Office of Emergency Management Annual Report - City of Colorado


Message from the Director To the Residents of Colorado Springs: As we look back on 2016 and toward 2017, resiliency is the key term for our community. It is more than the newest buzzword; resiliency means that we are prepared for disasters before they happen so we can quickly recover after the community is impacted. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) used the relative calm in 2016 to complete the Hazard Mitigation Plan update. This document helped us identify areas of concern, and provided a means to track progress toward making our community safer against future disasters. Inputs from the community during the public review phase enabled us to include concerns that are of interest to the people most affected by the hazards. Working closely with our partners at El Paso County OEM, El Paso Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Springs Utilities, and many other stakeholders, we have increased our collaborative relationships to better respond to and recover from disasters. We meet several times per year with our colleagues, including the five local military installations, universities/colleges, and nonprofit organizations to plan joint training courses, collaborate on exercises, and share emergency management information. We continued recovery efforts from the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire, 2013 flooding and 2015 flooding and landslides. The long process of acquiring properties that were impacted by moving soils continued, and we hope to have some funding later in 2017 to begin purchasing the properties. Even in this difficult situation the community’s resiliency has shone through with neighbors organizing and helping each other through the difficult decisions of when to move out of their home in order to be in a safer place while the acquisition process continues. In 2017 our largest effort will be re-accreditation with the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). Colorado Springs OEM was EMAP accredited in 2013, one of only two municipalities in Colorado. EMAP has helped us to be better prepared through robust plans and exercises. The strength of our preparedness comes not only from our own planning efforts, but also through the resiliency and preparedness of our community members - from individual households to neighborhood associations. Thank you for your support, and I highly encourage you to visit the OEM website for more information on staying prepared and ready. Together, let’s have a safe and prosperous 2017! Sincerely,

Bret Waters Director Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management

Table of Contents Emergency Management in Colorado Springs….................................


Office of Emergency Management Organizational Chart.....................


Community Hazards........................................................................


Disaster Recovery...........................................................................


History of Disasters and Emergency Events.......................................


Partner and Stakeholder Collaboration..............................................


Strategic Plan.................................................................................


Emergency Operations Center..........................................................


Emergency Management Training and Exercises................................






Community Engagement..................................................................


Public Information...........................................................................


Severe Weather Monitoring and Warning Program.............................


Public Warning Systems...............................................................


Emergency Operations Planning…....................................................


Special Event Coordination..............................................................


Resource Coordination and Management..........................................


List of Acronyms and Abbreviations.................................................


Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Emergency Management in Colorado Springs Community Profile The City of Colorado Springs encompasses approximately 194 square miles and sits at an altitude of 6,035 feet above sea level. The City lies in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with many homes in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area. There is a significant military presence in and around the City; the missions of these installations vary from education to strategic defense. The combination of high-risk hazard areas and a large number of out-of-state visitors who are unfamiliar with local conditions and emergency response capabilities represent a unique emergency planning and response challenge. Colorado Springs has experienced, or is threatened by, a wide array of natural disasters, such as hail, floods, wildfires, tornados, winter storms and technological emergencies, such as dam failures and hazardous material incidents. Planning scenarios must also include the possibility of terrorist and criminal acts. Overview The City of Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has developed a comprehensive emergency management system which has enabled the City to effectively protect its residents from the wide range of hazards that threaten the area. The success of this system is built on an all-hazards approach to emergency management and strong partnerships within the emergency management community. This community consists of federal, state and local partners; voluntary and other non-governmental and communitybased organizations; neighboring military facilities; and the private sector, such as utilities and medical services providers. Office of Emergency Management Services        


Mitigation of and planning for large-scale, all-hazards emergencies and disasters. Coordination of large-scale emergencies and disasters. Development, maintenance and execution of the City’s Emergency Operations Plan. Liaison to local, county, state, military, and federal agencies and departments. Coordination of multi-jurisdictional exercises and training. Management of resources to assist responders and the affected population. Administration of federal and state grant funding. Conduct of community education and training.

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report



Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Community Hazards Natural Hazards The Colorado Springs area has endured numerous natural disasters. As the City continues to grow, the consequences from a major disaster are exponentially increasing. Although many different natural hazards may affect the City, the four most likely to have a significant impact are wildfire, flood, geological, and severe weather. Wildfire

2012 Waldo Canyon Fire

Much of Colorado Springs is within the Wildland Urban Interface and because the City is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, much of the Interface is adjacent to steep, mountainous forests. Flood Historically, flooding is the deadliest and most damaging hazard to affect Colorado Springs. Flooding can occur along a waterway in one drainage area or in larger watersheds. The Waldo Canyon Fire has significantly increased this risk to areas near the Waldo Canyon Burn Scar. Geological Landslides are one of the most prominent geological hazards that have been recorded in the Colorado Springs area as far back as 1959. The majority of landslides in Colorado Springs occur in the foothills west of I-25. In 1999, heavy rains caused landslides and significant damage to homes; the same situation occurred in 2015 when record-breaking rains fell in May and June which triggered landslides and caused clay-laden soils to 2015 Landslides expand, damaging scores of homes on the City’s west side. In both cases, Colorado Springs sought assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Severe Weather The Colorado Springs area is subject to many severe weather phenomena including intense, localized thunderstorms with high rates of precipitation, hail, floods, high winds, tornadoes, lightning strikes, heavy snow and ice storms. Located in the middle of two major topographic influences – the Rocky Mountains and the Palmer Divide – Colorado Springs frequently experiences extreme weather conditions. 3

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Human Caused Hazards Human caused hazards refer to threats to life safety and property originating from and caused by people, either inadvertently (from ignorance, accident, or negligence) or intentionally. Human-caused hazards are not generally caused by natural phenomena but infectious disease can definitely be influenced by it. However, due to the fact that infectious disease is greatly influenced by human activity, it is included here. Humancaused hazards for Colorado Springs include: · Hazardous material incidents · Terrorism · Infectious Disease The most likely human caused hazard is a hazardous material incident. Hazardous Material Incident In essence, hazardous material (HAZMAT) incidents consist of solid, liquid, and/or gaseous contaminants that are released from fixed or mobile containers, whether by accident or by design as with an intentional terrorist attack. A HAZMAT incident can last hours to days, while some chemicals can be corrosive or otherwise damaging over longer periods of time. In addition to the primary release, explosions and/or fires can result from a release, and contaminants can be extended beyond the initial area by persons, vehicles, water, wind, and possibly wildlife.

2016 Fuel Spill into Fountain Creek

A hazardous material incident can occur in a variety of locations and spatial extents. Some incidents (such as a fuel spill) can occur in a small location and impact a small spatial extent. Others, such as the release of toxic chemicals, may occur from a small location or source but can spread over large areas. Due to the continuous presence of hazardous materials being transported or stored in and around Colorado Springs, HAZMAT incidents of varying magnitudes are considered “likely” future events. There are many sources of hazardous materials in Colorado Springs. These sources include chemical manufacturers, service stations, healthcare facilities and hazardous materials disposal sites. Hazardous materials are also shipped daily on area highways and railroads, to include a major railroad that runs through the center of Colorado Springs. 4

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Disaster Recovery Community Preparedness OEM conducted one flood preparedness community meeting in 2016 to help residents and businesses prepare for the threat of flooding from the Waldo Canyon Fire Burn Scar as well as other locations in the city that are prone to flooding. The meeting provided presentations from the National Weather Service, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, and updates concerning the status of recovery efforts and the threat of flooding. Waldo Canyon Fire Recovery (DR 4067) Waldo Canyon Regional Recovery Group: Colorado Springs OEM continued to partner with El Paso County and numerous local government, state and federal government partners, non-governmental organizations and private land owners to perform mitigation and recovery work on and adjacent to the Waldo Canyon Fire Burn Scar. The U.S. Forest Service awarded the “Regional Forester’s Honor Award for Sustaining Our Nation’s Forests and Grasslands” to the Waldo Canyon Regional Recovery group. In 2016, 7,308 volunteer hours were contributed toward hill slope stabilization, planting grasses, removal of noxious and invasive plant species, and cleaning waterways. South Douglas Creek: Design work has begun in the Flying W Ranch Chuckwagon area with the intent of providing a route for runoff from the burn scar through the historic Chuckwagon dinner and show area through the northern branch of South Douglas Creek. In the southern South Douglas Creek branch, a new “trash rack” was constructed in the small basin’s outlet. The new rack will provide protection against floating debris and prevent the rapid clogging of the inlet. Large trapezoidal sandbags were placed near the Alpine Autism Center in an effort to more fully protect the school from flooding. 5

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


North Douglas Creek: Channel stabilization below the existing stock pond to the confluence with the city’s concrete stormwater channel took place. Drop structures, small sediment catchments, and shoreline revegetation were installed. Camp Creek / Queen’s Canyon: The existing large sediment detention structure was emptied of most debris, but the structure remained damaged from the 2015 rains. A new design will be constructed in 2017. Downstream, drop structures were installed in the creek bed, and shoreline vegetation was planted to protect against future erosion. In the Pleasant Valley neighborhood, portions of the concrete channel walls were replaced due to damage from the 2015 rainstorms. September 2013 Flooding (FM-4145) Efforts continued to acquire two properties that were destroyed in the 2013 flood. One property on Custer Avenue in central Colorado Springs. Another property on Mount Washington on the city’s southwest portion moved closer to final acquisition and removal. May – June 2015 Flooding (DR 4229) Work on locations across Colorado Springs that were damaged in the 2015 sustained rains continued. Sand Creek: Funding from the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) was used to begin stabilization of Sand Creek from the Platte Avenue Bridge southward. Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) performed channel stabilization and grade control in several reaches of the creek. Monument Creek Main Branch: The portion of Monument Creek from the U.S. Air Force Academy southward was damaged in 2015. CSU conducted design work for channel stabilization and grade control on the portion upstream from the Pikeview Intake. North Douglas Creek Channel: Upstream from the Monument Creek confluence at Mark Dabling, CSU performed channel stabilization and grade control work. 2015 Landslide-Affected Homes The City of Colorado Springs submitted an application seeking funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) from the Federal Government to acquire damaged homes in several locations on the city’s west side. During a call for applications, nearly 100 properties were submitted for inspection and engineering review. Upon review, 27 homes were determined to be either in the landslides or threatened by the landslides in the next five years. Many of the properties not selected were either being affected by expansive soils, or were not in the active landslide areas. 6

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


History of Disasters and Emergency Events • 2016

• • •



• • • •

2013 • • • • 2012

• •


• •

2009 • • 2008 7

March 23rd winter storm closed most of the city and El Paso County due to blowing snow and zero visibility. Spill of 8,000 gallons of diesel and unleaded fuel on August 26th resulted in contamination of Fountain Creek from Motor City to Pueblo. Colorado Springs Fire Dept., Colorado Springs Utilities, and Environmental Protection Agency responded. A severe micro storm stalled over east-central Colorado Springs dropping several inches of rain and small hail resulting in clogged storm drains and inundated basements. A gunman attacked a medical clinic resulting in a five-hour standoff and the deaths of a police officer and two civilians. The EOC provided logistical support for the response and recovery operations. Record breaking rain in May and early June caused significant damage to public infrastructure, flooded approximately 600 home basements, caused a number of landslides throughout the city, and resulted in a Presidential Disaster Declaration DR4229. Heavy rain over the Waldo Canyon Burn Scar caused flash flooding that affected roadways and forced the evacuation of the Alpine Autism Center. The EOC was activated during the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Drake Power Plant Fire – the EOC was activated and provided support for response activities. Severe weather system drops quarter-size hail in areas of Colorado Springs resulting in injuries and significant property damage on May 21, 2014. The new City EOC was activated in support of the El Paso County’s Black Forest Fire, which resulted in the loss of two lives, destroyed over 500 homes, and required the evacuation of over 38,000 people. The EOC was activated and staffed 24/7 for 5 days. The EOC was activated and monitored severe weather over the Waldo Canyon Burn Scar 12 times from June 2013 through Sept 2013. Declaration of Emergency was issued in response to the September 11th flooding caused by heavy rainfall. Severe weather storm in June produced hail damage and flooding. Waldo Canyon Fire resulted in the loss of two lives, 347 homes, and required the evacuation of over 32,000 residents in the northwest side of the City. EOC was activated for 11 days to support the event, including evacuation, sheltering, re-entry, and recovery. The EOC was activated to coordinate emergency resources for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Severe weather over the Waldo Canyon Burn Scar produced debris movement and flash flooding. Coordination of emergency resources for US Golf Association’s Women’s Open and USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Multiple training exercises with EOC activation. The EOC was activated to support severe winter storms. Numerous wildfires on or near Schriever Air Force Base, Fort Carson Army Post, and Highway 115, required multi-jurisdictional coordination and response. Coordination of emergency resources for US Golf Association’s Senior Open.

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report • 2007 •


An active shooter situation at New Life Church resulted in three fatalities. The incident was linked to a shooting earlier in the day at a youth ministry complex in Aurora, Colorado, which resulted in a multi-jurisdictional event that included two cities. Colorado State Patrol, FBI and ATF were involved. Castle West Apartment Complex Fire: two fatalities, 135 unit apartment complex destroyed, all residents left homeless, EOC Activation, SBA declaration.

• Two blizzards in one week, multi-jurisdictional coordination and response, hundreds stranded, roadways closed, transit systems shut down, three shelters opened, Presidential Disaster Declaration, EOC activation. 2006 • Blizzard, power loss for 15,000 to 20,000 customers, EOC activation. • Westwood Wildland Fire, multi-jurisdictional wildland fire near the Air Force Academy, EOC activation. • Responded to Hurricane Katrina: Disaster Recovery Center operation for over 1,200 evacuees, multi-jurisdictional coordination and response (into 2006). • High-wind event: winds in excess of 80 mph, 25 percent of the city affected by power 2005 outages for up to three days, EOC activation. • Fast-moving blizzard with significant snowfall in the northern and eastern areas of the city, EOC activation. • Explosive residue at Colorado Springs Airport, EOC activation. 2004 • Winds in excess of 100 mph, residential structures damaged. • Hayman Fire: 137,760 acres burned in four counties, 600 structures lost, more than $39 million in costs, largest fire in Colorado’s history, not within city limits but significant 2002 resources deployed to assist with the firefighting efforts, EOC activation. • Hailstorm, estimated $24.1 million in damages. 1999

• Flooding: Fountain Creek peak discharge 20,100 cubic feet per second. Event resulted in a Presidential Disaster Declaration and EOC activation. • Landslide: 10 slopes in residential areas failed, more than $4 million in damages.

• Blizzard: up to 48 inches of snow, high winds, over 2,000 persons stranded along Interstate 25 corridor, approximately 1,000 persons sheltered, two fatalities locally with 1997 nine fatalities statewide, EOC activation. • Flooding, bridges washed out, evacuations in two communities. 1995

• Landslide in Southwest Colorado Springs resulting in severely damaged or destroyed homes.

1993 • Flash flooding with Fountain Creek overflowing. 1972 • Jimmy Camp Creek Washout: $50,000 damage to roads and bridges. • Flooding, tornado, hail, highways closed, 8-10 bridges swept away, Stratmoor Valley evacuated, Fountain Valley flooded. 1965 • School Reservoir dam burst: hundreds evacuated to Colorado Springs Auditorium • Flash floods caused landslide, damage to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, roadways, major destruction in developed areas, four fatalities.


Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Partner and Stakeholder Collaboration Overview The Colorado Springs OEM takes a “Whole Community” approach to emergency management. Our strategic themes are to: • Understand community complexity. • Recognize community capabilities and needs. • Foster relationships with community leaders. • Build and maintain partnerships. • Empower local action. • Leverage and strengthen social infrastructure, networks, and assets. OEM has a direct linkage to the Colorado Springs Strategic Plan goal of Building Community

and Collaborative Relationships.

2016 Collaboration Highlights Emergency Management Access and Functional Needs Working Group OEM co-chaired the local Emergency Management Access and Functional Needs (AFN) Working Group. The AFN working group is hosted by the Colorado Springs Independence Center and meets quarterly. The goal of the working group is to strengthen dialogue and emergency planning for individuals who have a disability or access and functional needs. During 2016, this group participated in a range of training, exercise and community events in order to help test, affirm and improve the inclusiveness of our emergency plans. Emergency Management Collaborative OEM had a set meeting every other month with emergency management personnel from all local military installations, along with other public, private, and non-profit organizations. The collaborative meets in order to discuss common issues and is committed to strengthen training, exercise, planning and communication efforts. One of the meetings was held at the Humane Society’s newly expanded building. The Humane Society was able to present information on their increased capabilities for providing shelter, and if needed, medical treatment for pets and animals affected by disasters. 9

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Public-Private Partnerships OEM continues to nourish relationships with local private companies that play an important role in our community. Colorado Springs was the host city for the national conference for “Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships.” OEM is also an active participant in the southern Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership (CEPP), a broad coalition striving to enhance all-hazards partnerships between business and government. Waldo Canyon Regional Recovery Working Group Chaired by El Paso County and Colorado Springs OEM, the Waldo Canyon Regional Recovery Working Group is a coalition of local municipalities, State of Colorado, Federal agencies, and non-governmental/non-profit organizations committed to protect the lives and property from the post-fire effects of the Waldo Canyon Fire. Collectively, nearly 100,000 hours of volunteer work has helped to rehabilitate the burn scar and assist people in recovery from the fire and floods. The group changed its name to the “El Paso County Watershed Collaborative” in late 2016 in an effort to broaden the scope of the group. South Central All-Hazards Region The South Central All-Hazards Region (SCR) is a Homeland Security grant-funded program that encompasses six jurisdictions, including the City of Colorado Springs. OEM continues to sponsor the staff for the SCR by providing office space and support to two employees and one full-time volunteer. OEM holds one of six positions on the SCR Executive Board. The SCR provided 10,000 hours of regional student training in emergency management topics during 2016. South Central Region Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters OEM continues to participate in the SCR Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), a partnership-based group that facilitates planning and coordination among volunteer agencies that are likely to respond during a disaster. The mission of the SCR VOAD is to build community resiliency throughout the disaster life cycle and to facilitate an effective, agile response to disasters throughout the South Central Region of Colorado while eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort.


Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Strategic Plan Colorado Springs OEM 2015-2017 Strategic Plan continued to provide a road map for years 2015 through 2017 and is synchronized with the City’s Strategic Plan. To meet our environmental challenges, and to ensure continued effectiveness in the delivery of emergency management services, the emergency management community must share a common vision for the future. To encourage the development of this vision, the Colorado OEM, together with internal and external partners, established the 2015-2017 OEM Strategic Plan. This document provides a road map to achieve goals and prioritized strategies during the 2015-2017 timeframe. The Strategic Plan describes the mission and guiding principles of OEM. Mission The Office of Emergency Management is responsible for providing mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and coordination for large-scale emergencies and disasters, both natural and manmade, to the residents of Colorado Springs for the purpose of saving lives and preventing property damage. Priorities The 2015-2017 Strategic Plan identifies six priorities that will contribute to the overall goal of continuous improvement of services and effectiveness of emergency management. These priorities are: 1. Improvement of emergency plan management system. 2. Improvement of strategic communications planning. 3. Improvement of long-range planning. 4. Leveraging technology to improve situational awareness in the Emergency Operations Center. 5. Optimize cyclic meeting of partner, volunteer and private organizations. 6. Formalize staff-specific training for personnel assigned to EOC during activation. Implementation of these priorities is evaluated in an ongoing basis and tactics are adjusted as needed. 11

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Emergency Operations Center Function The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) provides a central location from which government at any level can provide interagency coordination and executive decisionmaking in support of an incident response. The EOC does not command or control the on-scene response, but rather carries out the coordination function through: • • •

Information collection/evaluation Priority setting Resource management

Decision-making at the EOC affects the incident response as well as the public response. The decisions made at the EOC are not tactical decisions, however. Tactical decisions are made by the Incident Commander and the Command Staff at the incident scene. • •

The EOC may be the facility from which the multiple agencies or organizations involved are coordinated. The EOC also plays a critical role in support of the on-scene response.

Colorado Springs EOC Colorado Springs is fortunate to have a stand-alone EOC facility that was completed in late 2012. The EOC was activated several times during 2016, at a variety of levels, to provide support during a harsh winter storm in March and a fuel spill in August. The EOC is also heavily utilized outside of disaster response as a state-of-the-art training facility for City staff and partner agencies. More than 30 training and exercise events were hosted in the EOC during 2016. 12

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Emergency Management Training and Exercises Overview Training and exercises for emergency response are an integral part of community preparedness. Colorado Springs OEM coordinates and participates in multiple activities every year. Training and exercises are specifically tailored to the responsibilities of the personnel involved in incident management. OEM adheres to the doctrine established by the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS establishes guidance on minimum levels of training required for all first responders and ensures consistency in this training across the country. Exercises are designed to allow personnel to test and validate plans. Exercises allow for opportunities to bring together personnel from multiple agencies to simulate and test capabilities. Exercises can take many forms and are generally discussion-based or operations-based (“boots on the ground”). Through exercises we can evaluate, test, and modify current plans to ensure that responding agencies understand their roles in emergency response. The City has instituted a robust training and exercise program that fulfills training needs from the first responders to the policy makers. As part of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP), Colorado Springs OEM is required to develop training based on a needs assessment, along with internal and external mandates (e.g., NIMS) to fully address deficiencies identified in corrective action plans. Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan Multi-year Training and Exercise Plans are designed to improve citywide coordination and disaster resilience. OEM participates in an annual process to develop a deconflicted training and exercise schedule and calendar. This calendar is shared with partner agencies through collaboration.


Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Training OEM coordinated numerous training events during 2016 for both City of Colorado Springs employees and local partner agencies. Incident Command System (ICS) and EOC topics were the primary trainings offered. The training and statistics provided here do not include the thousands of hours of training provided by the South Central All-Hazards Region (SCR). Colorado Springs Employee Training In 2016, Colorado Springs OEM continued with ongoing training for City employees by formalizing NIMS and EOC training requirements as part of the employee’s annual performance plan. OEM continued using the Emergency Management Training and Exercise Guidance that outlines the required and suggested training for all EOC staff by position. This Guidance further outlines training requirements for Field Staff and First Responders. Tracking and compliance are maintained at the Department level throughout the City.

EOC Training EOC training is designed to enhance the role and function of the EOC and its relationship as a component of a multi-agency coordination system. Training ensures that the relationship between the EOC and ICS is fostered which results in an effective coordinated response. Examples of EOC training include: WebEOC instruction, EOC orientations and EOC position-specific training.

ICS Training Provided:

EOC Training Provided: # Events: 16 # People trained: 248 # Training hours completed:  22 classroom hours  302 student hours

ICS Training

ICS is a standardized on-scene incident management concept designed specifically to allow responders to adopt an integrated organizational structure equal to the complexity and demands of any single incident or multiple incidents without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries. Examples of ICS training include: ICS 100, 200, and 700 as well as ICS refresher training. # Events: 13 # People trained: 287 # Training hours completed:  72 classroom hours  2,045 student hours


Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Other Emergency Management Training This is a general category of training that does not fit specific areas above (e.g., courses that enhance the City’s ability to respond to emergency situations). The category also includes training and events provided at professional conferences/events for other emergency management personnel. Examples of other training include: Incident After Action meetings, presentations at the Colorado Emergency Management Conference and Special Event Coordination training.

Other Training Provided: # Events: 12 # People trained: 221 # Training hours completed:  38 classroom hours  775 student hours

Total Training Provided/Coordinated in 2016: # Events: 48 # People Trained: 1059 plus several large audiences # Training hours completed:  149 classroom hours  3,039 student hours

Exercises Exercises play a vital role in community preparedness by enabling community stakeholders to test and validate plans and capabilities, and to identify both capability gaps and areas for improvement. They bring together and strengthen the community in its efforts to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from all hazards. OEM exercises also contain a mechanism for incorporating corrective actions and lessons learned from incidents into the planning process. OEM exercises follow the exercise design, methodology, and evaluation processes prescribed in the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), and other exercise Exercises: development tools. OEM coordinated several discussion-based exercises during 2016, along with one large operations-based exercise that is highlighted in this report, the Broadmoor Bluffs Full Scale Neigborhood Evacuation Exercise, described next.


# Events: 7 # Participants: 303 # Exercise hours:  exercise hours: 17  participant hours: 717

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report

Exercise Highlight: Broadmoor Bluffs Evacuation 58 households and 80 residents volunteered to evacuate their homes, some bringing their pets along. Pets included 20 dogs, 5 cats, 1 snake, 1 goat, and 1 hedgehog. Exercise areas included: Law Enforcement •

Multiple law enforcement agencies conducted doorto-door evacuation procedures throughout the affected area. Officers evacuated Access and Functional Needs (AFN) citizens who volunteered from the Independence Center.

Fire Operations •

Fire departments practiced staging, check-in, and inter-agency fire operations.

Public Information •

All participating agencies engaged the media before and during the exercise which provided opportunities for media personnel to accompany law enforcement and fire personnel during their respective operations.

Sheltering Operations •

The American Red Cross, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, and The Salvation Army set up and ran mock disaster sheltering operations for people and their companion animals, while also providing feeding services.

Community Education •

Numerous agencies set up educational booths at the mock shelter.

Members of the Human Society of the Pike Peak Region’s Community Animal Response Team prepare for animal sheltering


Broadmoor Bluffs Exercise Participants Non-governmental Organizations American Medical Response American Red Cross Civil Air Patrol El Paso-Teller County 911 Authority Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, Community Animal Response Team The Independence Center The Salvation Army Colorado Springs City Communications Communications Center Division of the Fire Marshal Fire Department Geographic Information Systems Office of Emergency Management Police Department Community Advancing Public Safety El Paso County Office of Emergency Management Mutual Aid Aurora Fire Department Broadmoor Fire Department Buckley Fire Department Cheyenne Mt Fire Department Chipeta Park Fire Department Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control/Multi Mission Aircraft Colorado Springs Fire Department El Paso County Sheriff, Wildland Fire Department Fort Carson Fire Department Fountain Fire Department Green Mt Falls Fire Department Hanover Fire Department Highway 115 Fire Department Littleton Fire Department Manitou Springs Fire Department Northeast Teller County Fire Department Peterson Air Force Base Security Fire Department South Metro Fire Department West Metro Fire Department


Office of Emergency Management Annual Report

Community Engagement Colorado Springs OEM strives to engage the local community in emergency preparedness activities and education throughout the year. Community engagement activities are designed not only to provide preparedness education, but also to focus on working toward a behavioral change in personal preparedness.


Com m unity Preparedness: The Challenge Maximizing awareness and encouraging participation in disaster preparedness activities to affect change at the local level (

Community Engagement:

During 2016, OEM hosted and/or participated in a # Events: 31 variety of community engagement activities that included: community meetings regarding flash flood # People engaged: 6,443 risk; presentations to a variety of smaller # Engagement hours: groups/associations; attending fairs and public  73 event hours gatherings to talk with community members;  2,719 participant hours coordinating the Sky Sox Preparedness Day event; Plus radio & televised audiences and hosting a large, residential evacuation drill. OEM also works closely with the local media to ensure that preparedness education is readily available and easy to access for the community. Highlight: Sky Sox Preparedness Day OEM has partnered with numerous local agencies to host an annual preparedness event at Sky Sox stadium, beginning in 2010. Historically, these events have been held on Friday nights, celebrating “Preparedness Night” at the stadium. 2015 brought major changes as the event changed to Sky Sox “Preparedness Day.” This change was significant in that it allowed spectators more time after the game to visit educational booths and exhibits at the stadium. A scavenger hunt was added for kids, encouraging maximum participation by all. In 2016, we were thrilled to have 23 agencies provide static displays, such as fire trucks, search and rescue vehicles, police cars, and a safety trailer. Booths were set up with educational materials and fun activities for the kids. All kids who completed enough activities as part of the scavenger hunt received two baseball tickets to a future game. 17

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Public Information General Emergency Public Information OEM works very closely with the City’s Communications Department to develop and implement the Strategic Emergency Public Relations Plan. This Plan describes how the City of Colorado Springs will provide vital information about preparing for, surviving and recovering from natural or human caused disasters to the community. The Plan calls for a two-phased approach that is used to allow staff to create proactive messages to help residents prepare for an emergency before it happens (Phase One), and to allow staff to provide messages during and after a disaster occurs (Phase Two). Joint Information Center The Joint Information Center (JIC) is a physical location where Public Information Officers (PIOs) from organizations involved in incident management activities work together in conjunction with the EOC and/or the incident commander to provide critical emergency information, crisis communications, and public affairs support. The JIC serves as a focal point to gather, verify, coordinate and disseminate information to the public and the media concerning incident response, recovery, and mitigation. Emergency Preparedness and Safety Guide Individuals and households play an important role in the overall emergency management strategy of our community. This guide provides information on what actions can be taken before, during, and after specific types of emergencies or disasters. Being prepared increases individual and family resilience and speeds the recovery process. Guía de Preparación en Español A full Spanish translation of the Colorado Springs Preparedness Guide was completed in 2016. This guide enables the City to reach out to the City’s Spanishspeaking population. The English and Spanish versions of the guide are available upon request, and online at 18

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Severe Weather Monitoring and Warning Program Overview As 2016 has demonstrated, severe weather continues to represent the greatest hazard to our community and the Colorado Springs OEM recognizes the critical importance of comprehensive weather reporting and monitoring. The OEM works closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), private weather monitoring organizations and local media to ensure our community has the most accurate and timely weather information. Weather-Ready Ambassador Colorado Springs OEM is designated a “Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador” by NOAA. This designation signifies our commitment as a trusted partner in building community resilience in the face of extreme weather and our ongoing pledge to provide the best possible analysis. StormReady Community Colorado Springs earned the National Weather Service’s (NWS) StormReady designation in spring 2005, becoming one of only a few communities in the entire state to achieve such recognition. The OEM continues to sustain this prestigious accreditation.

“A community that demonstrates its communications systems provide an easy flow of critical severe weather warnings and information between NOAA’s NWS, emergency response agencies, and the residents of and visitors to the community earns StormReady designation. StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through better planning, education, and awareness. No community is storm-proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives.” Partnership The OEM works closely with the staff of the NWS located in Pueblo, Colorado, and with Skyview Weather, a weather-analysis service contracted by the OEM. These meteorological professionals represent decades of technical experience. They provide the best information for our emergency leaders and help our community leaders to make informed decisions during weather-related incidents. 19

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Public Warning Systems OEM uses various public warning systems to alert the public about emergencies and any actions they should take to respond. Messaging is coordinated to ensure accuracy and timeliness. Primary systems used by OEM include: Integrated Public Alert Warning System The City of Colorado Springs is one of only a few communities in the state of Colorado to have access to the Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS). IPAWS is a modernization and integration of the nation’s alert and warning infrastructure that will save time when time matters most, protecting life and property. This new system provides us with an effective way to alert and warn the public about serious emergencies using the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) WEA warnings can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm's way without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service. A WEA will look like a text message that will include a special tone and vibration, both repeated twice. The city will only send a WEA when the public is in harm’s way and is required to take immediate lifesaving action. Only the newer versions of mobile devices, 2012 or later, are capable of receiving these messages. You will not be charged for these messages as they are offered for free by wireless carriers. Emergency Alert System (EAS) EAS will send detailed warnings via broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service providers, and direct broadcast satellite providers. Emergency Notification System (ENS) OEM coordinates with the El Paso-Teller County ENS to send alerts of emergency situations that are a threat to life or property, or situations deemed dangerous by public safety officials. This may include, but not limited to, man-made disasters, hazardous materials incidents, missing persons, crime, or neighborhood/business evacuation notifications. The public will receive time-sensitive messages, wherever specified, such as their home phone, mobile or business phones, email address, or via text messaging. Home phones do not typically require registration; however, mobile phones, texting and email must be registered. 20

Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Emergency Operations Planning Emergency Operations Plan The City of Colorado Springs comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is a critical element of community preparedness. The EOP serves as an umbrella for critical components of emergency planning within the City. In order to focus emergency planning on the appropriate natural or human-caused hazards the City may face, a Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment is performed. OEM is EMAP-accredited, which means that OEM has met rigorous nationally recognized standards. OEM leads the creation and maintenance of a number of plans and procedures in concert with other City departments, response partners and stakeholders. OEM will continue developing and maintaining emergency planning activities under the Comprehensive Emergency Plan umbrella, including the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), evacuation planning, the Emergency Notification System, and citywide continuity plans. OEM ensures that emergency plans within the City are consistent with one another and meet National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliance and other national standards. Hazard Mitigation Plan OEM coordinated a major review of the City Hazard Mitigation Plan with a wide range of community stakeholders and released an updated version for 20162021. The purpose of mitigation planning is to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Throughout the planning process, efforts were made to identify policies and actions that can be implemented over the long term to reduce risk and future losses. The Hazard Mitigation Plan forms the foundation for a community's longterm strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.


Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Special Event Coordination Overview During 2016, Colorado Springs safely hosted a number of special events such as the Labor Day Lift Off and the 4th of July celebration. Additionally, Colorado Springs hosted a number of festivals, parades and other unique events that have the potential to draw large crowds. Under normal conditions, these events go on with few or no problems. However, if something unusual occurs due to severe weather or a man-made hazard, the City may have to mobilize resources to respond to the incident. Depending on the scope and complexity, the EOC may be activated. Effective pre-event planning and coordination can help mitigate the effects of such a contingency. With this in mind, the OEM has the lead to facilitate coordination between public and private partners to ensure effective special events contingency planning. Detailed planning and pre-event coordination can reduce local emergency management response times and better enable agencies to manage contingencies. This investment of time and resources to special event planning represents the City’s commitment to providing a secure and safe environment for our many cultural events.

A Special Event:  Is non-routine.  Places a strain on community resources.  May involve a large number of people.  Requires special permits or additional planning, preparation, and mitigation.


Office of Emergency Management Annual Report


Resource Coordination and Management Overview Emergency management and incident response activities require carefully managed resources (personnel, teams, facilities, equipment, and/or supplies) to meet incident needs. Utilization of the standardized resource management concepts, such as typing, inventorying, organizing, and tracking, facilitate the dispatch, deployment, and recovery of resources before, during, and after an incident. History In the aftermath of blizzards occurring just days apart in 2006, it became apparent through after action reporting that a centralized system to manage the resources available to personnel within Colorado Springs would increase efficiency and decrease costs associated with disaster response and recovery. The Waldo Canyon Fire proved that a system that allows visibility of resource status and location was essential both at the local level as well as the State level. Resource Typing and Management The City of Colorado Springs OEM uses a dual process for resource management. One process is related to larger resources that may be shared with other jurisdictions during a large-scale national emergency. The second process concerns smaller or locally specialized resources that are used primarily in local or regional events. OEM uses WebEOC, a web-based disaster information management system to pull the two processes together. This system allows status visibility for all resource requests coming into the EOC and provides visibility to the State of Colorado EOC ensuring a common operating picture. Logistics Team The Colorado Springs EOC Logistics Team is comprised of employees throughout a variety of City departments. They are trained on how to use various systems to locate, request, deploy, track and demobilize incident resources. During 2016, members of the Logistics Team served in the EOC during the Motor City Fuel Spill and August 29th Flooding. 23

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations AFN

Access and Functional Needs – a local working group which helps identify issues unique to individuals who have a disability or access and functional needs.


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – a federal agency overseeing the illegal use/trafficking of firearms and explosives, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco (


Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership - a broad voluntary coalition including business and government (


Emergency Alert System - used by alerting authorities to send warnings during times of emergency (


Emergency Management Accreditation Program – provides measurable standards of excellence within the field of emergency management.


Emergency Notification System – used by the Counties of El Paso and Teller to send emergency alerts in situations deemed dangerous to public safety.


Emergency Operations Center - a central command/control facility for strategic emergency management functions (does not directly control field assets).


Emergency Operations Plan - serves as an umbrella for critical components of emergency planning within the City of Colorado Springs.


Federal Bureau of Investigation – a federal agency which upholds and enforces U.S. criminal laws (


Federal Emergency Management Agency – under the Department of Homeland Security, works to improve the capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards (


Geographic Information System - a computer system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data.


Hazard Mitigation plan – a program under FEMA that provides state and local agencies the ability to work on hazard mitigation planning and projects.


Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program - a set of guiding principles for exercise management, design and development, evaluation, and planning.


Incident Command Post - the physical location of the tactical-level, on-scene incident command and management organization.



Incident Command System - a systematic tool used for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response.


Joint Information Center - a location where PIOs work with the EOC and/or the incident commander to provide critical emergency and public affairs support.


Miles Per Hour – a rate of speed


National Incident Management System - a systematic approach used to guide departments and agencies to work in an emergency.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - provides daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring (


National Weather Service – a division of NOAA responsible for viewing and predicting weather-dependent events.


Office of Emergency Management – a City agency responsible for comprehensively planning for and responding to all manner of disasters.


Public Information Officer – an individual within an organization or department responsible for the dissemination of information to the public.


Small Business Administration - an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns.


South Central All-Hazards Region – one of 10 groups of counties within the State that provides leadership in all-hazard events (


Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters – a forum used to share knowledge and resources (


Waldo Canyon Regional Recovery Working Group – a coalition committed to protecting lives and property impacted by the fire and subsequent hazards.


Wildland Urban Interface - the zone of transition between unoccupied land and human development.


Office of Emergency Management City of Colorado Springs 375 Printers Parkway Colorado Springs, Colorado 80910 Phone: (719) 385-5957; Fax (719) 385-7385


Office of Emergency Management Annual Report - City of Colorado

Message from the Director To the Residents of Colorado Springs: As we look back on 2016 and toward 2017, resiliency is the key term for our community...

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