Colorado Emergency Preparedness Assessment (CEPA)

The Colorado Emergency Preparedness Assessment (CEPA) does the following:

  • Assists local jurisdictions in efforts to obtain a greater understanding of local preparedness levels and to better position the state to support local disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts.
  • It tells the story they want to tell, helps assess risk, capabilities and the potential need for support and resources during and after emergencies or disasters. 
  • One day session every three years, facilitated by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) with state and local subject matter experts to discuss and analyze hazard and capability information to identify potential gaps.
  • Standardized and repeatable process to understand capabilities at the county level and to identify statewide trends.

CEPA Session Elements

  • Threat and Hazard Risk Assessment
  • Core Capability Assessment
  • Grant Funding Reliance Assessment
  • Response Capacity Assessment
  • Key Resource Inventory
  • Strengths and Strategies to Enhance Preparedness

What Can CEPA Do For Me

Analyze local threat/hazard and capability information, potential resource gaps and areas for improvement
Support local planning and preparedness efforts
Help inform local elected officials about emergency management related capabilities and gaps
Support budget and grant applications
Help inform programmatic decisions

What CEPA Is Not

  • A scorecard, stratification or ranking system
  • An inspection or compliance evaluation
  • A report card

CEPA Resources


Reach out to your Regional Field Manager or the DHSEM Preparedness Program Coordinator for more information about the CEPA.

CEPA Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Who participates in CEPA?
A. County emergency management personnel, police, fire, emergency medical services (EMS), medical and health services, voluntary organizations active in disasters (VOADs), along with agencies that help the county deliver the core capabilities during emergencies, like public works, human services and IT.

Q. Who does the report? Does the county get to see the report before it is released?
A. DHSEM produces the report and sends it to the county for edits and approval. Importantly, the report stays with the county. DHSEM will not release the county’s report to any other organization or entity (including FEMA) without the express written consent of the county.

Q. How is CEPA related to the THIRA/SPR?
A. Both the CEPA and the THIRA/SPR measure the jurisdiction’s ability to deliver the core capabilities. Under FEMA’s current methodology, the THIRA/SPR measures core capability delivery given a very specific scenario with detailed times, places, locations and impacts. The CEPA is a broader assessment of core capability delivery during any emergency. DHSEM will use the aggregated state data to inform the state’s annual THIRA/SPR.

Q. Do I have to do both a THIRA/SPR and a CEPA?
A. No. The state must still do a THIRA/SPR to meet annual FEMA grant requirements. Jurisdictions are welcome do a THIRA/SPR in addition to the CEPA. In fact, the THIRA/SPR can be used to help identify gaps for a specific planning scenario. However, DHSEM does not provide THIRA/SPR facilitation as it does for CEPA.