We can all attest to the fact that there is strength is numbers. While only about half of us are prepared for disasters and emergencies like flooding, fires, and power outages, there are some people who are ready for the unexpected. For those who are prepared, helping someone close to you or even a neighborhood is beneficial for the whole community. The best way to build community resilience is to get together, and get prepared.
In an ideal world, when disaster strikes, we are able to pick up our phone and call 9-1-1 for help and help will arrive. However that will almost never be the case while there is a disaster taking place. If first responders cannot get to you as soon as you would like, what would you do? Did you know your neighbor may be your first responder? That means that you should take time before a disaster happens to get to know your neighbors. In turn, you may need to help a neighbor in-need, perhaps someone elderly who does not have any family around. Check with your neighbors to find out what their plans may be to evacuate or if the power goes out. There are incredible stories of neighbors who have been the first responder in their own communities.
Volunteering is another great way to promote preparedness and help your community. You can become a CERT volunteer which is a Community Emergency Response Team member. CERT is a national organization with thousands of volunteers across the country who get trained to respond after a disaster. The team typically functions within a municipality such as the fire department. Another way to have an impact in your community is to get trained in CPR, AED or even pet first aid. Again, you may be one of the first people on scene if you need to help someone and could potentially save a life.
Here are some other ways to impact your community to become disaster resilient:
- Share the good news! Promote emergency preparedness in your community. Join a neighborhood organization and encourage everyone to get prepared.
- Connect with an isolated individual in your neighborhood. After a disaster, they may need food or water. During colder months, if the power goes out, make sure they can stay warm.
- Find out how you can get involved with organizations like the Red Cross. They offer various types of trainings that can work with anyone’s schedule.
- Look for your local Retired Seniors Volunteer program or other senior organizations. These organizations are not only good to volunteer with but are also pretty receptive to the idea of getting their team and staff prepared for disasters.
- Already a member of an organization? See if your organization, whether community or religious would like to join VOAD. VOAD is Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. During a disaster, they come together to provide resources to the community.
- Lastly, meet your emergency manager or emergency management team! A lot of emergency management teams are comprised of very few staff who could use help in several different ways.
Do1Thing offers an emergency preparedness Ambassador program for free online. This program operates somewhat as a domino effect. You are trained on the ins and outs of the program while also being coached on how to go out and talk about preparedness in your community. Do1Thing is operated by one staff member and a board of directors. Therefore the program can use all the help it can get with teaching others how to get prepared for emergencies and disasters. In just about an hour, you will receive a certificate of completion on how to become disaster resilient.
Remember, preparedness can be easy when done in small steps. Help your community become better, stronger, prepared…today.
To learn more about Do1Thing, please visit www.do1thing.com