How to Respond During an Emergency

Always contact your local EMS by dialing 911 if you are experiencing a medical emergency, fire, or other life-threatening situation.

If you are impacted by a disaster or emergency, first get yourself and your family to safety. Next, contact friends and family members to let them know you’re okay. If you require assistance with shelter, there may be an American Red Cross shelter in your area. If not, your local Red Cross chapter will help you find temporary shelter, water, food, clothing, and additional support. During large-scale emergencies, FEMA may also have shelters and other aid stations available in your area.

If your community is experiencing an emergency, contact one of the organizations listed here to see how you can help by donating funds, supplies, materials, services, or volunteering.

National Emergency Resources


American Red Cross Logo

American Red Cross volunteers and staff work to coordinate and provide vital services to communities across the country, including: disaster relief, lifesaving blood, training, and certifications. Contact your regional chapter, find an American Red Cross shelter in your area, or visit Get Help for more information.



FEMA Individual Assistance can support your recovery from a major disaster. FEMA recently changed the Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide, creating more flexibiliy to ensure better and more equitable access to assistance. These policy changes apply to disasters declared on or after August 23, 2021.


Colorado Emergency Resources


Colorado DHSEM Logo

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is responsible for the state’s comprehensive emergency management program, which supports local (county) and state agencies. DHSEM activities and services cover prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The DHSEM supports all hazards and disasters, including flooding, tornadoes, wildfire, hazardous materials incidents, and acts of terrorism. View a full list of Local Emergency Managers for contact information.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Logo

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is one of 16 cabinet-level departments whose executive director is appointed by the governor. The department serves Coloradans by providing public health and environmental protection services that promote healthy people in healthy places. During and after an emergency, the CDPHE may offer healthcare services in your area.


Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (CO-VOAD) is an affiliate of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters; provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster.

CSU Extension Logo

Colorado State University Extension provides trusted, practical education and information to help you solve problems. Contact your local Extension office if you need additional help finding resources during or after a disaster.