Our Story

Larimer County has had the most federally-declared disasters in the state of Colorado. We have a multitude of hazards including fire, flood, severe weather, tornadoes, blizzards, hazmat, and more. Historically, emergency management has functioned in a top-down approach, meaning government and response were highly connected. In a state of disaster or emergency, higher level agencies often would come in, do the response, often taking charge over local operations, and then leave. This causes a lot of confusion, lack of direction, and questions unanswered for the local population to move forward in recovery. However, there is not only the expectation of the local population to be prepared for an emergency or event, there is the expectation that the local population is in charge of recovery. 

Larimer County Office of Emergency Management recognized the need to ensure that our citizens have the knowledge and resources to not only be able to better recover, but be prepared, better capable of responding, and know how to connect with each other and access local resources. After back-to-back federally-declared disasters in Larimer County; the 2012 High Park Wildfire and the subsequent 2013 Larimer County Floods, it became blatantly aware of the need for us to arm our citizens with the knowledge and resources to be not only prepared, but resilient. The Larimer Connects Program was created to fulfill this need. 

Larimer Connects exists because it is becoming widely recognized that communities that are better connected, are armed with knowledge and resources, and have a structure in which neighbors help neighbors are better able to face adversity in whatever form that may be, are more resilient and sustainable long-term, and are more quickly and effectively able to recover from disaster. Larimer Connects was created to provide more outreach and education on resilience, social connectivity, preparedness, and hazard awareness. Additionally, Larimer Connects operates with the philosophy that the local residents know best what is needed to build resilience in their community. With this in mind, Larimer Connects empowers local residents to take charge of building their own resilience, and serves a facilitation role, providing guidance, technical advice, and helping connects citizens with resources to be successful. 

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