Emergency Preparedness

Emergency LightGolden’s Emergency Management’s mission is to ensure that our community has the operational capability to survive a disaster, and to manage and conduct essential emergency functions. This capability of managing a survivable crisis includes the ability to direct, control, manage, and coordinate emergency operations within jurisdictions in cooperation with other local governments, and liaison with the State and Federal government. In a major disaster, the City will work closely to coordinate with County, State and potentially Federal officials. You can learn more about the State of Colorado’s Emergency Management division online.

In uncertain times, emergency planning is everyone’s responsibility. While the City of Golden is prepared to deal with a crisis, citizens can and should take personal responsibility for themselves, their families and even for helping their neighbors. The information here is prepared for City of Golden residents to serve as a resource for emergency preparedness, to help them plan, prepare, and take action during an emergency situation. An excellent first step is to register your phone to receive LookoutAlert Emergency Notifications from the Jefferson County Emergency Communications Authority.

Emergency Operations Plan

All jurisdictions are required, under state law, to have a plan that outlines general procedures to be used by government and support agencies to respond to a disaster or emergency.

The suggested procedures are built around a local agency’s ability to respond using a field management system called incident command. As the event gets larger and more complicated, the Emergency Operations Center comes into play.

The City’s plan is currently being updated by the City of Golden’s local Homeland Security Task Force; more information will be forthcoming.

Watches and Warnings

Severe weather conditions may occur at any time, in any season, leading to the issuance of watches, warnings, or advisories by local National Weather Forecast offices. Following are the most common severe weather watches and warnings, with descriptions on what conditions you may expect to accompany them.


Tornado Watch: Means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop. It is normally issued for four to six hours and includes several counties. If you are in or near the tornado watch area, stay informed through NOAA Weather Radio, radio, or television. Keep your eye on the sky, and be prepared to take cover at a moment’s notice, as tornadoes can occur with little or no warning.

Tornado Warning: Means that a tornado has been sighted, or a developing tornado is reported by trained spotters or indicated on Doppler radar. A warning is typically issued for a small area for less than an hour. If a tornado warning is issued for your area…take cover immediately!


Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Means that conditions are favorable for thunderstorms to produce wind gusts of 58 mph or higher or hail of 3/4 inch or larger in the watch area. These watches are issued for a four to six hour time frame and for a number of counties. Stay informed, watch the sky, and take cover if threatening weather approaches.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Means that a severe thunderstorm has been detected by radar, or has been seen by a trained spotter. Take cover if you are near the severe thunderstorm.

Winter Weather

Ice StormWinter Weather Advisory: When a significant winter storm or hazardous winter weather is occurring, imminent, and is an inconvenience.

Winter Storm Watch: A significant winter weather (i.e., heavy snow, heavy sleet, significant freezing rain, or a combination of events) is expected, but not imminent, for the watch area. Provides 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather.

Winter Storm Warning: A significant winter storm or hazardous winter weather is occurring, imminent, or likely, and is a threat to life and property.

Blizzard Warning: Winds are at least 35 mph or greater, blowing snow that will frequently reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less for at least three hours. Dangerous wind chills are expected in the warning area.


Flash Flood Watch: Issued when heavy rain may develop and result in flash flooding in or near the watch area.

Flash Flood Warning: Flash flooding in the warning area has developed or is imminent. Go to higher ground at once!

Urban/Small Stream Flood Advisory: Flooding of small streams, streets, or low lying areas such as underpasses is occurring or imminent.

COG Mesa

 Golden has 402 acres of open space
and maintains 253 acres of parks right within the city itself.

Additional Resources

City of Golden, Colorado
COG Mesa
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