September 18, 2013

Most Hoosiers have probably seen the media images of the flooding in Colorado on daily TV news. The report this morning said this is a 1,000-year flood. The damage will be astronomical and the need for assistance will be as great as or greater than Hurricane Sandy. It is too soon to know what kind of support Colorado flood survivors will need or when they will need it.

Jim Byerly, the chair of the Indiana Conference Disaster Response Team reports, “I have read other reports about contacts with the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) Disaster Response Coordinator and their ERT Coordinator have offered our support. The RMC does have some trained ERT members but none of them has any experience with deployments and they are too few to do the task by themselves. They will need help.”

Impacts to date:

  • 6 confirmed fatalities
  • 299 missing/unaccounted for state-wide
  • 18,097 residents evacuated in 5 counties
  • Destroyed: 1,812 homes; 200 commercial buildings
  • Damaged: 16,049 homes; 900 commercial buildings
  • 14 shelters open with 373 occupants

For a fuller account of damages and relief efforts, visit

For planning purposes, Byerly has checked Google Maps and found it is about a 17-hour drive from the Conference Center in Indianapolis to Boulder, Colo., plus a couple of hours for pulling any trailers. That means about a two or two-and-a-half days travel each way for Indiana ERTs. Byerly said, “If we are invited and if we decide to respond, I suggest we use the 3-1-3 approach and work three days, take one day off and work three more days. That would mean a 12-day dispatch. I also assume it will be at least 10-days to two weeks before they will be ready for our support.”

Byerly encourages certified ERT volunteers to look at their schedules and prayerfully determine if each one could respond if requested. In the mean time, he will continue to be in contact with the Colorado team and keep Hoosiers informed as new information arises. In other words, stay tuned.

For continuous and updated information, visit