Monday, September 2, 2013

Emergency Preparedness #1

Emergency preparedness is not something you can just ignore, although most people seem to be trying. If I think my neighbors aren't my business, my attitude may change when I'm trapped inside my home in a flood or under six feet of rubble after an earthquake.

There are a number of different types of emergencies.

Individual, such as unemployment or a house fire.

Local, such as a flood or an earthquake--emergencies that are local in scope but affect a number of people.

Universal, such as a war or an extended depression.

All of these can be prepared for with a little foresight. First step, request the "neighborhood watch" area list. Since those areas already exist, you can use that foundation for your emergency planning.

Sample text for a neighborhood emergency preparedness flier:

Preparedness Meeting

Area Leader:
(Date, time and location)

List of families in the "area"

There are a number of different types of emergencies to be considered, from personal (such as unemployment or a house fire) to local (such as an earthquake, where help should arrive within apx 72 hours) and universal (which could be something like a major depression or a war). We would prefer to have a representative of each family or house at the meeting.

The following will be discussed:

Special Needs: In our area we have autism, dementia, and several others with various medical problems. These needs must be addressed in an emergency. A family medical survey has been included with this letter. Please fill it out and bring it with you. Do you (as a family) have sufficient medication, food, and water to last at least 72 hours? Do you have sufficient food, clothing and medication to last a year if necessary?

Abilities: In an emergency all special skills might be necessary, from babysitting to flying a plane. Please come prepared to discuss the skills of your family. Skills such as budgeting or writing a resume could be used in personal emergencies, so please come prepared to say whether or not you are willing to offer these skills to your neighbors in case of need.

Communication: What I propose is a fanout program. Each house has other homes within sight--those families would be your first priority after your own family is safe.

What we can expect from an emergency

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