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University Relations

Volume 50, Issue 2

October 10, 2008

Disaster recovery website launched

A new free tool to help disaster survivors take charge of their own recovery will be available to Weld County residents thanks to a partnership of local and regional behavioral health experts.

Researchers at the UCCS Trauma, Health, & Hazards Center and partner company BlueSun, Inc. developed Journey to Disaster Recovery, an interactive website that empowers people to take charge of their recovery following a traumatic event like a natural disaster.

The website is available through the Colorado Spirit program at

The Journey to Disaster Recovery website helps people feel more in control after a disaster and gives them information about the recovery process. The free, interactive website is now available through the Colorado Spirit program to the disaster survivors affected by the May 22 tornados that struck much of Weld County and a small portion of Larimer County.

Because of the tornados, North Range Behavioral Health, the community mental health agency for Northern Colorado, was designated by the Colorado Division of Behavioral Health Disaster Planning and Response Team as the provider agency for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Crisis Counseling Program. The local Crisis Counseling Program, called Colorado Spirit, supports these communities’ recovery by offering educational, community outreach and crisis counseling services.

The tornados that struck Northern Colorado on May 22 damaged or destroyed more than 4,200 homes and 225 businesses and killed one person. The tornados—one reaching three quarters of a mile wide—were accompanied by high winds and large hail. Because the storm struck in the late morning and early afternoon, many people were at work, school, and daycare, which increased the psychological stress levels of those in its path. The Colorado Spirit team estimates that more than 3,000 people, including residents, business owners and employees, and hundreds of children in school or at daycare, were affected by this disaster.

The website will be available free beginning Oct, 15. Brochures describing the website are available at public locations and local businesses throughout the areas damaged by the tornados.

In addition, Colorado Spirit staff are looking for survivors willing to test the website for 30 days as part of the UCCS research effort. To find out more about how to participate in this research study, please contact the UCCS Trauma, Health, & Hazard Center at (800) 990-8227, ext. 3843 or the Colorado Spirit staff at (970) 347-2358.



“...empowers people to take charge of their recovery following a traumatic event like a natural disaster.”







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