Tag: neighborhood

Emergency Preparedness Quiz for Experts


Ready for Rain

OK, so you have been working for a while on being prepared for disasters. You’ve made it this far, and think you’re in pretty good shape, ready for whatever rain may fall! 

Maybe you even qualify as an expert?!

Last year Joe and I took an emergency preparedness quiz at a meeting sponsored by the Great American Shake-out. Sure enough, although we’ve been “Activists” for years, we were missing several key items!

That inspired me to put this quiz together for all the Emergency Plan Guide readers. (I’ve updated it for 2020, too.) The questions were gathered from a variety of sources. See how well you do! Score yourself at the end!

Emergency Preparedness Quiz

1-Is your house ready to take a hit from a disaster? Check if YES.

  • No heavy/dangerous items over the bed, couch or desk (or wherever you spend a lot of time).
  • Bookcases, TV, speakers, computers, printers, mirrors — bolted to table or to wall. Need a stud finder to finish this job?
  • Water heater and other appliances secured.
  • Outside of home squared away to protect against sudden fire (trash cleared away) or wind.
  • Home adequately insured for standard risks also local risks (flood, earthquake, etc.).

2-Does your family know how to respond to a natural or weather-related disaster? Check if YES.

  • Everybody knows and has practiced: Drop-Cover-Hold On (earthquake), Drop-Roll (fire). Grandma, too.
  • Family members know and have practiced 2 ways to get out of house: doors, windows, second floor. Can you get down the escape ladder?
  • Everyone knows where fire extinguishers are, and how to use them. How many fire extinguishers do you need, anyway? And are they all workable?
  • Adults know where water and gas shut-offs are, and when to shut them off. Tools attached near shut-off valves.
  • You have a back-up plan for pets if you’re not home. Decal on front door or window alerts emergency workers that you have a pet.
  • Everyone in the family has memorized out-of-town contact phone number.
  • Everyone who has a phone has a battery back-up (Power bank), knows how and to whom to text.

3-Are survival kits (72-hour kits) packed and ready to go?

  • Do all evacuation and survival kits have masks so you can operate within COVID guidelines?
  • A survival kit in the house for every family member, customized to size, skill, medical needs, etc.?
  • A kit for every pet?
  • A kit in each car?
  • A kit at work for every worker?

4-What about handling the immediate aftermath of a disaster?

  • Every room has emergency lighting – lantern and/or flashlight.
  • All first aid kits are fully stocked with up-to-date items.
  • We have at least one emergency radio (solar, hand crank, battery) tuned to local emergency station, with extra batteries.
  • Everyone has sturdy shoes for safely getting around, clothing/gloves to protect against cold or broken items. Pets have protective booties/jackets, too.
  • Supply of warm clothing, blankets.
  • Everyone knows ways to report in that they’re OK.

5-Are you prepared at work for the immediate aftermath of a disaster?

  • Every room has emergency lighting – lantern and/or flashlight.
  • First aid kits are fully stocked with up-to-date items.
  • Emergency radio tuned to local emergency station, with extra batteries.
  • Everyone has sturdy shoes for safely managing stairs, getting out. (Particularly important for female employees whose footwear may be stylish but impractical. Stash an extra pair of tennis shoes in the bottom drawer of the desk.)
  • Partners check on each other’s situation. People with disabilities have designated partners who know how to help them evacuate.
  • People responsible for shut-down or evacuation procedures step into action.
  • Everyone knows how to report in assuming phones are out.

6-How about an extended recovery at home after a disaster?

  • Supply of food that doesn’t need cooking. Can-opener. Utensils.
  • If camp stove, supply of food that uses hot water or heating. Fuel for stove. Fire igniter. Pot. (Have you practiced setting up and starting the stove? A challenge under the best of conditions!)
  • Condiments: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, chilies, soy sauce, sugar, honey, other.
  • Water supply. Clean water supplies, a way to filter and/or disinfect other water.
  • Pet’s food, water and hygiene supplies.
  • Personal hygiene supplies: temporary toilet, toilet paper, wipes, paper towels, Clorox. Trash bags.
  • Personal supplies: lotion, bug repellent, sun screen, soap, sanitary supplies, condoms, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.
  • Medicines and prescriptions for at least 2 weeks.
  • Clothing for cold, rain; ponchos, umbrellas.
  • Tools appropriate for making repairs: saw, hammer, nails, tape, plastic sheets, tarp, crow bar, ax, shovel, emergency lighting.
  • If someone can handle them and manage fuel: generator, chain saw.
  • Emergency two-way communications: walkie-talkies, ham radios.
  • Entertainment: books, games, cards, paper and pens.

(When it comes to extended recovery at work, that’s another quiz. It will be based on the type of work place, key functions of the business, number of employees, etc. Emergency Preparedness for Small Business can give you nearly all the guidance you’ll need to answer THAT quiz!)

7-And here’s a bonus emergency preparedness quiz item:

  • I’ve completed CERT training. (I know, CERT training is being postponed until we can get back to meeting face to face. But at least, you can put it on your to-do list!)

And your score on this Emergency Preparedness Quiz?

There are 41 questions in this quiz, plus the bonus. They don’t have equal importance, so there’s no real way to rate yourself based on the number of boxes you checked off.  Still, just in reading the quiz you should have a FEEL for whether you are:

  • Rookie – 10-15 check marks: A good start but still have a ways to go
  • Solid – 15-30 check marks: Comfortable with your progress; won’t feel (too) guilty if something happens
  • Expert – Anything above 30, plus the bonus! Heck, you should be teaching this stuff!

If you’re not actively “teaching this stuff,” you can use this emergency preparedness quiz to help yourself and other people you care about get started on their own preparations.

How to get started?

Start slowly — but get started!

Did some of these items jump out at you as being really important?

Start with just one or two. Work on a new one every week.

If you are part of a neighborhood group, maybe pick a couple of items to work on every month. (Our new Mini-Series was designed PERFECTLY for groups! Schedule one topic per week or per month, get people together — in person or via zoom — to discuss and share.)

Every small preparedness action you take will add to your family’s and your community’s resilience. Since your neighbors are most likely to be the people who end up rescuing you in a disaster, this step-by-step method has a double pay-off!

Let us know how it goes, and what YOU would add to the quiz to make it even more useful. We are all in this together!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team


CERT Challenge: Overcoming Apathy and Procrastination

“How prepared are they?”

We sat at the 2nd Wednesday monthly meeting of our CERT Leaders and stared gloomily as one of our members gave yet another status report about some of “her” residents in the community. “Not one extra can of food. Not one extra bottle of water.”

Her neighborhood had many elderly residents. In some cases, residents are handicapped by lack of funds. In others, the reason is plain apathy, procrastination or worse. You may hear: “It’s the government’s job to provide for us in an emergency.”

Are “governments” responsible to care for us in a disaster? How capable are they?

We saw an answer to the second question in interviews by the media following Hurricane Sandy’s damage in New Jersey. Local and state governments were overwhelmed and unable to respond. Likewise, relief agencies like the Red Cross and Salvation Army were also overtaxed by the enormity of the event. Some people went weeks without services.

More recently, we watched the Federal Government pretty much abandon the victims of Hurricane Maria, in Puerto Rico.

And here in California, huge fires have pulled emergency responders from communities distant from the fires and even from other states — leaving the people left at home without full protection for days and even weeks.’

These disasters damage communities and even destroy them. And usually, it’s people who are less affluent who suffer the most.

And these disasters pose an important question for all of us: What can we do to help? Are we doing it?

And the most difficult version of that same question:

Are we prepared to share with people who ignored warnings?

Are we ready to care for irresponsible neighbors as well as ourselves in a disaster scenario? That question presents responsible citizens with untenable choices.

Here in our neighborhood we are admittedly better prepared than most. Over 70% of our residents indicate that they have some food and water set aside for emergencies, largely as a result of ongoing education programs that span a decade.

But 70% isn’t 100%. More needs to be done.

Never stop educating people on the realities of a disaster.

Here in our neighborhood we regularly publish “educational bulletins” and, when circumstances allow, bring in guest speakers to talk about preparedness. Some of the best bulletins:

  • Recognize a gas line leak. (Gas company)
  • Clean up around the house to prevent a wildfire. (Fire Department)
  • Vial of life — important emergency info for the refrigerator.

Some of our most successful meetings:

  • What’s in your emergency kit? (Show and tell!)
  • Try out a fire extinguisher! (Thanks to Fire Department)
  • Retrofit your home to withstand an earthquake. (Neighborhood contractor)

Maybe if we make a party out of preparing for emergencies . . .

Every neighborhood volunteer group is always looking for ways to engage new neighbors. We hear about some of the good ones!

During a power outage, one neighborhood held a “Power Outage Picnic.” People brought meat to the party and a couple of volunteers with gas-burning grills cooked it up for everyone to share! By lantern light!

We held an “emergency preparedness fair” sponsored by the local hardware store. They brought dozens of items as demos, then handed attendees a coupon for 20% off if they would come to the store to buy.

After all these years of coming up with educational ideas and trainings, we finally put together a whole book with ideas for 21 activities to help overcome apathy and procrastination. That book has been our consistent best seller! If you are looking for some inspiration, consider getting a copy for YOUR neighborhood.

Emergency Preparedness Meeting Ideas

Each one of the activities comes with objectives, procedures, materials you’ll need, and commentary. And there’s a separate planning sheet for each activity to make it easy for volunteers to step up and take a turn as host. You can find out more about Meeting Ideas here.

The point of all this? Leaders have to recognize that preparedness is an ongoing challenge. You may have to wheedle or even use a little guilt now and then to get people to take action. But with a few ideas and some energetic team members, you can make a big difference in how resilient your community will be.

We think it’s worth it. That’s what this website is all about!

How to Improve Your Chances of Survival


First person to help is probably a victim

Start a new year, strengthen your team.

The first rescuers in a disaster are others who are right there. Your neighbors. Your co-workers. They know you. They know where you are likely to be, and whether they should search for you!

Improve your chances of survival by building a stronger team around you – in your neighborhood and at work.

If you’ve got the start of a team . . .

Last year (2018 was so long ago!) we focused on creating what we think are some helpful blueprints for building that team. To make them more useful, we customized by type of neighborhood you might find yourself in.

Each of the books in our Neighborhood Disaster Survival Series addresses a different type of neighborhood:

  • An apartment or condominium neighborhood, where neighbors come and go, storage space may be limited, and since you don’t own the entire building, some preparedness options are limited. Improve your chances of survival by sharing and working together.
  • A mobilehome community, where building standards vary so homes may be more vulnerable to certain natural disasters and top infrastructure threats include broken gas and water lines.
  • A suburban neighborhood where options may be more varied but homes are so far apart you may not even know your neighbors or where families may have a “My home is my fortress.” attitude.
  • A small business whose owner is typically torn between meeting current profitability necessities and providing for what feel like only potential business or employee losses.

Steady wins the race.

You can’t build a team quickly. The guides go into great detail about building teams. They focus on identifying leaders to start the process, and suggest that the leaders get Community Emergency Response Team training so they share some of the same skills and approach emergencies in a systematic way.

Once this core group is ready to go, its members can begin to pull in other neighbors. The guides have plenty of ideas for ways to attract neighbors and get them involved. Your team will find it easy to arrive at emergency preparedness recommendations for the whole neighborhood. They may even come up with a written plan. All this will improve your chances of survival.

Many, many neighborhoods around the country have followed a similar road to improving their resilience.

But what if you don’t have a team?

What are you doing or planning, at home or at work, to improve your chances of survival?

  • If you have trained CERT graduates in your neighborhood, maybe they have stepped up to take on a leadership role. Or maybe you could encourage them to do so?
  • If you have a property manager or business owner who is tuned in to emergency preparedness, has that person taken some steps for more resilience? Maybe you could suggest and support those efforts? (Lots of ideas here at Emergency Plan Guide!)
  • What if nothing is happening in your neighborhood, and you feel like a voice in the wilderness?

Here in our community our team has shrunk. So we’ve decided that it’s time for a renewed neighborhood effort. We’re starting – again – from scratch!

Set the tone.

won't you be my neighborRemember this cartoon from the Advisory a couple of weeks ago? We’re using it to set the tone for our 2019 team-building effort. Friendly, not threatening or guilt-inducing.

Simple first step.

This week, we’re following up with the next step, providing neighbors with a simple form that they can fill out and share. The form is a simplified List of Emergency Contacts aimed at bringing neighbors together who may never really have met.

Emergency Contact InformationHere are instructions we’re sending along with the form:

Fill it out this form WITH YOUR INFORMATION.  Maybe your emergency contact is your daughter. Mention that. And under “Special notes” you could add your pet.

Make a few copies of this information about you, and make a few blank copies too. (You don’t need a form; a simple piece of paper will do.)

Then, step next door and introduce yourself and share this information. Ask neighbors to share their info in return. Exchanging info doesn’t mean you’re promising to be best friends. What you are doing, though, is making our neighborhood a friendlier place, and making it safer and more secure, too.  

A good way to start the year, don’t you agree?

Neighborhoods change, and neighbors change. Here in our own household we’ve noticed one thing that happened in 2018   – we’re getting older!

But no matter the exact circumstances, having good neighbors, and being a good neighbor, will improve your chances of surviving a disaster. We are all in this together!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. How well do you know your neighbors? Have you exchanged important contact info? Let us know how you went about it! We need all the suggestions we can get, because this seems to be one of the biggest challenges to starting a neighborhood group!

Help Your Neighborhood Prepare for Disaster


The Constant Challenge

I write often about CERT – the Community Emergency Response Team – and the great training that CERT provides.

People who become CERT graduates are almost always up to speed on what’s going on with the weather. CERT grads have basic emergency equipment including radios and walkie-talkies. They are people you can count on when things go wrong.

But CERT grads just aren’t enough to help most neighborhoods prepare or get through a major disaster because there aren’t enough of them!

So when the disaster hits, you’re going to be counting not on First Responders, not on CERT grads, but on your neighbors – trained or untrained!

Here in my neighborhood, we’ve built a neighborhood emergency response  team with the help of CERT grads – but we’re constantly trying to strengthen neighborhood resilience just by getting more neighbors involved in planning for disaster.

Earlier this month I wrote an article on the issue for our neighborhood newsletter. I tried to make the message a friendly one – not just about emergencies and disasters!

I’ve received some positive feedback so I thought I’d share my article here. Maybe you can cut and paste and use some of it for YOUR neighborhood? Can you pull out a couple of the suggestions as the basis for a meeting?

Do with it what you will!

I just hope it will be useful to help your neighborhood prepare for disaster!

Here’s the article.

won't you be my neighborWon’t you be my neighbor?

Over the past year we’ve witnessed so many tragedies and none worse than what’s still happening now in Northern California – thousands of homes destroyed, dozens of people dead, and 3 still missing more than a month after the start of the Camp fire.

We’ve heard great stories of neighbors helping neighbors in disaster situations.

Some of the stories are awe-inspiring.

  • The Cajun Navy towed their private boats from Louisiana to Florida and launched them to help pluck hurricane victims from floodwaters.
  • Neighbors with chain saws worked hour after hour to clear roads after devastation caused by Hurricane Florence.
  • A food truck owner drove 50 miles into a disaster area and fed everyone as long as the food lasted.
  • People spontaneously added clothing to a pile in a Walmart parking lot to create a place where displaced families could collect necessities.

There are many stories just like these – stories of ordinary people finding the will to step up in a disaster.

At the same time right here at home we’re lucky to have stories of neighborhood volunteers who help out all the time!

Here in our neighborhood we see residents who are willing to give time and energy to make a difference for our community throughout the year. We can look back and count dozens of activities, groups meetings, special events – all organized for us by caring volunteers.

But here’s The Constant Challenge. . .

This group of dedicated volunteers is reaching fewer and fewer people – partly because we lose community members, and partly because new residents are not being integrated. And as always, because no disaster has actually hit us, people find it easy to postpone taking any preparedness steps.

For the New Year, our homeowners association has made a commitment to build an even stronger neighborhood.

Building a stronger neighborhood starts with knowing your neighbors.

This means knowing names, having the name and phone number of a neighbor’s emergency contact or family member, maybe exchanging emergency keys. It means keeping a watch out for water leaks, escaped pets, etc.

When you know your neighbors . . .

  • You know who “belongs” in the neighborhood and who might be an intruder – and if you should call the police.
  • You notice when you haven’t seen a neighbor for several days, so you can do a quick check or make a call to a family member.
  • If a neighbor is having a problem getting around, you are ready to add a few items to your shopping list to help them out.
  • You have someone to call if you can’t get home to care for your pet.
  • In a major emergency, you know you won’t be overlooked or forgotten even if you don’t get an official “alert”  – because your neighbors know you are there!

Here’s the first step:

Just introduce yourself and learn the names of at least a half dozen of the people who live around you!

For the next step:

Exchange a simple form that lists names and contact information.

We’ll come up with a sample form in our next article, so watch for it. In the meanwhile, get out there and meet that first new neighbor!

* * * * * *

OK, that’s the first article in the series I’m intending to write for my community. The next article will have that little emergency contact form I mention. It will also have a place for people to list pets, medical conditions, etc. But sharing that kind of info doesn’t happen at the first meeting. It requires trust – so we’ll start with just introductions.

I’ll let you know how things go here.  Please let us know what steps you’ve taken in your community to help involve neighbors!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. If you’re new here, you may not realize that our main emphasis at Emergency Plan Guide is on what we call “wholistic” planning! We believe that the impact of every big emergency extends well beyond your family. We are all in this together — and the more we work together, the safer we all will be. Does this sound like something you agree with?  If so, take a look at our Neighborhood Disaster Survival guidebooks. Each offers a path to organizing an emergency response team within your neighborhood,whether it’s made up of apartments, mobile homes or single family homes.

Simple Survival Signals Can Help Speed a Needs Assessment


Survival signal flare

Wham! Your neighborhood is hit by an emergency! Before you do anything else, you check immediately on your own condition and the condition of the place where you are.

Then, if you are a member of a CERT or NERT team, you set out to check on others and help come up with a Needs Assessment(Our team members, like others, use checklists to record and walkie-talkies to report on how many people have been impacted, who is injured and to what degree, and what’s the status of neighborhood structures.)

The full needs assessment may take quite a while.

  • You and a partner can try to hurry to every single house on the street, interviewing residents and noting damage. But that may be beyond your physical capability.
  • You can try to call everyone on the street. However, even if you know all their phone numbers, that, too, would take a long time — dialing, hearing their story, answering questions, leaving messages, etc. (Besides, in a big emergency the phones may be down or overloaded.)
  • If you had a drone, and knew how to make it function, and it was daytime, you could send it up to view the houses. Of course, you wouldn’t be talking to residents.

Time is of the essence!

Here are three simple survival signals that might speed the needs assessment in your neighborhood.

These signals are in use by various neighborhoods in our Southern California area. Obviously, every region/neighborhood is different. But if one of these makes sense for you, or a version of one makes sense, bring it up with your group. Of course, not one of these will work without NONE of the signals works unless people have been  have come up with different ways to SIGNAL they are OK. All of these “systems” have come into play after group discussion, and they only work if people have been trained to use them in advance of the emergency.

Simple Survival Signal #1: White Towel Over the Mailbox

In closely-spaced neighborhoods like ours, we can stand at one corner and see all the way down the street to the corner. Many residential neighborhood developments around the country are laid out similarly.White towel signals OK

In an emergency, if people would SIGNAL THEY ARE OK by putting a white towel over the mailbox. A quick glance would tell rescuers to head to the next house.  (Note how the white towel in the photo stands out!)

Advantages of the white towel system:

  • Everyone has a white towel or rag or can get one. (White cloths are sold inexpensively in packages, as rags.)
  • Towel won’t be damaged by getting wet or dirty.
  • White towel is visible day or night.

Disadvantage of this system:

  • Won’t work if you don’t have mailboxes or other structure at curb in front of each house.

Simple Survival Signal #2: Red Card, Green Card in the Window

At a recent meeting sponsored by the Earthquake Alliance here in Southern California, we were shown a great printed resource designed to be handed out to everyone in a neighborhood. It’s an oversized tri-fold brochure printed on heavy paper, with all kinds of interesting facts and tips about preparing for disaster.

Two of the panels are signaling devices. One has a big OK in Green. On the reverse is printed a big red HELP! In an emergency you put the appropriate sign up in your window to let first responders/neighbors know what’s what. (The image shows two of the brochures so you can see both red and green panels.)

Emergency Signal SignAdvantages of the colored card system:

  • A sign inside the house won’t get blown away or damaged by weather or vandals.
  • This sign is big enough and heavy enough that it won’t be accidentally tossed.
  • Resident won’t have to go outside to place signal.

Disadvantages of this system:

  • All residents in the neighborhood would need to be provided with the signs (cost).
  • Someone has to design, write and print the signs, which would be different for every region.
  • Window sign is probably only visible from directly in front of the house or window.
  • Probably not visible at night.

The green/red signal doesn’t have to be printed. It could be as simple as two pieces of construction paper, one red and one green. Store them near the front window, of course.

Simple Survival Signal #3: Survival Whistle Calling For Help

Ok, what if you are trapped under fallen debris? You certainly can’t place the red (HELP!) card in the window. And depending on ambient noise, time, etc., you may quickly become exhausted calling for help.

But nearly everyone would be able to use a whistle to signal their need for help – as long as they can get the whistle to their mouth.

The universal signal: three loud, short blasts followed by a pause, and then three more loud, short (3 seconds?) blasts.

Advantages of having a survival whistle:

  • Whistles are small, light-weight and easy to carry – on a key chain, connected to your purse, on a lanyard fastened to your backpack, etc.
  • Whistle can be large, small, colorful or discreet. You can find the style you like.
  • Whistles can be used for other purposes, too – calling kids, scaring away animals, warning drivers, etc.
  • Nearly every whistle I’ve ever seen costs less than $10.

Disadvantages of a survival whistle:

  • A poor quality whistle will NOT serve. A cheap whistle (the kind with a round “pea” inside) can jam. (I have experienced this!) The sound made by cheap whistles can also be too soft. You want 90 to 120 decibels of sound.
  • Super loud whistles may require earplugs.
  • Even though they cost less than $10, buying whistles for a whole group can become expensive.

There are so many whistle choices! I personally have a half-dozen or so different whistles, because I keep seeing ones I want to try! A couple of them are just to fat or ugly to make me feel like carrying them. (I use them for show and tell at our meetings!) But I have found a couple that I really like, and I have them with me all the time. Check out the whistles below for yourself, your family (great little surprise gifts) or your group. Click on the images or the links to go directly to Amazon.

Perfect for EDC — Every Day Carry

I really like this brass whistle! It’s neat, attractive, sleek, reaches 120 decibels.  It’s truly mini — small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. Of course, I’d want to attach it to a key chain or add some sort of lanyard; the gold ring looks sturdy and well made. AND the whistle costs less than $5 as I write this!

Mini Whistle Premium Emergency Whistle by Outmate-H62 Brass Loud Version EDC Tools

Businesslike and flexible

The whistle below comes as a two-pack, with carabiner and lanyard included for a variety of fastening options. Still, it’s not too bulky. This is the loudest of the three examples. Its stainless steel double-tube design can achieve 150 decibels — that sound carries farther, too! Also less than $5 each.

Michael Josh 2PCS Outdoor Loudest Emergency Survival Whistle with Carabiner and Lanyard for Camping Hiking Dog Training (Gold)

Fun and sporty

This third example also comes as a 2-pack. The whistles are dual tube, made of colorful, unbreakable plastic, waterproof. (Plastic doesn’t stick to your lips in the cold, either.) Matching lanyards are also sporty, would attach well to backpack, sports equipment. These whistles might not blend in  so swell with business attire (!), but look great for sporting events, camping, etc.  Loudness: 120 decibels.

HEIMDALL Safety Whistle with Lanyard (2 Pack) for Boating Camping Hiking Hunting Emergency Survival Rescue Signaling

I hope you’ll take a serious look at these simple survival signal ideas, and share them with your neighbors. And let us know how your tests work!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. Of course, you will likely turn to your cellphone as your very FIRST signalling tool in an emergency. Even if the phone does work, it would take a long time to dial up all your family and neighbors. Better? Pre-program your phone so you can send a TEXT MESSAGE all at once to a group, with just the push of a button!  (If the president can do it, we can too.) I’m researching programs for this right now. Do you have any recommendations?






Counting On Your Neighbors


Preparedness Training in Mandarin

How confident are you about your neighbors’ level of preparedness?

The title of this Advisory is taken from our Neighborhood Disaster Survival Guides. If you’ve looked at one of the Guides, you’ll remember that Part One is titled “Your Personal Safety,” and Part Two is titled, “Counting On Your Neighbors.”

  • How confident are you about your neighbors?
  • Are they prepared for emergencies?
  • Would they be able to step up to help you, or others?
  • Would they be able to evacuate?

Heck, do you even KNOW your neighbors?

Every community is different, of course. And the make up of communities can change rather quickly. So while a couple of years ago you could answer the questions above, you may not be so sure today.

That’s why building a local Neighborhood Emergency Response Team that keeps going is so important!

Our neighborhood keeps changing.

Our local community here is pretty diverse, and as residents move out and in, we’re getting ever more new neighbors who . . .

  • don’t know what threats they should anticipate (earthquake, tsunami, flood?)
  • don’t know about our city and county emergency services
  • have never even heard of emergency preparedness.

Moreover, many of our new neighbors do not speak English as a first or even second language.

When someone asks me, “Are you counting on your neighbors?” it’s tough to answer affirmatively!

How to reach new neighbors?

I’ve written before about some of the activities we’ve sponsored in order to attract interest, educate neighbors, etc.

(One of the most popular was putting a bottle of water on each doorstep with a message saying, “Here’s a start for your own emergency supply kit. Don’t expect your neighbors to do anything more . . .!”  Well, it didn’t say that exactly, but that was the message!)

Today I wanted to report on yet another outreach event that happened just last week. It was a first for us.

Pick a specific target audience.

A growing number of our senior neighbors are coming directly from China and Taiwan. They haven’t lived in the U.S. before, so while they may know a few words of English, it’s not something they used in daily life or even studied in school. (Today, of course, all Chinese school children are learning English.)

Engaging these folks in our emergency response activities was pretty impossible until we tried several things:

  1. A few of our community leaders got together to teach a series of informal English classes. The classes were fun and funny – and students and teachers got to know one another.
  2. After the classes were over, some of the Chinese-speaking students kept meeting. One of their standing “agenda items” is to go over the community calendar with a group leader who translates everything.
  3. Finally, after our city’s CERT group came to give a presentation to our entire resident community, the Chinese-speaking group leader and I decided to put on a repeat performance – just for the Chinese speakers.

That’s the picture you see above. Our evening started with a pot luck dinner, then continued for a full 90 minutes while our Mandarin-speaking police officer went through the basics of emergency planning, earthquake preparedness etc. She was talented and the audience was totally engaged!

I even sneaked in another English lesson. And I passed along the discount coupons made available by our local hardware store.

Follow up!

As a result of this meeting, my own circle of friends has expanded. (My Chinese vocabulary remains stuck at 3 words.) I’m working with the leader and her core group to make sure these folks get more good training on a regular basis. First on the agenda, a great handout – in Chinese – from the Earthquake Country Alliance.

The group members are all looking forward to the training, and actually to a repeat visit from the policewoman. I’m looking forward to counting on these neighbors when the disaster hits!

Expect some push-back.

A couple of days after the dinner meeting, I mentioned it in a different setting. A long-time neighbor commented: “Well, as long as we keep doing things for them in their own language they will never learn English.”

Hm. I agree with that statement. I think everyone in the U.S. should learn English. (That’s why I was part of the teaching team! For that matter, I’ve taught ESL in a variety of settings over the years.)

But when it comes to an emergency, I am not willing to watch people get into trouble – or get ME into trouble – when some basic information would make all the difference!

And at Emergency Plan Guide the concept of “us” vs. “them” isn’t too popular! We don’t think anyone is unworthy of assistance or training. Our goal is all-inclusive — to help individuals and their communities become stronger and more resilient.

Where do you go from here to have a better chance of counting on your neighbors?

What challenges do you have in organizing YOUR community? What successes have you had in attracting people to emergency preparedness activities? What hasn’t worked? Who have you called on as resources?

Please send a message and share a story about your best meeting, of just drop your story into the comment box below to share with everyone!!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. I’ve mentioned a few resources in this Advisory. Here are some direct links if you want to track them down:

  • The Neighborhood Disaster Survival Series —  Each of the three books in the Community series has hundreds of ideas for building a neighborhood group and a “durable” emergency preparedness plan.
  • Message in a Bottle This is an inexpensive, one-time activity designed to remind everyone in the community about building up a supply of emergency food and water.
  • Partnership with the Local Hardware Store  You may be familiar with multi-tools or gas-shut-off wrenches or fire starters, but that doesn’t mean everyone is. Here’s how we partnered with our local hardware store for a great show-and-tell meeting.

Planning for Emergencies – “Survey Says . . .”


Two weeks ago I sent out a survey to my various Emergency Plan Guide subscribers.

Only two questions resulted in any real intelligence.

Emergency Plan Guide Surv eyThe first interesting question made me really pleased. The image shows the question and the result: 100% of the respondents trusted the information on the site “a great deal” or “a lot.”

The second interesting question was the very last one, where we asked people to let us know what they want more of in upcoming Advisories. Here the answers were totally diverse.

Some people wanted pure survival information.

Others were looking for ideas to help them organize CERT groups. (One CERT group was in a medical facility!)

So we fall back on our original assumptions regarding our audience, assumptions that have been upheld via comments we’ve received. And to continue with the questions . . .

Do you fit into one of these categories?

  1. Preppers – Make preparations to get through an emergency or a disaster (caused by weather, societal turmoil, etc.) by relying on their own stockpiled supplies and skills.
  2. Survivalists – Prepare to survive a long-term, total breakdown of society, probably as a result of anarchy. Survivalists endorse and practice traditional wilderness survival skills including use of weapons, traps, emergency shelter, etc.
  3. Homesteaders – Look to the land to be self-sufficient as a regular lifestyle. Homesteaders grow crops and preserve them; they may also craft their own materials and tools.
  4. Professional Emergency Responders and Planners – Formally trained to respond to and manage emergencies of different types and intensities. These include First Responders (firefighters, police, emergency personnel), leaders within city or government agencies, and staff of the Big Daddy of them all, the Federal Emergency Management Association (since 2003, part of Homeland Security).

Where do we fit?

Over the years Joe and I have absorbed good info from all these groups!  (Actually, our interest in preparedness started when we were children. My parents were pioneers in Alaska in the 30s and I inherited their attitudes along with their stories. And Joe survived on urban streets by himself as a child – yet another skill set.)

At Emergency Plan Guide, we have ended up finding a niche that doesn’t seem to get a lot of sustained attention.

We are Team Builders.

We tend to like – and want to trust — people. We enjoy being part of a bigger team. And nearly every news story we hear makes it clear that in the case of a widespread emergency, it’s the people physically closest to you who will make the difference to your survival!

Yes, your “immediate survival team” will be made up of your neighbors or your co-workers.

We can’t count on strangers to have any particular skills or understanding. But we can and should count on neighbors and co-workers to have (1) basic knowledge, (2) some practiced responses and (3) a readiness to pitch in.

So let me ask you for a bit more follow-up.  Can you reply to this Advisory and let us know which group from those described above fits you the best? Or do you fit into another category altogether?

We look forward to hearing from you!

Joe Krueger and Virginia Nicols
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

If you get this in an email, you can contact us here to let us know more about who you are and what you want.





The Secret to Surviving a Neighborhood Disaster


. . . Goes Against Current Fashion

Every week survivalists and preppers spend millions of dollars on “survival gear” — including tents, flashlights, generators, radios, firearms and more. Do you ever think you should be doing this, too?

Survival Mentality

Your survival mentality?

But take a moment to consider this. If your efforts are all to prepare your family to “pull up the drawbridge” and “defend the castle,” you will be ignoring, if not actively alienating, the very group that will be in the best position to save you!

Who is that? It’s your immediate neighbors!

Remember Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan? It was hours or even days before official help got to many neighborhoods!

Lives were saved by neighbors helping neighbors.

Most lives are lost in the first 15-30 minutes.

Regardless of how prepared you are with emergency supplies, the first 15 to 30 minutes following a disaster are the most critical if you are trapped in a burning house, under fallen debris or in a mud flow.

And the only people on the scene capable of helping will be your immediate neighbors.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainings that are available in many communities around the Country teach citizens how to best protect themselves and help their neighbors.

But in most cases – especially in more highly populated areas – the CERT training falls short of organizing trained members into functioning neighborhood units.

It’s up to you to organize your own neighborhood groups!

What about the aftermath?

Yes, you can store water, food and medicine to tide you over for the days or weeks it takes for the government and support organizations to recover.

But what good is it if your neighbors don’t do the same?

Are you prepared to fend off neighbors at gun point to protect your own supplies? Or are you going to stand by and watch them starve or die?

This is a terrible situation that you need to think long and hard about, because it could easily happen.

Once again, it’s up to you to remind your neighbors to build emergency supplies.

How to get your neighbors involved?  You can start by asking yourself, and then sharing with them, these important survival questions.

In an emergency, wouldn’t it be better if you knew . . .

  • The neighbors on either side of you, across the hall or across the street?
  • Are they families or individuals?
  • How many children do they have?
  • Where are family members normally during the day?
  • Are there any disabled members of the family?
  • What part of the house do people sleep in?
  • If people are missing at night, where would you look for them?
  • Do your neighbors know what part of your house you sleep in?
  • Would they know where to look for you in the middle of the night following an earthquake or tornado?
  • How long would it take them to find you?
  • Would you still be alive when they do find you?

In an emergency, you are your neighbors’ keeper – and they are yours.

Our current American emphasis on rugged individualism, our concerns for privacy, our worries about interfering – these views must be re-examined in the face of preparing for a neighborhood disaster.


Joseph Krueger
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S. Share this post with your Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, to get their reaction.  And let us know how it is received!

Community Cache of Emergency Supplies


At a recent CERT update meeting here in our town, a police officer was asking questions about our neighborhood preparedness. Not our individual preparedness, but what we have done for the neighborhood.

The question about supplies from the police.

Emergency supplies

Enough for the whole neighborhood?

“I assume you guys have pulled together supplies, like food, for everyone?”

As it turns out, we’ve been working hard to get our neighborhood aware and organized, so we were proud to be able to describe what we’ve accomplished.

The answer about supplies from our group.

“We have NOT taken on gathering and storing supplies for the whole neighborhood!”

Our motto is “Shelter in Place with your OWN supplies.”

Here’s why.

1. Human nature. If people think someone else is doing the work for them, they stop doing it themselves.

2. Incentive. If not everyone participates, then the “good citizens” who store food and water will be penalized when their unprepared neighbors start knocking on their door for help. We remind people that if they are unprepared, they are not likely to be welcomed when the disaster actually hits.

3. Money. Buying and storing food supplies for hundreds of people takes a big financial investment, not to mention specialized knowledge.

4. Space. Storing food supplies for hundreds of people also takes a big and ongoing investment in storage space, maintenance, security, etc.

We are a volunteer organization. Our membership waxes and wanes as people move away or move in. Fortunately our members can get good local CERT training, but some of the best neighbors don’t have it yet.

Now, we’re also fortunate to have a small monthly budget thanks to our Homeowners’ Association – and that allows us to purchase carefully-selected pieces of equipment that we will have ready for an emergency. (You can read more about our equipment purchases here.) But our budget doesn’t extend to the thousands of dollars that would be necessary for purchasing and storing food.

So we’ve decided to continue to stress “Make sure you have your own supplies of food you like and the medicines you need. And don’t expect your neighbor to welcome you with open arms when you run out.”

What decisions are you making in your neighborhood?

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

I’d really like to hear! Please send comments!



Neighborhood Planning for Emergencies


Do you have plans for your neighborhood?

Rescue workers in earthquake

Who will get there first? Neighbors!

Certainly, preparing yourself and your household for emergencies is important. But, as we’ve said many times, your single most important link to survival is your immediate neighbors.

Their proximity to you (and yours to them) means that they will be the first people on the scene in a real emergency. The more you and they know about surviving a disaster, the better the chances for everyone.

So, do you have plans underway to form a neighborhood Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)?  And making sure its members are trained, and ready? Encouraging you to do so – and providing help in this regard – is the real purpose of this website.

Organize the neighborhood team.

Here’s what our neighborhood Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) looks like. How does this description compare to yours? We have close to a hundred team members in various stages of training. About a third of our members have received city-sponsored CERT training. There are over 350 homes in our group, divided into six divisions, with six Block Captains under each Division Leader. We have six special teams: First Aid, Communications, Search and Rescue, Operations, Logistics, and Training.

Increasing the Effectiveness of the Team.

We are currently evaluating a number of options to provide our Team Members with advanced training and equipment that increases our capabilities. Among the areas we are focusing on . . .

  • Communications – probably the most critical component in our emergency planning
  • Standby/Emergency Power – High on all of our members’ lists
  • Transportation – Related to communications; different communities have unique needs
  • First Aid/Triage – Helping injured people has a protocol
  • Temporary Shelter – Caring for neighbors who’ve lost their home in an emergency
  • Search and Rescue – Here again, there is a protocol and Pets complicate matters
  • Emergency Equipment – Water, food and medicines are individual responsibilities; the neighborhood can invest in more substantial items
  • Security — Tricky, but necessary. Training is essential!

The series of posts that accompany this one will discuss each of these eight categories. We will cover the usefulness and the drawbacks of several pieces of equipment as well as the servicing requirements of each. And we’ll discuss ways to finance these purchases.

Our hope is that this information will give you a head start on your team planning.   We’ve chosen to start with the emergency power since that seems to be what most people think is their first consideration.

But first, consider the following Action item:  What constitutes YOUR neighborhood?  If you haven’t really begun neighborhood planning for emergencies, and need to decide on the boundaries for your neighborhood, check out this article:  Who Will Be There To Help?

Don’t miss a single Advisory.  Sign up below.

Neighborhood Preparedness Faire — Lessons Learned


As part of National Preparedness Month, Joe and I staffed a booth at a local neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Faire on Sunday. It was held in a street that ends in a cul de sac, and we were one of about 20 different organizations trying to raise awareness among folks in this neighborhood.

How effective was it?

How effective was it?

Generous Support from Local Agencies

The police department was there with two cars and a child fingerprinting set-up; the fire department brought one of its engines and let kids crawl into the cab. The gas company was demonstrating utility shut-offs, and the electric company had a truly terrifying display (aimed at children!) that zapped when its puppet people approached a live overhead wire.

Other booths sold emergency supplies, first aid supplies, and ice cream. There was even a display of how to splint a broken arm using newspapers.

Reactions from Neighborhood Residents

We were there helping sign people up for the next Community Emergency Response Training class, and to talk with passers-by about emergency supplies. Here’s what we discovered:

  • The word “emergency” evoked no response other than glazing of the eyes – even though these people had come knowing this event was supposed to be about emergency preparedness.
  • The word “survival” worked much better. Particularly when we asked, “Do you have a survival kit? In the car?” (This is southern California, where everybody commutes.)
  • The best response came from the children. When we asked, “What do you do in an earthquake?” the kids all responded automatically, “Drop, cover and hold on.” Their parents looked on in wonder.

Some percentage of the people absolutely would not approach our tent; they just smiled and kept walking. (You gotta ask yourself, why did they even show up? Well, it was a beautiful day, and there was music and balloons . . .)

Recommendations from the Field

1. Children —  Many of the families had children, and those booths that had something for children fared the best.

2. Mystery — In our booth, where we talked about the need for a survival kit, I pulled items one by one out of a backpack to show them. Again, children were eager to see what would come out next.  They were most interested in the space blanket, the solar-powered/crank radio, the whistles and the LifeStraw. They actually asked questions while the parent/s looked on.

3. Give-aways — A number of people didn’t seem to have time to actually talk about their preparedness, or our display, but they happily took one of our postcards that listed our website for more info.

At the end of the day, we had accomplished a number of things, including making an excellent connection with the local newspaper reporter and his photographer. We were again reminded about how difficult the “preparedness message” is to deliver.

But if we got just a half-dozen families to take action, that’s more people who will stay alive and survive when the big one hits. So, was it worth it? You bet.

Virginia Nicols
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

Could you use a friendly reminder once in a while to assure your family’s safety?  Sign up below to get an Advisory every week.

CERT in Action!


CERT activates for a Missing Child

CERT volunteers

CERT Volunteers get their assignment. Photo thanks to OC Register and Lt. Bill Whalen of Irvine PD

Two weeks ago, at 9:30 at night, our phone began to ring. At the same time, my cell phone buzzed and a message came up on my computer screen: “This is not a test.”

Irvine police were calling on their volunteer support teams, including CERT, to respond to an emergency – a missing child. He had left home around 7 p.m., and disappeared into the night. The police department had already been searching on foot, with dogs and a helicopter, to no avail.

The police decided to activate their volunteers. According to the newspaper account, the Lieutenant in charge expected about 10 people to show up. They did, within 10 minutes. Within the next two hours, 130 people showed up!

The volunteers included members of both CERT, which is over 600 strong in Irvine, and IDEC, the Irvine Disaster Emergency Communications (amateur radio volunteers). Groups combed the area until 2:15 a.m. Police also used footage from local buses to try to capture information about the boy.

Ultimately, he emerged from a movie theatre in an adjoining town, and prevailed on a helpful citizen to take him home.

Take-aways from the event, according to the police:

  • The iAlert system for this community works. (I can attest to that! Read more about the iAlert program here: Severe Weather Alerts)
  • Regular trainings for CERT volunteers have kept the group engaged and willing to participate. (Irvine CERT holds regular, nearly monthly, trainings and community service activities.)
  • Organizers were hard-pressed to manage the number of volunteers that showed up. It was unprecedented.

A CERT simulation for this exact scenario had been scheduled for later this month, but it was cancelled. The real thing was better than any simulation would have been.

As an aside, here in our local neighborhood, another six people have signed up to take the no-cost city-sponsored CERT training that starts in July. It consists of 8 evening sessions, in which people review basic first aid, search and rescue and disaster psychology. Graduates get the chance to handle tools, practice with a fire extinguisher, and come out with a kit bag full of emergency equipment including flashlight, hard hat, dust mask and gloves.

Action item: Interested in CERT training in YOUR community? Head to the FEMA website’s State Directory at: www.FEMA.gov/community-emergency-response-teams .




Apartment Survival


Home ownership, the standard

Most descriptions of preparing for disaster seem to focus on a single family home and how its residents should prepare. These descriptions include making changes to the building itself, like installing braces or safety glass or reinforcing the chimney or roof. Some families go so far as to fortify their homes or to build totally separate disaster shelters.

Naturally, the family stores large quantities of water and food and perhaps invests in emergency equipment like solar panels or generators. The family also is reminded to include emergency preparations for pets.

Highrise apartment buildingBut what about renters?

But if you are one of the 35% of all households that live in rented homes and particularly in apartments, options may be different – and limited. You probably have far less square footage to start with. You are not likely to have outside area where emergency items could be securely stored or easily accessed. And you certainly would not be allowed to make any structural changes to make the building any sturdier or safer.

What can apartment dwellers do differently?

1. Be efficient!

Your requirements are every bit as important as those of a family living in a single family home, but you will definitely have to be cleverer in order to store even the basics. The smart apartment dweller will become an expert in high-nutritional-value, low-bulk food and in multi-purpose tools and equipment. Instead of investing in a generator, the apartment dweller may need to invest in storage containers that can be hidden under the bed, stacked 8 feet high in a closet, or converted to use as an end-table.

2. Be creative!

Whereas someone with plenty of space outside can store emergency water in a 55 gallon barrel, you may have to make do with a variety of individual bottles, supplemented with a supply of expandable bottles, to be filled at the last minute. Given your limited ability to store water, you may be putting your filtration equipment to use immediately as you are forced to supplement your original water supply.

3. Make friends!

In an apartment setting, neighbors can make all the difference. A group of people can cooperate in assembling and storing food, tools, and other essentials. (For example, two families could share one stove.) One neighbor may have handyman skills and tools; another might have medical training; a third might be a competent cook. Sharing the burdens and responsibilities may serve the entire community better than each person trying to fend for him or herself.

For a whole lot of ideas about organizing your neighbors, check out Emergency Preparedness for Apartment Communities. It discusses getting your own preparedness act together and then helping neighbors get prepared, too.

Neighborhood CERT – How to Recruit


It ain’t easy!

Our local CERT group is having another recruiting drive. It’s an ongoing effort, of course, since people come and go in the neighborhood.

This month we are having a real “recruiting meeting.” Here are some ideas that seem to work to get people there and give them a valuable experience.

Timing – Plan around a disaster.

Frankly, a newsworthy disaster can improve attendance at your meeting. Here in California we say, “Just give me a 3.7 earthquake and we’ll find some more CERT members.”

Even when you have to plan in advance, you will be able to find some recent disasters to feature as part of your recruiting material. (The United States Geological Survey maintains http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/. As I write this, it lists 198 earthquakes as having happened over the past seven days!)

Invite an “expert” speaker.

Yes, having trained and knowledgeable neighbors is appealing. But sometimes a recognized “expert” can be a better draw. We have had good success inviting the local Police Chief, Fire Chief, and particularly people who have actually participated in disaster recovery (in New Orleans, Fukushima, Christchurch) to be the featured speaker for the evening.

Give attendees materials to interact with: maps, photos, radios.

Maps, photos, radios — all good recruiting tools.

Give attendees something to do.

Emergency response is all about – response! It’s about being ready to take action, and not hesitating. We find that our meetings are more interesting and more successful if we have an activity that all people in the room can take part in, whether or not they are familiar with CERT. For example:

  • Survey the crowd for their ideas of the threats the neighborhood is facing. Record those threats on an easel in the front of the room.
  • Pass out maps of the neighborhood (or use an overhead projection). Have people identify where they live and work in relation to high-threat areas like a chemical plant, a railroad track, flood zone, or a high-pressure gas line.
  • Have extra emergency radios available for people to hold and try out. Your team members can share with visitors. Go through a drill to replace the batteries, change channels, etc. It will result in pandemonium if not well managed, but people always enjoy it!
  • Provide people with resources to take home: a sticker with emergency numbers, an abbreviated emergency supplies list, notice of an upcoming training.
  • A raffle is fun if you can organize it.
  • And, of course, refreshments are always appreciated. Set them up on a side table and give people a chance to mingle.

Invite people at least twice.

People need to be exposed to your marketing message more than once. (You’ve heard the classic “seven times before people buy” story.) We find that an invitation flyer (sent via email or actually printed and delivered to the doorstep) followed by a shorter reminder just the day before works pretty well. Best is if a neighbor actually says, “Let’s go together. I’ll pick you up.”

What’s the Call to Action?

At the end of the meeting, attendees need to be directed to “take the next step.” There is no fixed rule about what that next step should be; that will depend on your individual group. But a call to action is essential. Without it, you have just wasted your recruiting opportunity!

Joe and I have developed, and continue to develop, tools to make all these recruiting tasks easier and more efficient.  Best way to get them is to subscribe to our Advisories.

Virginia Nicols

Emergency Plan Guide

Gas Line Leak!


High pressure lines are closely monitored by a number of agencies.  Your local utility or city will be the most familiar with the state of high pressure lines in your area, and with the monitoring guidelines and records.

Gas fire in street.

Gas fire erupting through LA street after Northridge earthquake. (photo by M. Rymer)

No matter how carefully lines are monitored, however, leaks and breaks can happen.  Most often, they happen when construction equipment accidentally punctures a line.  They can result from a natural event like a storm, earthquake, tornado, or ice storm.  Sometimes an over-loaded, aged infrastructure is to blame.

Leaks could happen at any time.

How do your local gas lines stack up?

An online search using the National Pipeline Mapping system is a good place to start. Dig deep on that site to find the names of the various operators of the different lines in your area. Contact them to get more details about the age and condition of their lines, their monitoring and safety policies and plans, etc.

If you think you have an emergency…

If you see or hear any of these near a pipeline right-of-way, it could signal a leak:

  • A hissing, roaring sound
  • Dirt or dust blowing
  • Water bubbling or spraying
  • Dead or brown vegetation
  • Flames coming from the ground
  • “Rotten egg” smell

(Typically the “rotten egg” smell is added only to smaller distribution lines. It won’t appear in major transmission lines.)

What’s the right response to a potential gas leak?

Get out! But do it intelligently.

  • Turn off any machinery or motors.
  • Don’t turn on or use any electrical equipment that could create a spark. This includes turning lights on or off, making a cell phone call, closing a garage door, or using a battery-operated radio!
  • Do not allow any open flames, including matches, cigarette lighters, welding equipment, etc.
  • Evacuate the immediate area. If exiting a building, leave the doors open.
  • Keep bystanders away.
  • Do not try to find the source of the leak.
  • Do not operate any valves or other shut-offs.
  • Do not attempt any repairs.
  • Do not attempt to put out any fires.
  • From a safe distance, call 911.

Emergency Preparedness Training

Action Items: Train your Emergency Response Team to recognize this hazard and to respond accordingly. Invite an expert as guest speaker to one of your neighborhood meetings. Prepare a flyer (taken from this Advisory?) and include it in your “Welcome Wagon” handouts for new neighbors.

We consider gas line leaks and the potential for fire resulting from them as the number one threat to our neighborhood! Where do they fit in your list of top threats?