Get Your Community Involved In Disaster Preparedness


You’ve seen this again and again.  “The more prepared your neighbors are, the safer you will be!” If this makes sense to you, and you want to do something about it, consider putting on a Community Preparedness Fair.

The Home DepotThe Home Depot – the place to start

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a Google Alert set for the words “Emergency Preparedness” and “Disaster Preparedness.” Every day I get notices of community programs – typically sponsored by city governments – aimed at raising awareness about emergency planning.

But every once in a while, I see something else tucked in the list. That is, an announcement of a “Community Fair” being supported by The Home Depot.

Sponsor or participant, or both

Sometimes the store takes the lead in putting on a sort of expo. Sometimes the store is one of several related organizations participating. For example, from today’s Google Alert:

“San Bernardino County (California) residents wanting to be better prepared for disasters may attend a community safety fair Saturday in Fontana. The fair, organized by Home Depot, San Bernardino County Disaster Corps and San Bernardino County Fire Department’s Office of Emergency Services, will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Home Depot store. “

“The East 1488 Community Association and East 1488 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) (Houston, Texas) will hold its fourth annual Emergency Preparedness Fair on Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Home Depot Parking lot. Booths will have information and displays by first responders and emergency related organizations.”

Earlier, I saw this reference to the Lake Arrowhead (Cherokee County, Georgia) Preparedness Fair: “Come see a huge collection of Emergency Responders, Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, Amateur Radio Communications, and community emergency response personnel and equipment (subject to availability) along with dozens of vendors specializing in emergency preparedness, disaster response, and household safety. Home Depot is sponsoring the Safe Kids Fun Zone.”

Could your neighborhood team plan and execute a community fair?

From a neighborhood safety standpoint, this is one of the most effective things you could do to raise awareness and stimulate preparedness in your community. If I were tasked with putting on another such fair, The Home Depot is where I’d start.

We put on such a fair about a year ago. And yes, The Home Depot was our major sponsor. They brought their own tables, set up samples of preparedness items, took orders for them, and a couple of weeks later actually made one big delivery to our clubhouse!  Our local CERT then sorted and distributed everything.

If you are part of a group, consider putting a preparedness expo on your calendar. It may take several months to plan, but the results will be far-reaching. Start by talking to the manager of your local Home Depot store. I can bet you’ll find good support there.

(If you are truly interested, I’d be happy to share some of the planning steps that we went through. Just drop me a line in the comment box below.)


Other resources for community organizing:

CERT training

Organize your Neighborhood

Building a CERT Group — Identifying Leaders



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