South Metro Fire Rescue - "Tornados? In Colorado? Yes!"

DEM pitched in on South Metro Fire-Rescue's recent tornado safety video, titled "Tornados?  In Colorado? Yes!".  In addition to their website, you can also keep up to speed with South Metro on South Metro Fire-Rescue's Facebook Page.  Stay Informed and Stay Safe!

Colorado Wildfire & Insurance Guides Now Available

For those of you doing community outreach to motivate property owners to do wildfire mitigation both to protect their property and insurance, Colorado Wildfire & Insurance Guides are now available for distribution.  The guides are a partnership effort sponsored by Colorado wildfire stakeholders including the Colorado Division of Emergency Management, Colorado State Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Division of Insurance and the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.  Contact to pick up or order the guides at no cost.

Colorado Wildfire & Insurance Guides link:

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Tabletop Exercise - 8/17-18 - Denver

SAVE THE DATES - August 17-18, 2011 - for a foot-and-mouth disease tabletop exercise to be held in Denver by the Western Dairy Association and Dairy Management, Inc. For nearly 10 years, the dairy industry has been working closely with state and federal government leaders to prepare for a coordinated response in the event of a national food safety recall, food bioterrorism or a U.S. outbreak of foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease.

In 2011, the industry's crisis trainings will focus on FMD preparedness and response and a part of that training will be taking place in Denver. A U.S. outbreak of FMD will significantly impact milk processing and manufacturing, and consumers are likely to have concerns and questions about the safety of milk and dairy products.

This Colorado-located training will be a great opportunity to share private sector, government and partner agency response plans, to work closely with peers to strategize the industry's response, and hone communication planning and coordination.

Attendance will be accomplished through formal invitation and registration information will be available soon. Anyone interested in participating should contact Angel Aguilar, Ph.D., Western Dairy Association, Director, Producer and Industry Relations at (720) 356-3180.

New Leadership for Colorado VOAD

Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (COVOAD) held elections for its officers at its annual meeting this past March. The Chair, Co-Chair and Secretary positions were all up for election. The COVOAD membership elected Deborah Foote (formerly Colburn), of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation, to serve as the new Chair for COVOAD. Kristy Judd of Metro Volunteers was elected to fill the position of COVOAD Secretary. Elizabeth DiPaolo from the Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross was re-elected as Vice Chair. Sherry Manson of The Salvation Army, who just completed the first of a two year term, will remain on as Treasurer for COVOAD. COVOAD would like to thank Michael Bright (former Chair) and Tracy Hays (former Secretary) for their years of service to COVOAD!

Thanks! to Jen Poitras ( for the COVOAD update!

Access and Functional Needs Tabletop/Workshop - 7/15 - Denver, CO

The Division of Emergency Management is hosting a workshop and tabletop to discuss the planning challenges and opportunities associated with individual access and functional needs.  The disability community will join us for this discussion, giving all participants the opportunity to review, revise and finalize plans related to evacuation, shelter-in-place and mass care scenarios.

The workshop/tabletop will be held on Friday, July 15, 2011 from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm at the Red Lion Hotel, 4040 Quebec Street, Denver CO 80216.

Register on CO.Train at (Course ID:  1027873).

Course Notes:
  • The location is accessible by RTD Route 44
  • Hotel rooms will be provided the night before for those travelling over 50 miles to attend.  Contact Lori Hodges ( if a hotel room is needed.
  • If you need accommodations (interpreters, service animal needs, etc.), let us know
Who should attend?  Local, State and Federal Emergency Managers, Disability Managers, Public/Mental Health Agencies, Human Services/Housing Agencies, Non-Profits, Voluteer Organizations Active in Disaster Community.

For any questions, contact Lori Hodges ( or at (303) 656-5023. 

Colorado Tornado and Hail Safety

Funnel cloud outside Hasty, CO, from April 2010
The return of warmer weather to Colorado also means the return of tornado and hail season.  Colorado has a long history with tornadoes.

As with all weather-related advisories, watches and warnings, the central info source for Colorado severe weather watches, warnings, reports of hail and tornado warnings is the National Weather Service Colorado Page .  For the latest weather developments, be sure to check with the National Weather Service - Colorado Watches, Warnings and Advisories page.

Too, the best way to get alerted about emergencies in your area is by monitoring a number of local Colorado alert systems/sources, including NWS Colorado Weather page, listening to your local NOAA Weather Radio station (you can even listen to some of the stations online or with your mobile phone if you do not have a receiver capable of receiving NOAA stations), following local media sources or signing up for your community's local alert systems.

While systems exist to identify conditions likely to produce tornadoes (which are often also accompanied by hail), tornadoes can strike with very little warning.  As a result, it is paramount to be aware of advisories, watches and warnings, but it is also imperative that you maintain a good awareness of weather conditions in your immediate area.


Tornado Safety Tips
  • When a tornado watch is announced, it means conditions are present for a tornado.
  • Keep a radio/TV tuned for further information, and gather emergency supplies.
  • When a Tornado Warning is issued, it means a tornado has been sighted or is imminent. Take shelter immediately.
If you are at home:
  • Go to your basement. If you have no basement, go to an interior hallway or small interior room on the the lowest floor.
  • Avoid windows.
  • Do not remain in a trailer or mobile home if a tornado is approaching. Take cover elsewhere.
If you are at work:
  • Go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor, or a designated shelter.
  • Avoid windows.
If you are at school:
  • Follow instructions of authorities/teachers.
  • Stay out of structures with wide free-span roofs like auditoriums and gyms.
If you are in a car or outside:
  • Seek cover in a nearby building, or lie flat in a ditch or ravine.

Hail Safety Tips

Hail stone - Hasty, CO - April 2010
If you are in an automobile:
  • Stop driving. If you can see a safe place close by (like inside a garage, under a highway overpass, or under a service station awning), drive there as soon as you can. Make sure you pull completely off the highway.
  • Do NOT leave the vehicle until it stops hailing. Your car will furnish reasonable protection.
  • Stay away from car windows. Cover your eyes with something (like a piece of clothing). If possible, get onto the floor face down, or lie down on the seat with your back to the windows. Put very small children under you, and cover their eyes.
If you are in a building:
  • Stay inside until the hail stops.
  • Stay away from the windows, especially those being struck by hail.
  • Account for all family members, building occupants, pets, etc.
  • Do not go outside for any reason. Large hail can cause serious or even fatal injuries.
  • Avoid using phones and electrical appliances during a severe storm to avoid the danger of electrocution from lightning.
If you are outdoors:
  • If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter immediately. If you can't find something to protect your entire body, at least find something to protect your head.
  • Stay out of culverts and lowland areas that might fill suddenly with water.
  • Trees are a last resort. It is common during severe storms for trees to lose branches. Also, large isolated trees attract lightning.
For more on preparing yourself and your family for disaster, be sure to visit READYColorado.

ICS-300 - 6/9-10 - Huerfano County

Huerfano County will be hosting an ICS-300 course on June 9th and 10th, from 8:30a - 4:30p.  For more information email

Does Your Fire Department Need Money?

Just in from our partners at the Federal Emergency Management Region 8, FEMA is conducting several Colorado-based Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program 2011 Training Sessions.

FEMA Region 8 Fire Program Specialist Ted Young will present training sessions about the Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program. Session participants will learn about how this program can help fire departments get money for needed resources including: equipment, protective gear, apparatus, training, and more. FEMA reps indicate the training lasts a couple of hours and there will be ample time for questions.

The training is free.
Attendees do not need to pre-register.

Golden CO – Monday May 23
6:30 PM Fairmount Fire Station 1, 4755 Isabell Street.

Westminster CO – Wednesday May 25
9:00 AM Westminster Fire Department Public Safety Building, 9110 Yates Street.

Berthoud CO – Wednesday May 25
6:30 PM Berthoud Fire Department Community Center Building, 275 Mountain Ave.

Grand Junction CO - Wednesday June 1
6:30 PM Grand Junction Police Department, 625 Ute Ave

Pueblo CO- Thursday June 2
6:30 PM Pueblo Fire Department, 425 W 7th

The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. The Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency administers the grants in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. Visit or call the FEMA Help Desk at 1-866-274-0960.

Job Announcement - Emergency Manager - Baca County

The Baca County Commissioners Office is accepting applications for an Emergency Manager to for the Baca County Division of Emergency Management. The job requires good communication skills, radio and computer skills. Also important is the ability to work with the various fire departments, EMS and law enforcement agencies to assist with some day to day operations and to pursue grant opportunities. Previous emergency responder, military, or law enforcement experience will be considered. Salary will be based on skills and experience.

Applications available and to be returned - no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday May 27, 2011 - to:

Baca County Commissioners Office
741 Main Street, Suite 1
Springfield, CO 81073

Baca County is an equal opportunity employer.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to call the Baca County Commissioner's Office at 719-523-6532.

Mitigation Planning Workshop for Local Governments - 6/21-22 - Durango

This 2-day workshop includes the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, which amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The Mitigation Planning Workshop for Local Governments course assists representatives of local communities or multi-jurisdictional planning areas to develop a mitigation plan that meets community needs as well as the Section 322 local government planning requirements as described in 44 CFR Section 201.6. This workshop explains each of the requirements, demonstrates how  FEMA's new Mitigation Planning How-to-Guides can be used to address each requirement, and provides opportunities to begin the planning process in group activities with representatives of the same community or planning area.

The class will be held in Durango Recreation Center, Windom Room, 2700 Main Avenue
Durango, CO 81301.  Registration is being handled through CO.Train at - search for Course ID:  1026644.  The target audience is any persons whose jobs require mitigation activity or planning or those seeking Advanced Professional Series certification.

Recommended prerequisites:  NIMS IS 700, NIMS IS 800, ICS 100, ICS 200

For more information, contact Robyn Knappe - - (720) 852-6617.

ICS-300 - 6/29-30-7/1 - Routt County

The Northwest All-Hazards Emergency Management Region will be hosting this class on class on June 29, 30th and July 1st 2011

The class will be held at the Historic Routt County Courthouse, Board of County Commissioners Hearing Room, 522 Lincoln Avenue, Third Floor, Steamboat Springs, CO

Class times will be from 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. on the first two days and from 8:00 A.M. until Noon on the third day.  Attendance for the entire class is required for certification.  You must register for this class online using CO.Train at

Note:  ICS-200 and IS-700 are prerequisites for this course.

ICS-400 Course - 8/4-5 - Routt County

The Northwest All-Hazards Emergency Management Region will be hosting an ICS-300 class on August 4-5, 2011.  The training will prepare individuals to act as a member of an Incident Management Team and Multi-Agency Coordination Group as directed by the new National Incident Management System standards. 

The class will be held at the Historic Routt County Courthouse, Board of County Commissioners Hearing Room, 522 Lincoln Avenue, Third Floor, Steamboat Springs

The class will be held from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm both days.  Attendance for the entire class is required for certification.  NOTE:  ICS-300 is a prerequisite for this course.  Registration is being handled through CO.Train at

Information Tech/Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief Workshop - 5/25-26

The Information Technology and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief Workshop, to be held from May 25-26, 2011, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is designed to bring together technology professionals from the academic, civilian and military communities to discuss the opportunities and challenges of using open source data sources post-disaster. This highly interactive workshop will feature presentations as well as small group sessions where participants can shape the agenda for harnessing the transformative power of information technologies in disaster settings. View workshop website:

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT - Emergency Manager - Bent County

Per Susie Wickman (, Bent County is looking for an Emergency Manager.  Anyone interested is requested to contact Bent County Sheriff’s Office at 719-456-0476 for job description and application. 

Colorado Wildfire & Insurance Guide

The 2011 version of the Colorado Wildfire & Insurance Guide is now available.  Developed in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the guide is a solid reference tool for property owners/residents in the growing wildland urban interface areas in Colorado.  As we have already seen this Spring, wildfires can grow quickly and threaten lives, property and livelihoods of those in their path.  Take a minute to read the brochure, consider steps you can take to ensure your insurance is up-to-date and coverage appropriate and, most importantly, to get tips on steps you can take to reduce your vulnerability to wildfire losses.  You can view or download the Colorado Wildlife & Insurance Guide online, order copies by contacting Molly Sausaman at, or view it below:

Course Announcement - Warning Coordination - 6/28 - Denver

This course, G272 Warning Coordination, is the latest in the hazardous weather series of courses produced in partnership with the National Weather Service (NWS).

Every year the United States experiences more severe weather than any other country in the world. In order to reduce deaths, injuries, and property losses, emergency managers must work closely with the NWS and the news media to provide effective warnings that can be received and understood by people at risk. This course is intended to help facilitate that process.

Course topics include The Social Dimensions of Warning Response; Developing Effective Warning Messages; Developing an Effective Community Warning Process; and Working with the News Media to Create a Weather Warning Partnership. In addition to lecture and discussion, the course includes case studies and exercises.

June 28th, 2011 - 9:00 AM- 4:30 PM

North Washington Fire
8055 N. Washington St
Denver, CO 80229

Registration will be through - Course ID: 1027235
This course is first come, first served. No charge.

Target Audience
Individuals who may assume a supervisory role in expanding emergency incidents.

For more information
Robyn Knappe - - 720-852-6617

Risk Management For Your Volunteer Forces

The following article, by our Senior Division Advisor, David Holm, was recently published in the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Bulletin.


Risk Management For Your Volunteer Forces

Few things are as valuable to emergency managers as a cadre of trained, qualified, dedicated, capable volunteers, and few things will deplete those volunteers as quickly as failing to defend them and their agency from risk.  Yet typically little thought is given to risk management involving volunteers.  The risks involved with volunteers fall into several categories:

Physical risk of harm or death to the volunteer;
  1. Risk of damage or loss to the volunteer’s personal property;
  2. Risk of liability by the volunteer and their agency for harms based on the volunteer’s actions, or failure to act;
  3. Risk of economic harm to the volunteer by loss of salary, employment, benefits or seniority due to their service.
Each of these categories can be addressed and minimized/eliminated by taking proper actions before an emergency.

Physical risk to the volunteer

The physical risk of injury to a worker is often the most obvious risk.  By the nature of disasters, our response forces are often placed in harm’s way.  Day to day emergency workers are protected from exposure by proper training, equipping, supervision, guidance and oversight, but failing that, almost all of them are also protected by worker’s compensation insurance.  Few government agencies would consider operating without their employees being covered by worker’s comp, and yet many have no such coverage for volunteers.  A worker’s compensation policy serves to assist the injured worker, but it may also serve to protect the agency from liability for the injury beyond the scope of the insurance.  (See Colorado Revised Statutes 24-332-2201 to 2221 for example legislation.)

If your jurisdiction has laws allowing such coverage, acquire a policy and fund the premiums to cover your volunteers.  It is amazing how inexpensive it can be and it may fund legal defense costs.

Risk of damage to volunteer’s property

Public responsibility for damage to a volunteer’s property is usually limited to personal property they would forseeably use in performing their duties, or which they have been requested to use by the agency.  Define and limit personal property used by the volunteer.  Wherever possible, provide agency property for them.  If they will be using personal motor vehicles, review their insurance to ensure their volunteer service will not disqualify their property damage, bodily injury nor liability insurance.  If they must use personal equipment, assure that the agency insurance policy will cover loss or damage or that the volunteer signs assumptions of risks/waivers of liability for personal equipment loss.

The risk of liability for harms based on the volunteer’s actions, or failure to act

Although courts tend to see if they can avoid holding volunteers and governments liable for actions taken in good faith during emergencies, judgments have been handed down in such events.  While proper training, equipping, supervision, guidance and oversight can go a long ways towards avoiding liability, many states and localities have enacted some form of sovereign immunity.  They then extended that immunity by making acts taken under color of disaster laws the responsibility of the state or other government entity, shielding the volunteer and placing any potential legal burden on an entity with access to government attorneys, i.e. Colorado Revised Statutes 24-32-2301 to 2304 [].  If your jurisdiction has such laws, utilize them.  If it doesn’t, get some enacted.

The risk of the volunteer to loss of salary, employment, employment benefits or seniority due to their volunteer service

The volunteers on a fire, flood, search and rescue mission, debris clearance, sheltering or any other emergency mission are protecting us, often at risk of their livelihood, health insurance, career position etc.  We owe them protection in return.  In 2008, Colorado passed (unanimously except one no vote) an act providing protections to those who volunteer their services in a large scale emergency ( ).  The act provides for 15 days of leave when a volunteer is called to work by a qualified organization for a qualified emergency, paid leave for government workers and unpaid for the private sector.  It provides that no such volunteer can lose seniority, rank, benefits, retirement credits etc. so long as they follow certain procedures.  Any government entity can certify a volunteer organization they work with for such protection.  Volunteers we all depend on no longer risk their livelihood by volunteering.


In order to keep a vibrant, essential corps of volunteers in emergency management, we need to take steps to protect them (and their government agencies) from some of the harms inherent in a disaster emergency situation.

NOTE:  This article previously appeared in the IAEM Bulletin and is being reprinted with the permission of the International Association of Emergency Managers,

Energy Assurance Emergency Planning

The following article, by our State Plans Officer, Kerry L. Kimble, CEM, with the Colorado Division of Emergency Management previously appeared in the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Bulletin.


Energy Assurance Emergency Planning

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy released funds  to selected cities as well as each State and territory with the goal of reinvigorating the update (or initiating the development) of Energy Assurance Emergency Plan.  These plans are to stress the importance that states “need to work closely in planning and coordinating energy assurance efforts with the energy industries and other units of government in their state and region.  It is the energy industry that will first respond to a disruption in their supply.  If they can manage the disruption, and reduce the consequences, then actions by the states and locals may not be as critical.”

“However, in a major disaster, when the disruption threatens the public health safety or welfare, or when the energy industry turns to a state or local government for assistance, that is when these energy assurance plans are intended to be used.  In addition, efforts to protect critical energy infrastructure and build its resilience is the goal of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan” .


Within Colorado, the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) has partnered with the Public Utility Commission and the Division of Emergency Management in an effort to encompass the energy industry with the emergency management community, who is responsible for dealing with eth consequences when an extended interruption occurs.  The overall process has also involved meetings with stakeholders, conducting an intra-state and inter-state tabletop exercises, culminating in a validated energy assurance plan.

As a result of such large-scale incidents as the 1973 Oil Embargo, the 2003 northeast blackout, 2008 Hurricane Gustav, people’s lives are negatively impacted.  While the energy industry mobilizes to restore lifelines, the emergency management community responds to mitigate the cascading effects of the interruption.  Some of these effects could be: (1) need for temporary sheltering / housing; (2) medical treatment (for example chemotherapy); (3) eight-hour battery life on home care units; (4) non-access to needed drugs; (5) transport of feed for livestock;  (6) and many others.

Besides affecting the immediate impact area, disasters can also disrupt individual facilities which can have a regional or national impact.  Over the years, many critical facilities have acquired back-up generators to deal with potential electrical disruptions.  However, how many times have these generators been tested or have failed when needed?  In June 2010, an electrical sub-station exploded.  This sub-station was the direct feed for a local hospital.  Their back-up generator immediately kicked in and subsequently failed.  This resulted in the immediate evacuation of the hospital’s critical-care patients, which was coordinated through the County’s emergency management office.

If a situation like this were more widespread, the GEO partnership has worked to develop a recommended draft prioritization list of critical infrastructure facilities that need to be restored if power can not returned within a reasonable amount of time.  (Our definition of reasonable amount of time is 4-6 hours.)  Generally, it appears that this floating window is appropriate before Emergency Management gets involved in the prioritization process.  Recognizing that government can not dictate to the utilities when and what areas are to be fixed.  But, through our mutual partnership, with the goal of serving the public, suggestions / recommendations can be made.  The selection of the 4 – 6 hour timeframe was based upon the fact that home life support systems typically have 8 – 12 hours of battery life, so that requires some lead time to get needed power to a particular geographic location before the batteries run out of electrical power.  If electricity can not be restored, then maybe a portable generator can be used.

The top ten priorities could be:
  1. Level I, II, and III Trauma Centers
  2. Acute care facilities
  3. 911 Dispatch Centers
  4. Burn centers
  5. Surgical Centers and Urgent Care Centers
  6. Food cold storage warehouses
  7. Water/Wastewater treatment facilities
  8. Fueling stations 
  9. Emergency medical transport facilities 
  10. Fire stations
The unique aspect of this process was the inclusion of the new Smart Grid and Distributed Generation technologies.  Since these are more network centric, they are more susceptible to cyber attack.  So, these human-caused incidents could be more destructive than natural hazard incidents resulting in a more potentially longer-lasting outage.

End Result

Ultimately, the planning effort will be twofold:  first, the publication of a comprehensive Energy Assurance Emergency Plan that will provide the framework for minimizing the impact of energy disruptions.  And second, when a disruption does occur: the roles, responsibilities, and procedures outlined in a Utility Disruption Incident Annex to the State Emergency Operations Plan can be activated to respond to the basic needs of a jurisdiction’s residents while repairs are underway.

NOTE:  This article previously appeared in the IAEM Bulletin and is being reprinted with the permission of the International Association of Emergency Managers,

Volunteer Capacity Building Workshop - June 2011

Registration for the 3rd Annual Volunteer Capacity Building Workshop on June 3, 2011 in Breckenridge, CO is now open.  Advance Registration is required through CO.Train at  The Course ID number is 1027034.

This FREE one day volunteer capacity building workshop is for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT); Citizen Corps Council volunteers; VOAD's; Medical Reserve Corp (MRC); Colorado Volunteer Mobilizer (CVM); and Red Cross volunteers.  The day long workshop includes more than 25 one-hour training/educational sessions and an opportunity to participate in an exercise.  Breakfast and lunch are provided to volunteers participating in the workshop.

If you have any questions, contact Kristen Campos at or Koral O'Brien at

This workshop is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Citizen Corps Program, and Denver Paramedics.

A special hotel rate is available for attendees (no direct funding is available) at the Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center.  Reservations can be made online at and the password is VCW5SK.

Topics to be offered during the workshop include:

  • Training on 800 MHz radios (like our law enforcement and some other emergency services use) 
  • CPR and AED training 
  • CERT Animal Response I 
  • CERT Animal Response II 
  • Lessons Learned - CSU Meningitis Outbreak 
  • ICS 100 & 700 
  • Information Sharing and Social Media 
  • Citizen's terrorism awareness training 
  • Lessons Learned - Grand County Hepatitis A Outbreak 
  • Volunteer Affiliation 
  • Psychological First Aid 
  • Boulder County Public Health and Medical Reserve Corps Response to the Fourmile Fire 
  • Public Information 
  • Disaster Survival Skills 
  • Incident Management Teams 
  • Preparing for Workplace Disasters 
  • Triage Training 
  • How to Promote Your Organization
  • and more 

Hazard Mitigation Program Grant Application Period OPEN

DEM Mitigation Team Announces Open Application Period for State Hazard Mitigation Program Grants

The DEM Mitigation Team has opened the application period for 2011 State Hazard Mitigation Program (SHMP) grants.  Awards are subject to the availability of funds through the Colorado Division of Emergency Management.

We encourage jurisdictions without a local hazard mitigation plan or those needing to update a plan to use this opportunity to assist in plan development.  All local entities applying for pre- or post-disaster FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance program grants must have a FEMA approved local hazard mitigation plan to be eligible.

Activities that will be considered for this grant program include:

  • Local hazard mitigation plans
  • Mitigation studies
  • Purchase of NOAA weather radios
  • Mitigation training materials
  • Printing mitigation information and brochures
  • Mitigation planning activities
  • Risk assessments
  • Hazard mapping projects

Activities that are not within the scope of this grant program:

  • Structural projects (projects requiring environmental or historical assessments)
  • Response-oriented equipment

The Mitigation Team is soliciting Grant Applications for this program until close of business on Friday, June 3, 2011.  Grant applications must be filled out by the local emergency manager.  Please take a look at the 2011 State Hazard Mitigation Program Announcement Letter for more details on how to apply. For questions or comments, contact Scott Baldwin, Mitigation Assistant, at or 720-852-6696.

Deep Snowpack = Potential for Powerful Avalanches

The following is a Press Release from our partners at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) and urges caution and awareness regarding the potential for powerful, larger and stronger avalanches is uncommon locations due to Colorado's unusually heavy snowpack this Spring.  For questions regarding the CAIC, this release or activities, contact the Center's Director, Ethan Greene, at (303) 204-6027.

Public, fieldworkers, recreationalists cautioned that unusually heavy snowpack could spark larger, stronger avalanches in uncommon locations 

Unusually deep  snowpack in parts of Colorado’s northern and central mountains has the potential to produce dangerous avalanches in pathways that may not have run in decades, and that may run farther than they have in recent memory, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and the Colorado Geological Survey.

Many of the federal government’s snow monitoring sites are recording snowpack levels of more than 160 percent of average, and include some areas with snowpack well over 200 percent of an average year. In many areas snow was still accumulating through the end of April. This may increase the likelihood for major avalanches during the melting season now underway.

The CAIC emphasizes that the public – including local governments and private companies that deploy fieldworkers to outdoor sites - need to be aware of this potential hazard and be prepared for very large events. This warning also applies after an avalanche, as it is important people do not enter debris zones until the area has been evaluated for further avalanche activity potential.

Photo by Terry Onslow - Westside Avalanche Network
An example of this hazard occurred April 30, when an unusually large and destructive avalanche struck the Peru Creek drainage near the town of Montezuma in Summit County. This avalanche destroyed large, 100-plus year-old trees as well as a high-voltage tower that was installed in the late 1970’s. This was an isolated event, but an indication of what is possible this spring. In addition, the Colorado Geological Survey warns that the heavy snowpack combined with a rapid warm-up could also lead to substantial mudslides and debris flows. For instance, similar conditions in 1984 led to more than 40 mudslides and debris-flows in the Vail Valley.

While rapid transition to above freezing temperatures, or a sustained period of warm temperatures could produce very large and destructive avalanches, large spring avalanches are not guaranteed. But the right weather conditions during May and early June could produce avalanches larger than we have seen in 30 to 100 years. Stands of timber, structures, and other assets in avalanche runout areas could be damaged or destroyed.

More information is available here, with a map showing federal Natural Resources Conservation Service SNOTEL data on snowpack levels and here, with photographs showing recent impacts of the Peru Creek drainage avalanche.

The CAIC also wants to remind rescue workers, demolition workers and other people that they should carry proper avalanche rescue equipment and use safe travel protocols. Staff from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center are available to advise on spring conditions and avalanche safety. Backcountry advisories are available at through May 30th. In an emergency, staff can be reached at 303-204-6027.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer Course

Don't just volunteer to help pitch in, help teach others "how to" by taking the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer Course.  In a large scale emergency or disaster, often those first on the scene to render aid and organize response efforts are friends, family and neighbors.  The foundation of a strong community ability to respond to a disaster in an organized and prepared way is via a Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, training.  You can learn more about CERT online at  To get in touch with your local CERT in Colorado, look their contact info online at

To support CERT development at the local level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is hosting a CERT Train-the-Trainer Course to prepare participants to deliver FEMA's CERT Basic Training Course.

There are a number of dates available for the training in 2011 and 2012 and each class will be hosted at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD.  If you are interested in applying for the course, contact DEM's Training Officer, Robyn Knappe, at or at (720) 852-6617.  Robyn can help walk you through the application process, will serve as your State contact to handle your application to EMI.

For more information on the course, dates for registration and application instructions see the CERT Train-the-Trainer Info Flyer.

Rapid Needs Assessment Course

Local Rapid Needs Assessment FEMA Workshop G250.7 is a required course in the Advanced Professional Series.  The course teaches the need and development of plans/procedures for rapidly and efficiently collecting disaster intelligence immediately following a disaster.  This intelligence can be used to develop response priorities as well as allocate and request resources to save and sustain lives.

When:  August 12, 2011 - 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Where: Carbondale & Rural Fire District Station 1, 300 Meadowood Drive, Carbondale, CO 81623

Register: Registration will be through Course ID: 1024910.  This course is first come, first served. No charge.

Target Audience: Individuals who may assume a supervisory role in expanding emergency incidents.

For more information contact: Robyn Knappe, - 720-852-6617