Community Emergency Survival Guide Part 1: How Local Organizations Can Help Neighbors Prepare for Disasters
Immediately following a natural disaster or other emergencies, it seems like everything comes to a sudden stop. Electricity and the internet could stop working, roadways might be blocked, and it could take days, even weeks, for help to arrive. It can seem like you are all alone. To make matters worse, those of us who stay prepared will feel the strain of helping others.
However, with some key planning and community building, it doesn’t have to be this way. In our community survival guide series, we are providing some neighbor-based resources to inspire everyone to get involved - and possibly save lives.
Form a Community Disaster Preparedness Group
Not everyone will have the time or (sadly) the interest in participating in an emergency disaster prep group. However, the good news is that having even half a dozen dedicated, informed and knowledgeable group members will be much better than facing an emergency alone.
For community members who aren’t participating in a disaster prep group, they can at least be invited to online resources. If you can’t meet in person, mobile apps like Nextdoor can help you present crucial information to members of your community. Here are some ideas of what to discuss in online disaster group chats:
- Emergency and Disaster Readiness Plans for Groups
- Taking Inventory of Equipment Available and What the Community Can Share
- Emergency Food Drives and Food Banks
- Ways to Help Families with Elderly Persons or Those With Special Needs
Build a Neighborhood Emergency Contact List
In most American cities, there are disaster preparation and emergency response organizations already in place. The people at these organizations can provide valuable information and advice to make the community organization process easier. Here are a few examples of these organizations:
- FEMA’s Citizen Corps.
- Local Red Cross
- Humane Society
- Your Area’s RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services)
- Your County’s Emergency Services Office
- Local Fire Department
Contact these resources and ask important disaster relief questions. Not sure what to ask? We’ve got you covered below. Reach out to your neighbors and friends in the community and encourage them to do the same. Set up meetings in your area to educate community members on disaster preparedness and help everyone get on the same page.
Ask these questions:
- Does your organization have a program to help prepare for disasters and emergencies? We would love to be a part of it and help in any way we can.
- Do you have any information on any other emergency preparedness organization and groups in our city?
- Would a representative attend a meeting in our neighborhood to help educate community members?
- Do you offer training services for disaster preparedness?
More Prepared: A Wealth of Resources
Here at More Prepared, we have spent many years building a wealth of resources here on our blog to help you get and stay prepared for any disaster. Please consider sharing these blog resources with your friends and community members for valuable information that could help you boost your survival skills.