Media Tip Sheet: Tornado Tragedy in Windsor, Colo.

Note to Editors: In the wake of the tornado in Windsor, Colo., on Thursday, May 22, the following Colorado State University experts are available to talk with the media through the Memorial Day weekend. The list is for reporter use only and is not intended for publication.

Veterinarian treats multiple horses for injuries from tornado, including his own

Dr. Bruce Connally, a veterinarian with Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, treated 10 horses in the Windsor area who were injured in the tornado – eight client horses and two of his own. Most horses suffered from multiple lacerations, which Connally treated via the hospital’s Equine Field Veterinary Service. While treating a client’s horse in Windsor with the help of senior students, Connally received word that his own property in Wellington was damaged and three of his seven horses could not be found. One of his foals had been lifted by the tornado, out of the corral, and deposited unharmed onto a nearby county road. By the time he returned home, his neighbors had found all of his horses and returned them safely to him. Other than minor lacerations and bruising, all were fine. To speak with Connally, please contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009, (970) 204-6544 or

Real estate impact

Steve Laposa, director of the Everitt Real Estate Center in the College of Business at Colorado State, can talk about the impact of the tornado on the Northern Colorado real estate market. To speak with Laposa, contact Emily Wilmsen at 491-2336, (970) 224-6676 or

Tornado structural damage

Bogusz Bienkiewicz, a civil engineering professor at Colorado State and immediate past president of the American Association for Wind Engineering, can talk about trends related to structural damage from wind over the past 20 years. In April, he presented a tornado damage investigation paper during the ASCE/SEI Structures Congress in Vancouver, Canada. He is working with Congress and federal agencies to undertake initiatives that will reduce structural damage due to winds. To speak with Bienkiewicz, please contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336, (970) 224-6676 or

John van de Lindt, civil engineering professor, can talk about wind damage to light-frame wood construction. Van de Lindt led a team in the south in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to study the effects of hurricanes on woodframe structures. His National Science Foundation research involves developing a new design approach for taller woodframe buildings in earthquake-prone areas. He is working with Bogusz Bienkiewicz to connect a state-of-the-art wind tunnel with a large structural load frame to simulate the effect of wind on structures. To speak with Van de Lindt, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336, (970) 224-6676 or

Economic impact

Martin Shields, regional economist at Colorado State University, can talk about the effects of a natural disaster on regional economic activity. To speak with Shields, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336, (970) 224-6676 or

Recovering from the psychological damage from tornadoes

Karla Gingerich, assistant professor of psychology at Colorado State University, specializes in several disciplines including counseling and children and families. Larry Bloom, professor of psychology at Colorado State University, can address a number of questions in the areas of counseling psychology and clinical psychology. Either Bloom or Gingerich can answer questions on the impacts and the process of recovering from a traumatic experience such as a tornado strike. To speak to either Gingerich or Bloom, please contact Jim Beers (970) 491-0895, (970) 481-0851 or

Kids and their response to tornadoes

Lee Rosen, professor of psychology at Colorado State University, is an expert on child psychotherapy and how children react to traumatic incidents. Rosen is a licensed psychologist and has experience in how children may also act out following a traumatic event. To speak to Rosen, please contact Jim Beers (970) 491-0895, (970) 481-0851 or

Crop damage

Colorado State University Extension can provide experts to discuss crop damage, damage estimates and crop insurance. Fred Peterson, County Director of CSU Extension in Weld County, can provide an overview of damage in the county. Michael Jarosz is a livestock specialist who can discuss how that industry has been impacted. Extension Agent Keith Maxey focuses on the dairy industry, while Extension Agent Donna Leiss specializes in family and consumer issues. To speak to any of the Weld County Extension staff, please contact Jim Beers (970) 491-0895, (970) 481-0851 or

Preparing to help livestock and horses through a tornado emergency

Colorado State University veterinarians can comment on what horse owners can do to help their horses survive a disaster such as a tornado emergency, including offering some basic first-aid tips that may help stabilize the horses until veterinary assistance can arrive. To speak with an expert, please contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009, (970) 204-6544 or

Dealing with loss, talking to children about disaster

Experts from Colorado State can give tips to tornado survivors about how to cope with feelings of material loss as well as the feeling of lost security after this disaster. They can also discuss how parents can talk to their children about such disasters and the emotions that all survivors may face, and what parents, families and the elderly should consider doing to address their emotional needs over the next few weeks. In addition, they can discuss the psychology behind communities pulling together to help. To speak with an expert, please contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009, (970) 204-6544 or

Social impacts of disaster

Lori Peek, assistant professor of sociology at Colorado State, is an expert in the social impacts of disaster. Peek serves as the associate chair for the Social Science Research Council Task Force on Katrina and Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and is a National Institute of Mental Health Disaster Research Fellow. She has conducted field research in New York City in the aftermath of 9/11 and in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. She recently guest edited a special issue of the journal "Children, Youth and Environments" on the topic of children and disasters. Peek can answer questions related to the emotional and social impacts of disaster on vulnerable populations including children, the elderly and the poor. She can also speak more broadly to recent national and global patterns regarding the prevalence of disaster events, the populations most affected and the long-term effects.  To speak with Peek, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757, (970) 988-7496 or

Environmental equity issues and emergency response

Melinda Laituri, associate professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship, researches vulnerability studies, emergency response and environmental equity issues. Laituri also is an expert on geographic information systems, specifically mapping areas of vulnerability and how technology can aid – and hinder – efforts to deal with disaster issues. To speak with Laituri, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757, (970) 988-7496 or