Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
This year, Colorado Cares Day is being incorporated in President Barack Obama's new nationwide summer service initiative, United We Serve. The 11th Annual Colorado Cares Day will take place on Saturday, July 25, 2009. Currently, service projects are being planned in counties across the state.
First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the 81-day summer service initiative on June 22, 2009, in San Francisco at the National Conference on Volunteerism and Community Service. United We Serve will end on the new September 11th Day of Remembrance and Service.
Colorado Cares Day is a statewide day of service in honor of Colorado's statehood on August 1, 1876. This year, the Governor's Commission on Community Service (GCCS) is working to make this year's Colorado Cares Day the largest statewide day of service to date. The GCCS has incorporated AmeriCorps*VISTA resources to focus on this year's event to promote increased volunteerism and community service throughout Colorado.
"In celebrating Colorado's statehood with a day of service, residents are encouraged to give back to their communities, promoting the importance of community service," Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien stated. "The Governor's Commission promotes volunteerism as an effective means to address community needs."
The GCCS will work with community organizations throughout the state to encourage private and governmental organizations to develop and register service projects for Colorado Cares Day 2009. Service projects can be registered on the Commission website, www.colorado.gov/gccs. The service projects registered through the GCCS will be recognized in the Colorado Cares Day Report, which will be released in August 2009.
New this year, the GCCS is asking volunteers to register on the website to be matched to a service project. This is a much larger undertaking by the GCCS, and hopes are that this effort will help increase civic engagement among more Coloradans
For more information, or to get involved with Colorado Cares Day or other service initiatives, please contact GCCS Service Project Coordinator Meaghan Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Lightning Safety & Wildfire Awareness Week, noting that the key to
understanding the dangers of lightning and wildfire is education and
awareness. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs' Division of
Emergency Management is teaming with the National Weather Service,
Division of Fire Safety, and the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information
Association to help inform Coloradans about protective actions they
can take to reduce the damage these events can cause.
Lightning is one of the most lethal weather hazards in Colorado.
Already in 2009, 14 people have been killed by lightning nationwide
with one of those victims here in Colorado. In 2008, Colorado and
Florida led the nation with 4 deaths each. Over the past 10 years,
lightning killed an average of 44 people in the United States each
year, although that number only reflects those deaths reported and
verified to be lighting-caused. Even so, that's more than the annual
number of people killed by hurricanes.
In Colorado, the Ordway fire in April of 2008 year charred 8,900 acres
in Crowley County, took two lives, and damaged or destroyed 24
structures. Statistics from the Colorado Division of Fire Safety show
a total of 4,106 wildland fires in Colorado in 2008. One of the
largest fires in 2008 in the United States was the Bridger Fire in
southeast Colorado, which torched approximately 45,800 acres. The
cause of the Bridger Fire? Lightning. In fact, lightning was the cause
of nearly 111,147 acres being burned last year alone in the Rocky
Division of Emergency Management Director Han Kallam says, "talking
about the need for a plan is not the same as having a plan. There are
tools available at the local, state and federal-levels to help you
prepare. Take the time to learn and act now so you don't regret not
having a plan in place when it is too late."
Homeowners can protect their property from the ravages of wildfire by
creating defensible space around their homes. "The vegetation
surrounding a building or structure is fuel for a fire. Research and
experience show that fuel reduction around a building or structure
increases the probability of it surviving a wildfire. Good defensible
space allows firefighters to protect and save buildings without facing
unacceptable risk to their lives," said Kevin Klein, Director of the
Colorado Division of Fire Safety.
Coloradans can help protect themselves and their property and reduce
the damage and destruction of wildfires by being aware of preventive
measures they can take before and during lightning, severe weather and
"We cannot control lightning. That said, we can take steps to lessen
our risk to lightning and wildfires by making smart decisions and
taking precautionary measures. Staying indoors during lightning
storms, ensuring our homes are defensible against wildfire and
ensuring our friends and families have plans to respond to medical and
fire dangers are steps we can and must take," adds Kallam.
People should also think about mitigation in terms of protecting their
pocketbook-in the short and long-term. "The ability to get and keep
affordable insurance is a strong financial incentive for homeowners
living in high risk wildfire areas to take responsibility for
protecting their property," says Carole Walker, Executive Director of
the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, adding that
"insurance companies now commonly require certain mitigation steps
before they sell or renew policies."
For a free guide on wildfire mitigation and insurance:
Many of the educational tools and family preparedness guides are now
online. For one-stop, easy-to-use tools, visit http://www.readycolorado.com
for Colorado-specific hazards, and preparedness information.
For information on wildfire preparedness, lightning safety and what
Coloradans can do to take responsibility and prepare for disasters,
visit the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) website at http://dola.colorado.gov/dem/
; the National Weather Service offices in Colorado at: Boulder - www.weather.gov/denver
, Grand Junction - www.weather.gov/grand junction, Pueblo - www.weather.gov/pueblo
, and Goodland, Kansas - www.weather.gov/goodland; the Colorado State
Forest Service website at http://csfs.colostate.edu/; the Division of
Fire Safety at http://dfs.state.co.us/; the Rocky Mountain Wildland
Fire Information website at http://
www.rockymountainwildlandfire.info/; and the Colorado Lightning
Resource Center - http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pub/?n=ltg.php.
Lightning hazard statistics for 2008 may be viewed at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/more.htm