Following a devastating flood in September 2013 that impacted 24 counties, and record wildfires in 2010, 2012 and 2013 that destroyed nearly 1,250 homes, the State of Colorado recognized the need for a comprehensive resilience plan and strategy to address natural and man-made hazards.
The challenge was to holistically address the needs of each disparate community. From agriculturally based economies on the eastern plains and tourism-based economies in the mountains, to sprawling urban populations in Denver and small riverine communities like Lyons, Colorado is a diverse state. In the past decade, underlying stresses have magnified the impact of disasters and impeded recovery. Stresses include a lack of economic diversification, lack of social cohesion and a shortage of available affordable housing for a low-to-moderate income workforce.