Thu, May 23rd, 2019 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET


The 2013 Colorado Floods led to the fourth largest helicopter rescue for humans to date and the largest helicopter evacuation of animals.  In September 2013 the State of Colorado suffered a major flood event affecting 17 counties.  Boulder County was the most devastated county in terms of lives lost, homes destroyed, property loss and families displaced.

The Colorado National Guard and the Army were requested for assistance with human evacuations from the ground as well as the air. When the Military responded to evacuate flood victims and were faced the challenge of air-evacuating pets, their compassion for the evacuees led them to the decision to air evacuate pets as well, setting the precedent for this emergency.

Boulder Police Animal Control Unit responded to manage and supervise the staging area for incoming rescued evacuees and their animals.  Officers had key roles during this event; training military personnel on animal handling and equipment, handling a variety of animals to ensure the safety of emergency responders, evacuees, and animals; evaluation for veterinary treatment; and provided care for the animals.

The use of resources, improvising, and collaboration during this event lead to the successful evacuation of over 1,500 evacuees and their pets.

Using the 2013 Colorado Floods as a case study example, this webinar will provide ideas for other local agencies to consider as they plan for their own natural disaster planning and preparedness including:

  • Necessity and Value of Collaboration
  • Additional Agency considerations regarding animals and disaster response
  • Planning for inter-agency cooperation
  • Working with animals and their human owners