As I worked through all the information in last month’s Every Needful Thing, I realized that there was way more than one month’s time and effort needed to digest all the information available at the linked sites. In addition, I received emails from readers that included suggestions for additional topics for preparation.
Preparedness is more than just an individual or family project. We will never be able to survive a grid down situation alone. Whether it is having enough guards to protect your place while you sleep or needing medical help, we must expand our vision of preparedness to include others in our neighborhood and community. This month, we will include some of these topics.
Communities are encouraged to organize their preparedness efforts before an emergency. Creating a plan will safeguard everyone as well as building unity in your neighborhood. How many neighbors do you know? FEMA has provided a Neighborhood Emergency Plan which can be used to organize your community. The packet includes sheets for each family to provide survey information on skills, equipment, vehicles and updates on each family’s preparedness progress. In addition, it includes a space for your neighborhood map, a breakdown of the neighborhood into blocks, including each family’s contact information and block captains assigned to each area.
The second step is to plan an actual drill in your neighborhood. Plan your drill around a specific scenario that could potentially impact your neighborhood. Define conditions, give that information to block captains to distribute. Involve as many people as possible and have a review meeting afterwards. Update your plan and distribute to everyone.
The benefits of a community drill include creating awareness of the resources in your neighborhood; identifying risks – both visible and unexpected; encouraging community members to prepare; and providing practice so everyone knows what to do in a real emergency.
Billie Nicholson, Editor