The scenario was a simulated earthquake, rated at 5.6, which “resulted” in the collapse of an apartment building and three other buildings—all part of the USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) Colorado Task Force 1’s four-day exercise in Golden, Colorado.
Twenty Salvation Army volunteers served a total of 700 meals during the four-day event. “It was a great training experience for our volunteers. The task force covered the cost for the food,” said Michael Gelski, supervisor for emergency disaster services in the greater Metro Denver region. Gelski works under the supervision of Majors Alfred and Stella Parker, administrators for the MDSS (Metro Denver Social Services) of The Salvation Army.
Gelski believes that participating in exercises demonstrates to local government that The Salvation Army is a key player should a disaster occur.
Colorado is considered a region of minor earthquake activity, although there are many uncertainties because of the very short time period for which historical data is available. An earthquake occurred on November 7, 1882, the first ever to cause damage at Denver, probably centered in the Front Range near Rocky Mountain National Park, and is the largest historical earthquake in the state. The magnitude was estimated to be about 6.2 on the Richter scale. In Boulder County the walls of the depot cracked, and plaster fell from walls at the university at Boulder.