Office of Emergency Management Wins Two National Awards

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Larimer County has received two awards from the 2022 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards Program in the Risk and Emergency Management category.

The Larimer County Office of Emergency Management [OEM] received both awards for developing, with many partners, a COVID-19 Recovery Outreach Dashboard, and OEM’s 2021 Cameron Peak Fire Recovery Dashboard. The NACo Achievement Awards Program recognizes innovative county government programs in several categories that offer valuable services to county residents.

Data from the Cameron Peak Fire Recovery Dashboard was used by OEM for sharing information with its numerous partners and nonprofit organizations for project collaboration during the Cameron Peak Fire recovery process.

In a partnership between OEM, Larimer County IT, and the GIS Department, the dashboard was developed as a comprehensive tool to have all information on the fire in one place. Information on the dashboard was shared by many partners and nonprofit organizations, fire departments, and emergency service organizations, and available to the community.

“I want to thank the OEM team for exemplary work to get a lot of information out to the community to help the people understand the complexities of the devastation of the Cameron Peak Fire and the ongoing recovery efforts,” said Larimer County Commissioner John Kefalas.

The dashboard provides GIS, mapping, and other information for property owners in affected burn areas with information on recovery projects and coordination where property owners can connect with resources after an emergency. The benefits of using the dashboard and the important data it provides ensure its future use. The dashboard also was a valuable tool providing information to make decisions with effective resource distribution for recovery.

The COVID-19 recovery dashboard won NACO’s Best in Category designation. The dashboard enabled Larimer County OEM to perform outreach while gathering input from the Larimer County community to rank priorities for COVID-19 recovery.

While the recovery dashboard provided ongoing data during the pandemic, it also provided valuable feedback from those in the community that was most impacted by the pandemic in ways never reported previously. Feedback from a community survey on the dashboard in Spanish and English plus data gathered from vaccination clinics helped better define the impacts of the pandemic on the community.

“If there’s a silver lining in these disasters we faced, it’s that we did increase our capacity to engage with these different members of our community that have been forgotten and making those connections, so when there’s an emergency people know who to reach out to and to know their neighbors and help each other,” said Larimer County Commissioner Kristin Stephens.

Data collected from the dashboard also helped Larimer County understand the best ways to spend COVID recovery funds and target those resources to groups most affected by the pandemic.

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