Be familiar with winter storm warning messages -
  • Service snow removal equipment and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways and kitty litter to generate temporary traction. 
  • Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
  • Winterize your home
  • Insulate walls and attic. 
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows. 
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
Have safe emergency heating equipment available.
  • Fireplace with ample supply of wood. 
  • Small, well-vented, wood, coal, or camp stove with fuel. 
  • Portable space heaters. (Kerosene Heaters: Check with your local fire department on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community. Use only the correct fuel for your unit and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Refuel outdoors only, and only when cool. Keep your kerosene heater at least 3 feet away from furniture and other flammable objects.)
  • Install and check smoke detectors.
Keep pipes from freezing.
  • Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers. 
  • Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. 
  • Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing. 
  • Know how to shut off water valves.
Have disaster supplies on hand, in case the power goes out -
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit
  • One-week supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking in case the power is shut off)
  • Manual can opener
  • One-week supply of essential prescription medications.
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags
  • Fire extinguisher (A-B-C type)
Develop an emergency communication plan.
  • In case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. 
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." 
  • After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person. 
  • Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a severe winter storm. 
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

DURING the storm...

If Indoors --
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly. 
  • Conserve fuel. 
  • Lower the thermostat to 65 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. Close off unused rooms. 
  • If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. 
  • Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate). 
  • Listen to the radio or television to get the latest information.
If Outdoors --
  • Dress warmly. 
  • Wear loose-fitting, layered, light-weight clothing. Layers can be removed to prevent perspiration and chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellant. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers generate warmth when they touch each other. 
  • Stretch before you go out. 
  • If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. Also take frequent breaks. 
  • Cover your mouth. 
  • Protect your lungs from extremely cold air by covering your mouth when outdoors. Try not to speak unless absolutely necessary. 
  • Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse. Be aware of symptoms of dehydration. 
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. 
  • Keep dry. 
  • Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly. 
  • Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.

Day Four - Colorado Integrated Emergency Management Course

"Short-Term Recovery." It sounds so simple.  It reads so easy on the top, title line of the exercise book page.  But, these four words don't even begin to represent the scope of effort involved.  The storm clouds have cleared.  The multiple mega-level tornadoes have gone back up.  The sun is back out.  Under that sun, there are now tens of thousands homeless across the Front Range.  The fatalities/injured numbers are still being assessed.  On top of the human and animal impact, there are miles upon miles upon miles of debris - hazardous and material.  Power, communications, transportation routes, hospitals, schools, and on and on and on, all gone, damaged or otherwise unrecognizable and certainly unusable.

What... happens... now?  Short-Term Recovery.  In Colorado, recovery for an event of this magnitude requires the intimate cooperation and organization of emergency response, public, volunteer/nonprofit and private sector partners.  This was the purpose of today's State-level Integrated Emergency Management Course table-top exercise.  We assembled, in the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC), local, state, federal representatives from each of these groups for a discussion of how we collectively approach and tackle the recovery task.  If you are interested in the details of the current State Emergency Operations Plan, you can read the existing version online.  We are involved, currently, in a major update to this operations plan and this exercise, both the response and recovery modules, are a critical part of evaluating the plan and additional items that plan should address.

In particular, we addressed the challenges of transportation, communication, life-safety messages, public utilities, sheltering and housing, and basic needs assistance.  Organized into our State Recovery Task Force and the respective Emergency Support Functions of the State's Emergency Operations Center, we engaged in a structured and detailed evaluation of the short and longer-term challenges and missions for each of the challenges.

Now that the course has concluded, we will now turn to getting our minds and fingers to the task of going through the minutes, identifying lessons and issues requiring further action and getting a plan together that outlines what, who and how issues will be resolved that we identified during the exercise.  We will be posting much more information on this effort in the future as the reports are generated.  Of course, the ultimate product of this effort will be captured in our update to the State Emergency Operations Plan.  In particular, at the conclusion of today's activities, the Emergency Management Institute team provided participants with the a suite of electronic materials.  In the coming weeks, I will be going through these materials and documents and making select documents available.

Specifically, our goal here at the Division is to expand upon this experience at the State-level and develop a training and exercise program that could be implemented in Colorado at the local and municipal level, organized and hosted by the State's Division of Emergency Management.  The concept, still in its infancy, is that we would bring state-level EOC teams comprised of various State-level Emergency Support Function representatives to host a two-day course for local emergency operations centers.  Conceptually, the first day would be a review and training class with the second day a functional exercise.  There will be more on this to come, too!

Course Announcement - PER-213 Wide Area Search Training - Nov 30-Dec 2 - Lakewood, CO

The Denver Urban Area Security Initiative (Denver-UASI) and North Central Region Training Committee is hosting a Wide Area Search Training (PER-213) from November 30 - December 2, 2010 at the West Metro Fire Rescue Training Center at 3535 South Kipling, Lakewood, CO.

The Wide Area Search course is grant-funded by the Department of Homeland Security.  The course is provided on-site for eligible jurisdictions throughout the United States.  The course is applicable to jurisdictions that would need to conduct wide area searches due to a natural disaster or terrorist incident.  Participants will learn practical search methods and skills in order to perform systematic searches over a large affected area.  The course concludes with a table top exercise that requires participants to utilize the previous two days of instruction.  The curriculum of this course is based on lessons learned from search operations in support of the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Dolly, Ike and other wide area search incidents.

Enrollment must occur through you agency training administrator or contact Tom Witowski at (720) 865-7651 or at

Course Announcement - ICS-300 - Nov 29-30 - Salida, CO

The South Central All-Hazards Region, which is comprised of Chaffee, El Paso, Lake, Park, Teller Counties and the City of Colorado Springs, is hosting an ICS-300 Course from November 29-30, 2010, in Salida, CO.

The course provides training on and resources for personnel who require advanced application of the Incident Command System (ICS).  The target audience for this course is for individuals who may assume a supervisory role in expanding incidents or Type 3 incidents.

To register, please go to (Course ID:  1005860).  You can also view/download the course flyer.

All-Hazards Incident Management Team Training and Education Conference - 12/7-9 - Denver, CO

The All-Hazards Incident Management Team Training and Education Conference will be held December 7-9th, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency at the Denver Convention Center.  The conference is designed to provide policy and decision makers, IMT members, training coordinators and team managers with concise and detailed information regarding the continuing development of All-Hazards Incident Management Teams.  Training and education will include best practices and lessons learned from other IMT members.  For more information about the conference, download the All-Hazards Incident Management Team Training and Education Conference Flyer or go to or contact or at (559) 683-7800.

Front Range Emergency Management Forum Meeting - 11/10 - Denver, CO

The next Front Range Emergency Management Forum meeting will be held on November 10th, from 9:30 am - 11:30 am.  The meeting will be held at the new Disaster Management Institute of Colorado at 9235 East 10th Drive, Building 859, Denver CO 80230.  This meeting will have an academic/education theme with speakers from various programs around the state talking about their programs.  There will also be information provided about the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) process for those who are interested in these certifications.  For any questions,

Day Three - Colorado Integrated Emergency Management Course

I think our Finance and Admin Lead here at DEM summarized today's exercise activity well when, on the way out afterwards, he said "well.. we got requests, we filled requests... and we spent a lot of [fictional] money".  Out of context, that might not sound like a great achievement, but for a state-level Emergency Management office responding to a large, mega-scale disaster exercise scenario that is a proud achievement.  Our task at the Division, when you boil everything down, is pretty clear.  Emergency managers at the State-level are in place to anticipate needs of local authorities/first responders, field requests for equipment, staff or other assistance locals cannot meet with their own resources in responding to an emergency, and to facilitate access to funding streams so that money doesn't become a roadblock to providing help to people that need it.  So, in this case, getting requests, filling requests and responsibly spending fictional money means that the system - while under a HUGE amount of stress - worked.

That said.  We broke a lot of things (not physically...).  That sounds bad but, again, it isn't.  An exercise where everything works achieves little.  Exercises are intended to identify weaknesses, gaps, and those things you didn't think about yet.  The point is to see how capable and flexible you - as a group and individuals - are to responding to challenges.   In this exercise, We tested new procedures and groups, such as a dedicated situational awareness unit.  We implemented new systems, such as a wide establishment and operation of a shared collaboration site to facilitate communications between public affairs reps involved in response.  We utilized an entire new resource ordering and tracking system, designed to help better understand requests received, status of approval and implementation.  Our goal, which was painfully achieved (poking fun...) due to the rigorous injects and pace of our Emergency Management Institute exercise hosts, was to stress the system, see where the breaks occurred so that we could repair them in the after action phase.

The scenario, if you are interested, was for a swarm of major tornadoes to hit across the Front Range causing catastrophic damage and countless secondary issues designed to overwhelm every aspect of initial and emergency response/support.  Achieved.  It was a difficult, long day.  Despite the horrific scenario and doubtless adverse impact such an event would have, we were able to test the systems, establish a rhythm and validate many procedures that would be necessary to help us organize to begin the process of communicating with and coordinating provision of resources to local responders and communities.  The skeleton got bent, battered and twisted, but it didn't break.

Of course, we aren't done, yet.  Today was only the first part of a two-part exercise.  While today's activities emphasized response, situational awareness, public information and warning, tomorrow's exercise activities will focus on recovery.

Day Two - Colorado Integrated Emergency Management Course

If we only had four words to summarize today's course subject areas, they would be (in order):  planning, planning, resources, planning.  We did have a healthy situational awareness module, but most of the effort of the presentations and the two tabletop exercise modules rotated around planning and resource identification/allocation.

Successful Planning
Drawing from both the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 and the Comprehensive Preparedness Guidelines - 101, the facilitators led discussions on planning considerations and process.  Rotating around the model of successful planning, which includes acceptability, adequacy, completeness, consistency, feasibility, flexibility and inter-operable collaboration, participants discussed the top-level of planning methodologies.  While we did not get into the specifics of the Colorado Emergency Operations Plan, the basic scenarios were used as catalysts for participant discussions on particular roles, responsibilities and capabilities of involved agencies.  One of the more interesting discussion threads was the need to move the trigger point of private sector involvement further up in the planning process than where it sometimes normally resides in emergency management, at the point of "I need".  While there is some work in this area going on in Colorado, such as the collaboration accomplished through the Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership and the resource initiatives being led by the Division of Fire Safety, this was generally agreed as an area in which to expand efforts.

Situational Awareness/Common Operating Picture
In wonderful simplicity, situational awareness was described as "my perception," while common operating picture was identified as "our collective perception."  Regardless of an incident's cause or scale, situational awareness is always a complex issue.  Establishing sources and flow of information and understanding which actions are taking place where is a responsibility of all involved in the response effort.  The critical key, of course, is to ensure the information flow process on how information is taken in and to whom it is provided in a standardized fashion is understood and implemented in a standardized, regularized manner (It is something we have been working within our EOC and we are looking forward to testing our new procedures during the exercise tomorrow!)  Gaining information is only half of the challenge, however.  The second challenge is in rendering that information into an easily understandable and accessible format that provides all agencies - which can include hundreds in a major response - can access and put to use.  If you are involved in emergency management and interested in some useful tools available to help spur consideration and improve these two aspects of response, check out the Lessons Learned Information Sharing tool, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Table Top Exercise
Several hours of the day were dedicated to a group tabletop exercise where small groups tackled a series of questions (largely planning-based) rotating around an improvised explosive device scenario.

The most Colorado-specific portion of today's activities was the presentation and discussion over the Division of Fire Safety's efforts to improve our resource mobilization tools in the State (pic right).  This system, still in development, will help dramatically increase our state capabilities to identify, request, mobilize, track, monitor an demobilize people and material being applied to an incident.  From the presentation, it is clear it will include nonprofit and private sector resources, mapping capabilities and more.

Tomorrow is the main exercise day (tornado response scenario), followed by another exercise on Friday that will focus on recovery efforts.  Should be fun!!!

State Planning Officer - CO Hazards Briefing

Kerry Kimble's (State Planning Officer) Colorado Hazards Briefing - including the notes pages - provided during the State Integrated Emergency Management Course has been posted for online viewing or downloading.

Day One - Colorado's Integrated Emergency Management Course

Alright, so we made it through the first day of our State-level Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC).  With nearly 60 students and instructors occupying a windowless basement training room, each presented with an impressively heavy course material book (pictured), first impressions were that the day had the potential to be an uncomfortably long slog.  Ask anyone in the room at the end.  It wasn't!  It was a great first day!

If you are not familiar with the IEMC, it is a class offered by the federal Emergency Management Institute and is designed to provide a structured training environment and realistic exercise(s) for emergency operations center (EOC) staff at the local and, in our case, state-levels.  Unlike a normal emergency management course where personnel collect in one room from various backgrounds who often do not work together, this course is a specifically-formulated and targeted for a unique EOC and its operating staff, using hazards those staff are likely to face and which is tailored to the EOC's operations environment.

With just the right number of State Emergency Operations Center and Field Staff and with a number of partner agencies - including from transportation, health, nongovernmental and private sector - the room was well-balanced for a Colorado team training exercise.

Like any training course, the initial modules introduced the participants and covered the broad, overview information related to the National Response Framework and the National Incident Management System.  What made the training unique was that, between an active senior-level direct participation (the State's Emergency Management Deputy Director Bruce Holloman is both a student and presenter at the Colorado Course - pictured) and  an EMI instructor cadre who was both incredibly personable and whom had clearly done their homework on Colorado, the material bridged the gap between doctrinal structure and on-the-ground implementation.  Example? One of the more handy, one-pagers distributed was an org/information flow chart that provided a birds eye view of incident information flow during a large-scale incident (embedded below) that involves local, state and federal resources.

For each big-picture concept there was specific discussion, presentations or material then provided that were Colorado-specific.  The above chart was quickly complimented by understanding how Colorado's Emergency Operations Center basic structure is organized.  The intent of the course is clear.  The intent is to explore and evaluate how Colorado's system integrates into the National Response Framework to improve leadership, management, efficiency and communication.  I have embedded a copy of the EOC structure chart for the Thursday exercise below.  These two documents give a solid understanding - even to the rookie field - of the basics of our organization, lines of communication and where to go for information when responding to a growing or large-scale incident.

While we covered the "how" of incident management via the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the "who" of incident management articulated in the National Response Framework (NRF), the Emergency Management Institute instructors did so in a manner that made the terminology, with which many in the room were familiar, in a new light.   By using specific examples of instructor participation in past, large-scale events they were able to relate in a personal manner how the concepts spelled out in both the system and framework were developed, refined and are currently being implemented.  If you are not as familiar with these concepts, a quick run-through of is highly recommended.

In addition to the instructors, a representative Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 8, which is located in Denver, also provided a history of emergency management legislation.  Using the context of the recent Colorado fires, this presentation spilled into an opportunity to discuss how decisions, such as damage assessments that factor into individual and public assistance, factor into the planning, response and recovery process.

The afternoon is where the course became really interesting.  As a way of reviewing material and testing, the instructors used a TV-style, quiz-show game - complete with on screen interactive displays of status - to review material.   With categories focused on Roles and Responsibilities, Response Actions, Response Organizations, Planning, the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System, the interactive style worked and had everyone engaged.

In addition to the quiz show, there was a comprehensive presentation made by our State Planning Officer to the group on Colorado-specific hazards.   I think the briefing was one of the better presentations I have seen on the subject of which hazards we face here, be they a wildland fire, avalanche, rockslide or tornado.  I have asked our Planning Officer for an electronic copy and will post it as soon as I get in here on our COEmergency site, probably tomorrow.

As for tomorrow, the plan is to progress from the big picture and get into all-hazards emergency planning, situational awareness and common operating pictures, a couple of tabletop exercises.  Keep checking back!  Our intent over the next few days as we progress from the introductory briefings and into the tabletop and exercise(s) scheduled for later this week is to provide an informal look-in on what our experience is with the course.  We will be posting photos, resource links and other materials as we go along!

DHS Announces Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium Training for Emergency Management Programs

The Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) was established by Congress and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) to develop and deliver relevant all-hazards training in support of rural homeland security requirements. All training delivered by the RDPC is certified by DHS and offered tuition-free to the nation’s emergency response community and associated stakeholders. Visit to view the course catalog and training schedule or call 859-622-8994 for more information.

The course below is meant for rural school districts and is an on-site course. The course is free for rural school districts, but districts would need to provide a classroom space for the course and have a minimum number of participants per course. For additional information, please go to or call 859-622-8994.

AWR 148 Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents – Partnering Rural Law Enforcement and the Local School Systems

Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents – Partnering Rural Law Enforcement and the Local School Systems is an eight-hour course designed to educate rural law enforcement personnel as well as school administrators and staff on the elements that would allow for an effective response to school-based emergencies. Schools in small, rural, and remote areas across the country account for almost 23% of the total student population (more than 11 million students). Rural schools, law enforcement, and other emergency responders are often limited in resources, so it is imperative that all potentially affected parties collaborate on planning, preparing, communicating, responding, and recovering from a school-based incident. Through this course, rural law enforcement officials receive information and training tools that may be used when working with their local school systems. As a result of the training, law enforcement, superintendents, principals, school resource officers and others within the school system will be better prepared to work collaboratively when a crisis occurs.

Key elements of the course:
- Introduction to Incident Planning and Preparedness
- Proactive Threat Mitigation
- Incident Response
- Incident Recovery

This course also addresses:
- Vulnerability Assessments
- Threat Assessment Management
- Incident Defusing and Debriefing
- Parent Reunification
- Anniversaries, Memorials, “Copy-Cats”

This course supports the strategic goals of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 – National Preparedness, the National Preparedness Goal and the Target Capabilities List in the areas of: Information Gathering and Recognition of Indicators and Warning, Critical Infrastructure Protection, On-Site Incident Management, Responder Health and Safety, Public Safety and Security Response, Explosive Device Response Operations, Citizen Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place, Emergency Public Information and Warning, Restoration of Lifelines, Economic and Community Recovery, Intelligence and Information Sharing and Dissemination, Planning, Communications, and Community Preparedness and Participation.

To schedule this training in your jurisdiction please contact the RDPC at 859-622-8994 or email This training was developed by The University of Findlay, a member of the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium.

Northeast Colorado All-Hazards Region is Hiring a Regional Homeland Security Coordinator

The Northeast Colorado All-Hazards Region is requesting proposals from qualified individuals to fill the position of Regional Homeland Security Coordinator/Contractor. The Regional Coordinator responsible for administering and managing State Homeland Security Grant Programs and is the central point of coordination for programmatic issues within the region. The Northeast Colorado All-Hazards Region consists of Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma Counties. For more information on this request and to receive a bid package contact Steve Enfante, Morgan County Office of Emergency Management at 970-867-8506 or proposals deadline is October 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm.

2010 Colorado State Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan Update - Working Documents for Comment

The Mitigation and Recovery Team is pleased to release a draft of the primary sections of the 2010 Colorado State Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan Update.  State Hazard Mitigation Plans have to be updated every three years to maintain eligibility for FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant programs.

The Mitigation and Recovery Team, along with State partners from seven different departments, Federal partners and non-profit partners has been working since March to review and revise the previous version of this plan (from 2007).   Updates include additional Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment information, an entirely new mitigation action plan for the State and a new annex for the State’s Rural Electric Cooperatives.  In addition, the Colorado Water Conservation Board managed the updates for the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan ( and the Colorado Flood Mitigation Plan (, which both serve as annexes to this plan.

State Hazard Mitigation Plan - 2010 Update
Working Documents
-- State Capability Assessment - view online or download
-- Plan Process - view online or download
-- Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment - view online or download (27 mb)
-- State Mitigation Strategies Section - view online or download

Links to these documents will also be maintained on the DEM Mitigation Team's page at (at the "mitigation" tab, above)

Before the Division of Emergency Management submits this plan to FEMA for approval, we wanted to provide our fellow State agencies, as well as our federal, local and non-profit partners and individual citizens with a chance to review the plan and provide any comments that might make this plan stronger.  If you have any, please forward them either to Ken Brink ( or Iain Hyde ( by the close of business on Friday, October 15th.

We are extremely grateful to our partners who helped to develop this plan!

2010 Annual Demography Meeting - 11/5 - Arvada, CO

Presented by the Department of Local Affairs' State Demography Office and the Northwest Council of Governments, the 2010 Annual Demography Meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on November 5, 2010, at the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts.

I can feel some of you now thinking... demography?  I am in emergency management... so...

Understanding demographics is critical for emergency managers and first responders and, in particular, planners and communicators.  The 2010 Annual Demography Meeting will focus on Colorado-specific population and economic trends and forecasts, provide an update on the 2010 Census and demonstrate hands-on tools to access Census information, and will discuss how immigration issues are developing across Colorado.  The meeting will be an opportunity for emergency management personnel to directly connect with State and local demographers and experts to understand how forecasts are made and how these trends will facilitate or complicate emergency planning and response efforts across the State.

These issues are the foundation upon which effective emergency management planning and response are built.  Emergency management exists to serve populations potentially or directly affected by disasters.  In its simplest form, there are two key elements to planning for and accomplishing this mission effectively:
  • Understand the affected/potentially affected population.  Emergency managers must understand their population's size, makeup, communication needs and challenges and over-the-horizon trends.  This meeting will provide better tools and contacts to facilitate your size-up/planning efforts locally and in your region.
  • Understand the financial landscape impacting emergency planning and response.  The current economic climate is affecting both populations and government/emergency responders.  Understanding how these trends are influencing needs and service provision is critical. 

These two issues are intimately related to demography and will serve as the basis for presentations/discussions at the 2010 Annual Demography Meeting.

Registration is $65 per person.  For registration information, download the 2010 Annual Demography Meeting flyer or visit the Department of Local Affairs Demography site.  For questions regarding the meeting, contact

All of us know what FEMA stands for, right? Do you know what NETC acronym is?

From Robyn Knappe, DEM Training Manager- - (720) 852-6617

NETC is the National Emergency Training Center located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Since 1979, the Emergency Management Institute shares the 107 acre campus campus with United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Academy.

The EMI is the Emergency Management Institute funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and open to government employees and others in the emergency management field. EMI is the training institution that provides national leadership in developing and delivering training to ensure individuals and groups have key emergency management responsibilities, including FEMA employees, possess the requisite skills to effectively perform their jobs.  Some federal employees do have special rules for attendance. There may also be other partners (non profit or private) who are allowed to also attend EMI training classes.  The reimbursement policy varies by class.  Over 400 courses are offered.

EMI is a resource for all of you.  With tightening budgets, this is still a federal training facility that provides reimbursement for your travel and gives you a place to roost at night (albeit a dorm room bed).  You do pay for the meal ticket for the week – but you have to eat no matter where you are.

FEMA/EMI also has a training facility in Anniston Alabama – Noble Center and also has sponsored other training facilities in the past.  Generally, if they are state sponsored, they are not eligible for reimbursement for travel and lodging. If you attend a FEMA EMI sponsored training in another state, neither EMI nor the State of Colorado Training Division will pay/reimburse for you to attend/travel. Notwithstanding, you can still attend with appropriate approvals and space available but it would be an agency or personal responsibility.

EMI has lots of classes aimed at preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.  The catalog is on line and the schedule of classes is by semester.  Since this is a nationwide registration process – the classes fill months in advance.

Some important facts about submitting your EMI application:
1) There is a new form called FEMA 119-25-1.  It replaces the old 75-5.  All classes applied for MUST be on the new federal form.
2) All applications MUST have the CDEM State Training Officer (STO) signature to be processed.  Unless, it is an invitational only class or offered through FEMA Region VIII.  Please fax to 720-852-6617 or scan to
3) If you send the applications directly to EMI, they will be sent back for signature.
4) If you hope to train as a group or attend training as a team, please make arrangements at least 6 months in advance to submit all training applications as a group to the CDEM State Training officer.
5) Questions about prerequisites or other travel related questions can be directed to: Robyn Knappe 720-852-6617 or

Next month, we will be soliciting applications for the 2012 Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) – Community Specific course where 70 people from one jurisdiction attend a resident course at EMI as a team. It is aimed at jurisdictions of over 250,000 in population.

If you are in emergency management and haven’t been there to attend classes – you have not arrived. My first trip was in 1985 and I attended one of the first IEMC Train The Trainer courses with the US territory of Guam.  In the past few years, I have been there many times, each one memorable in its own right.

Go to for more information and the new application form.
The catalog can be found at

Course Announcement - Community Emergency Response Team "Train the Trainer" Course - 12/1-3 - Brighton, CO

Colorado State University's Brighton Learning Center and Resource Campus is hosting a Community Emergency Response Team "Train the Trainer" Course on December 1, 2, and 3, 2010.  Intended for members of emergency management, fire, police and emergency medical agencies or volunteers, the course will introduce participants to the CERT concept of preparing civilians to proactively organize and train for disaster.

The course will address administrative considerations for implementing CERT programs, and provide CERT curriculum to help students return to their communities and represent sponsoring agencies to develop and instruct CERT training(s).

If you are interested, you can register online at (Course ID #1015851).  For questions, contact or at (720) 852-6650.  You can also download a copy of the CERT "Train the Trainer" Course flyer online.

Course Announcement - Community Emergency Response Team "Train the Trainer" Course - 11/16-18 - Colorado Springs, CO

The Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management is hosting a Community Emergency Response Team "Train the Trainer" Course on November 16, 17 and 18, 2010.  Intended for members of emergency management, fire, police and emergency medical agencies or volunteers, the course will introduce participants to the CERT concept of preparing civilians to proactively organize and train for disaster.

The course will address administrative considerations for implementing CERT programs, and provide CERT curriculum to help students return to their communities and represent sponsoring agencies to develop and instruct CERT training(s).

If you are interested, you can register online at (Course ID #1015851).  For questions, contact or at (720) 852-6650.  You can also download a copy of the CERT "Train the Trainer" Course flyer online.

Course Announcement - L-548 COOP Manager's Training TTT Course - 10/27-29 - Centennial, CO

The Division of Emergency Management and the County of Arapahoe are partnering to offer the L-548 COOP Manager's Training "Train The Trainer" Course on October 27-29 in Centennial, CO.  The COOP Course is to provide Continuity of Operations training for Program Managers and personnel with COOP responsibilities at the Federal, State, Local and Tribal levels of government.  The training includes a train-the-trainer module to equip the managers to train the course to others.  The updated version now addresses the new COOP policies and directives articulated in HSPD-20, the National Implementation Plan and Federal Continuity Documents 1 and 2.

Fore more information and registration instructions, download the course flyer, or register via COTrain at for CourseID: 1024525.  For any additional questions, contact DEM's Training Officer, Robyn Knappe, at or at (720) 852-6617.