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  • DORA Flood Insurance Reminder

    Spring has sprung, and that means increased flood risk

    Tips about flood insurance and flood-prone areas due to wildfires 

    As we head into the warmer months here in Colorado, flooding from rapid snowmelt, thunderstorms and overflowing rivers becomes a very real concern. As we saw with Colorado’s historic “bomb cyclone,” the state’s weather can go from high winds, freezing temperatures and drifting snow to rushing water -- all in a single day.

    All of this means that now is the time to consider buying a flood insurance policy, especially as flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective. This is also particularly important if you live in areas that have been affected by wildfires such as the 2018 Spring Fire, the 416 Fire, the Lake Christine Fire and the Bocco Fire.

    Many homeowners do not realize that their basic homeowners insurance does not include protection from flood damage, and that flood insurance must be purchased as a separate policy. The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), offers these tips about flood insurance.

    Not just high-risk areas - floods also happen in medium and low-risk flood zones

    Floods can happen anywhere, anytime. They often accompany natural disasters such as storms, early or rapid snowmelts or rising rivers, but not always. About 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from outside of high-risk areas.

    And, as the DOI noted in a consumer advisory last summer, wildfires create landscapes more prone to flooding. The fires leave the ground charred, barren and unable to absorb water, making conditions ripe for flash floods and mud flows. And the flood risk stays high for up to five years after a wildfire.

    To help people determine their flood risk and the need for flood insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which are updated regularly. Homeowners can view the maps at www.floodsmart.gov.

    Buying flood insurance

    FEMA administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federally subsidized program available to any property owner —homeowners, renters, condominium owners and associations — whether or not the property is in a floodplain. National Flood Insurance premiums vary depending on location and the type of coverage chosen. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period after applying and paying the first premium for the insurance to become effective. Coverage choices include insuring only the structure of a home or also including its contents.

    Contact your insurance agent about buying flood insurance. If you do not have an agent or your agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP at 1-888-379-9531 or go to www.floodsmart.gov to get the name of an agent in your area. Know that to buy an NFIP flood insurance policy, your community must participate in the program, and according to floodsmart.gov, must “agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding."

    You can find a list of participating communities on FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program Community Status Book.

    For more information, visit the DOI flood insurance webpage or the FEMA / NFIP website www.floodsmart.gov.  At floodsmart.gov you can also enter your address to get an estimated flood risk profile.

    If you still have questions, contact the Consumer Services team of the Colorado Division of Insurance at 303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us. Visit AskDORA.colorado.gov for more consumer tips and information. 

  • Colorado's 2019 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

    Colorado's 2019 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

    New economic contribution numbers from Colorado Parks and Wildlife show significant growth in Colorado's outdoor recreation economy

    On October 26, 2018, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced new economic contribution numbers from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) showing significant growth in Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy. The Governor also signed Executive Order B 2018-010 creating the Inter-Agency Trails and Recreation Council. The Council will advance the vision of the “Colorado the Beautiful” initiative and promote outdoor recreation and conservation in Colorado.

    “Coloradans, and visitors, are taking advantage of our beautiful outdoor spaces,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Our goal is to ensure every Coloradan has access to the outdoor opportunities our state has to offer. This executive order moves us another step closer to that goal.”

    In 2017, outdoor recreation contributed $62 billion to Colorado’s economy and $35 billion to the state’s Gross Domestic Product - which is more than 10 percent. The impact of the outdoor recreation industry in Colorado has almost doubled since CPW's previous analysis in 2013.

    For the first time, this analysis captures the economic impact of outdoor activities occurring close to home such as picnicking at a neighborhood park, riding on an urban bike path, or running on a local trail.

    “Colorado has seen dramatic growth in how the public utilizes our vast opportunities for outdoor recreation,” said Bob Randall, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources. “This speaks to the collaborative work done by government and non-governmental organizations to protect the land, wildlife and water resources that make the Colorado experience so exceptional.”

    Outdoor recreation supports 511,000 direct jobs, comprising nearly 19 percent of the entire labor force in Colorado. Both rural and urban communities benefit from the economic contribution of outdoor recreation. More than 20 percent of economic output and more than 25 percent of the jobs associated with outdoor recreation are based in the northwestern corner of the state.

    Gov. Hickenlooper launched “Colorado the Beautiful” in 2015 with the vision that, within a generation, every Coloradan lives within ten minutes of a park, trail, or open space. As Colorado’s population continues to grow and demographics diversify, it is important to provide a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities that serve the needs of an evolving public. The new Council will work to maximize existing opportunities that advance sustainable recreation for all Coloradans.

    State agencies represented on the Council include the Department of Natural Resources, CPW, Office of Economic Development and International Trade which houses the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office and Colorado Tourism Office, Department of Transportation, Department of Local Affairs, Department of Public Health and Environment, and Great Outdoors Colorado.

    Read the full executive order and see the economic impact data.

  • Western Region OneSource

    Western Region One Source

    Grand Junction Facility Serving 40,000+ Service Members, Veterans & Family

    A state-owned, former Colorado National Guard armory in Grand Junction is on its way to becoming the future home of Western Region One Source. The facility will serve more than 40,000 Colorado service members, veterans and their families living in 24 counties along the Western Slope.

    "With the Governor's leadership, we will increase our capacity to assist Colorado service members, veterans, and their families, making Colorado even more of a military- and veteran-friendly state," The Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Loh said. "The addition of a Western Region One Source will centralize resources under one roof, making it easier for those who serve or have served, and their families, to take that first step in obtaining assistance."

    Veterans are a growing population across Colorado. More than 400,000 veterans live in Colorado, with about 10 percent living along the Western Slope.

    Located at 482 28 Road in Grand Junction, OneSource is close to a major veteran-serving medical facility. The Grand Junction VA Medical Center is already a destination for about 15,000 veterans in the western region.

    Although One Source isn't scheduled to open until May 2019, the DMVA is already accepting sponsorship and partnership applications. The DMVA needs to raise about $250,000 through sponsorships to cover the cost of furniture and equipment. Community veteran service providers will be able to rent space in the 14,000-square-foot facility.

    Help make this great resource even greater—become a sponsor or service provider!

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