OEM Board of Directors

Dear Boulder County Residents:

Sheriff - Joe Pelle

Sheriff – Joe Pelle

We live and work in one of the most beautiful settings in Colorado, and much of that natural beauty also makes us highly prone to potentially catastrophic events such as wildfire, blizzards, and flash flooding. These are not just possibilities, but have occurred in the past and will occur here in the future. For several decades various local public agencies have worked together here collaboratively to plan for these events and a coordinated response. Boulder County residents should be assured that when there is a major emergency, all of our various public safety agencies pull together and support one another regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. Our county has long been a leader in the practice of emergency management, and the shared City of Boulder and Boulder County Office of Emergency Management is a top- notch planning entity.

The Sheriff’s Office plays an important role in coordinating with local, state, and federal agencies to ensure the ability of our county to respond to, and recover from a disaster. We have many specialized units who respond, and we also house the county’s Emergency Operations Center, (which becomes the hub of coordination and communication during a disaster). We prepare and train every year on a wide variety of “all-hazards” events, and pull together leaders from every level of government in both exercises and actual events.

However, despite all of our best efforts, there is only so much local government can do on its own. Events such as a wind-driven wildfire or a flash flood in a canyon are all rapidly developing, swiftly moving, and highly devastating. First responders likely will not be able to reach everyone for rescue or evacuation, and moving people in some instances may be more dangerous than sheltering in place. For these reasons we need to depend on a partnership with an informed and prepared public to survive and recover from a major disaster. We need you to be able to react properly to assure the protection of lives during a disaster.

We hope that the information presented here will help you to feel prepared and informed to respond properly in a disaster situation, and to give you confidence that your local government is working hard to be prepared as well. There is nothing we can do about the weather, climate, or terrain we live in (except enjoy it!), but together we can survive and recover from a disaster with proper planning and preparation.

Sheriff Joe Pelle, Boulder County

Dear Boulder County Residents:

Fire Chief - Mike Calderazzo

Fire Chief – Mike Calderazzo

Effective disaster response is a collective effort. It begins with actions taken by each individual before disaster strikes. This guide provides information to help you survive a disaster.

Let me assure you that the Boulder Fire Department is committed to providing an effective disaster response, but we are limited in what we can do. No local agency or combination of agencies has the resources necessary to rescue every potential victim in a disaster. You are your first and best line of defense. You can take charge of your safety. Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility.

The materials found at boulderoem.com provide important information regarding emergency preparedness. As Fire Chief, I urge you to take the time to review the material in this guide and put together a plan to allow you and your loved ones to remain safe during a disaster. A rescue avoided through proper planning is always better than a rescue properly executed in the field. An informed and prepared community makes everyone safer and more secure. It allows emergency responders to devote time and effort to those people truly unable to help themselves. Preparedness and individual planning have repeatedly proven to be effective in times of disaster. Please take the time to review the material and help us help you in the event the unthinkable happens. Together we can make a difference before disaster strikes.

Chief Mike Calerazzo, Boulder Fire-Rescue

Dear Boulder County Residents:

Police Chief - Greg Testa

Police Chief – Greg Testa

It’s a natural human tendency to avoid thinking about possible disasters in our own community, never mind planning for them. As Chief of Police, however, I have been involved in enough emergency situations to know how important preparedness can be. The information available at the bouldeoem.com website could help keep you and your family safe.

The Boulder Police Department does all it can on a daily basis to respond professionally and as promptly as possible when we are needed. We also ensure that our officers are trained in a variety of high-hazard situations. Nonetheless, we are realistic: In a large-scale emergency, there may be unavoidable delays in our ability to reach you. Taking the time to think about how your family will assemble and respond to emergencies, as well as stocking up on the supplies that will see you through the initial 72 hours, could make a tremendous difference in your survival.

It is not our intention to scare you. Instead, we hope this guide will empower you, so that you feel informed and better prepared for whatever comes our way. Emergency preparedness is a responsibility we all share, and we are pleased to partner with you in this effort.

Police Chief Greg Testa, City of Boulder