After a major disaster, it is unlikely that emergency response services will be immediately available to respond to everyone's needs. It's important to not only be able to take care of yourself and your family, but to also work together with your neighbors to help save lives and property.
Meet with your neighbors before disaster strikes to discuss and plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help arrives.
- Identify neighbors with special skills (e.g., doctors, nurses, amateur radio,)
- Consider neighbors with special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons
- Make plans for temporary child care in case parents can't get home
- List specialized equipment (generators, power saws, etc.) and other resources that might help in a crisis
- Share information (battery-operated radios) and communications capabilities (walkie-talkies, etc.)
- Develop an inventory of first aid equipment/supplies
- Identify potential cooking alternatives (outdoor grills, propane tank supplies, etc.)
- Make arrangements to check on pets in the neighborhood
- Discuss potential security and safety issues (downed power lines, collapsed structures, gas leaks, etc.)
Working together as a team after disaster strikes can significantly improve your ability to survive and help you recover more quickly.
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