Udall Calls For Summit On Emergency Response In Colorado
(Westminster, CO) - In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Colorado Congressman Mark Udall (D-Eldorado Springs) is calling for a federal-state summit on Colorado's emergency preparedness to assure Coloradans that the state is prepared to meet the challenges of a catastrophic disaster such as the one that hit the Golf Coast last week.
"I believe a summit with state officials, the Colorado congressional delegation, representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and federal emergency response agencies to explore our state's plans for large-scale disaster response would be an effective way to reassure Colorado's citizens that our preparedness is receiving necessary resources and support. A summit on Colorado's preparedness would also provide an important forum for mayors, police, fire and local government to express their concerns and identify potential needs for upgrading resources, materials and plans to meet catastrophic emergencies in Colorado," said Udall in a letter to Colorado Governor Bill Owens.
The congressman also said that state and federal officials should identify and properly address the state's equivalent of the "levees that did not hold in New Orleans" and to the extent possible, discuss them in a forum where there is public accountability. Udall also said that plans should be in place to ensure that the most vulnerable communities, especially low-income areas, are included in any disaster preparedness plan.
"There should be no interest in reinventing the wheel or creating an unnecessary review process, but at the same time, I think Coloradans may rightfully wonder whether we are turning every stone at the federal and state levels to plan and provide support for worst-case scenarios," concluded Udall.