Organize Your Community To Respond to Emergencies
The first few minutes following a disaster (earthquake, fire, etc.) are the most critical for saving lives and minimizing disabling injuries. Historically, neighbors are the first on the scene and willing to help.
The unfortunate reality
Unfortunately, most communities are not organized and residents are not sure how to react.
There is no time for training at this stage and people who are not pre-trained may follow the wrong instincts!
When pre-planning counts
Contrast this scenario with a community where residents have at least some basic training in how to react to save lives, turn off gas and electricity, etc. And, since phone service is likely to be interrupted, consider the value of knowing how to communicate within the disaster area, using inexpensive walkie-talkies.
This acute aftermath is followed by a period of post-disaster survival, which lasts until official help arrives . . . which, in the case of a major earthquake event, could be a number of days or weeks. More pre-planning is required to be sure you have enough water, food and medicine on hand for all members of the household (including pets) for at least 10 days, and preferably longer.
Where to get training
All things considered, advance “Community Emergency Response Team” (CERT) planning and training – which is offered at no cost by many cities and counties – can mean the difference between life and death for you and your pets.
And, it’s equally important to you to have your neighbors prepared as well. You can’t be expected to provide food and water (much less medicines) for the whole neighborhood.
It’s much easier to help neighbors prepare in advance than it is to turn them away after the fact . . . especially if they’re bigger than you are!
Here’s a quick 2 minute video that emphasizes the importance of training: Who Can You Really Count On In An Emergency?
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team
P.S. This is a good article to share if you have someone you care about who hasn’t done any planning!