Disaster struck and Colorado Springs came together with strength and zeal to deal with the aftermath even though there had not been a disaster plan in place. The result is the recovery is weeks ahead of what other communities who have experienced catastrophes have seen.
Two days after the Waldo Canyon fire, a semiretired community leader was appointed by Mayor Steve Bach to head up a recovery team. The Better Business Bureau, city, county, a contractor, HBA, the insurance industry, victims of the fire, utilities, counselors and many more began meeting to determine what needed to be done.
The task force was named Colorado Springs Together. A 501(c)3 and a website were formed in miracle-paced time. Meetings began and information gathered that could be passed on to anxious homeowners who were impacted by the fire.
A time-line was set up for removal of debris, burned trees and dead landscaping. Silt fences and straw to diminish flooding follow the removal projects. The plan is to have the first phase done by September or October.
Helping the victims is the core of the 501(c)3. Money being donated will be used to help put “heart” back into the area. Events for the people of the impacted area will begin in August and continue for months and months to come. By mid August there will be a community center manned with volunteers from the various entities heading up Colorado Springs Together. If a person has a need, come to the new 501(c)3 and someone will answer your concerns.
One of the main concerns is how the building codes will be changed. Whatever, the coding changes are they will pertain to the entire city. The bottom line is if a permit is issued by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD), you are approved to build according to the plans submitted.
Want to know more about Colorado Springs Together? Go to www.coloradospringstogether.org. Whether you are a victim or a resident in another city wanting to prepare a disaster plan, check out the website.