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A significant mass disaster will most likely result in a mass fatality event as well. Mass fatalities may occur as the result of different types of events:

  • Natural disaster.
  • Large scale accident.
  • Use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high explosive agent.

Colorado Government mandates that the coroner or the coroner's appointed deputy examine the body, make identification, determine the circumstances, manner and means of death, perform evidence collections, process personal effects, and as circumstances warrant, isolate or decontaminate, transport and store human remains.

For the purposes of inquiry, the body of one who is known to be dead from any of the causes, or under any of the circumstances that cause sudden and unexpected deaths, shall not be disturbed or moved from the position or place of death without permission of the coroner or the coroner's appointed deputy.

Epidemiological studies show that dead bodies present a small public health risk. Victims of natural disasters, accidents or WMD events usually die from trauma and are unlikely to have acute or "epidemic-causing" infections.

In the event of an international release of a biological agent resulting in mass casualties such as plague, cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, anthrax or small pox, there is an increased risk of spreading disease primarily through water or vectors.

The micro-organisms responsible for these diseases have a limited ability to survive in a body that is cooling after death. Generally, during a mass disaster/fatality event the public does not have close contact with the dead therefore, the risk that dead bodies pose for the public is extremely small.

Safety Locate Identify Tell (S.L.I.T)


Stay calm and do not risk your safety to rescue or remove a deceased person during or after a mass disaster.


If you have knowledge of a dead person, use any marking devise (pens, spray paint, tape) and write "DOA" on the nearest surface. Draw an arrow in the direction of the remains.


Attach a tag, label, piece of paper or write on a surface near the deceased the following information:

  • Date/time found
  • Exact location found.
  • Name/other known information
  • How identified, when and by whom
  • Your name, contact information

Contact authorities as soon as possible. Call 911.


Office of the Coroner

915 10th Street
Greeley, CO 80632
(3rd Floor) Rm. 325

Mailing Address:
PO Box 758
Greeley, CO 80631-0758

Phone: (970) 400-4990
Fax: (970) 392-4546

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5 :00 p.m.
Office Hours - Not closed for lunch


Information Request Form

Comment or Concern Form