Stories

Boulder Home Preparedness Assessment Pilot Program

Boulder, CO helped homeowners enhance their personal resilience to natural disasters and other stresses through an innovative pilot program that included rebates and free consultations.

Emergency PreparednessCitizen ServicesPublic Safety
Newsworthy
Flood-impacted Boulder County homeowners can apply for preparedness assessments – Longmont Times-Call
The owners of up to 100 single-family homes and mobile homes that were impacted by the September 2013 floods may be eligible for free in-home consultations about what may be needed to prepare for o…
Longmont Times-Call
Flood-impacted home owners are eligible for free home preparedness assessments – Town of Nederland, Colorado
Boulder County, Colo. - The City of Boulder and Boulder County are participating in a new Home Preparedness Assessment Program. This pilot program provides fl
Nederlandco
Highlights
  • Professional consultations provided participants with a list of improvements to increase their property's resilience to natural disasters.
  • Participants received a cash rebate of up to $500 to help offset the costs of these recommended improvements.
  • Approximately 40% of the program's participants applied for and received rebates for implementing their recommended improvements.
  • The most common recommendations in the program were sewer inspections and landscape repair.
  • The majority of participants felt only moderately prepared for the next disaster and were not previously aware that they lived in a high-risk area for natural disasters.
Project Summary

Funding the Pilot Program

In January 2017, the City of Boulder and Boulder County used approximately $216,000 in funding awarded by the Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery to launch the Home Preparedness Assessment (HPA) pilot program. The HPA program was designed to help homeowners improve their resilience to natural disasters. Each participant received a home preparedness assessment conducted by a professional advisor.
These free one-hour consultations provided participants with a list of recommendations that, if performed, would improve their property's response to natural disasters including flood, fires, and droughts. Participants received a cash rebate of up to $500 to help offset the costs of these recommended improvements. The City of Boulder and Boulder County each contributed $25,000 toward these rebates and enlisted local businesses to peform the services necessary for the improvements at a reduced cost.

Selecting Program Participants

Ann Grodnik-Nagle, the project manager, announced that the pilot program would only contain 100 participants. According to the grant requirements, program eligiblity was limited to single-family or mobile-family homes that were directly impacted by the Colorado flood of 2013 in which over 250 homes were destroyed and 300 homes were damaged in Boulder County. The available spots in the HPA program were divided evenly between the City of Boulder and Boulder County on a first-come, first-served basis.

Home Preparedness Assessment Findings

The pilot program was quickly overbooked and ultimately contained 103 participating homes. The high-demand for these home preparedness assessments is likely due to widespread devastation caused by the Colorado flood of 2013. Approximately 40% of the program's participants applied for and received rebates for implementing their recommended improvements. The qualifying actions covered by these rebates included:
The low average score of the program participants indicated that homeowners have many opportunities to increase their resiliency. The most common recommendations in the program were sewer inspections and landscape repair. The majority of participants felt only moderately prepared for the next disaster and were not previously aware that they lived in a high-risk area for natural disasters.
Boulder is one of the first 32 cities chosen to participate in 100 Resilient Cities. This effort brings together 100 leading cities around the world to innovate solutions that support many other communities as they address the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.
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Lindsay Pica

Co-Founder at Govlaunch

Author

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Resources
Case Study
Home Preparedness Assessment Brochure
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