Boulder faces two key resilience challenges: wildfires and flash flooding, both of which are expected to increase in frequency and severity with climate change. These threats are compounded by the (1) the extensive distance that people from neighboring communities who want to provide aid must travel; and (2) the closure of one of Boulder’s two hospitals, leaving only one emergency room located in the area.
The City of Boulder will aim to tackle these problems through their participation in the Resilience AmeriCorps program. One approach they may take is to build a corps of community-based first responders. These volunteers would provide essential life safety support to their neighbors during the critical first moments of a disaster and serve as points of contact for rapidly assessing impacts and mobilizing the resources as support to professional responders.