After a major disaster, professional first responders will be overwhelmed and your neighborhood may be on its own for days. The primary objective of a neighborhood response program is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and ensure assistance is available to those who need it most. This includes the injured, the housebound elderly couple, the young single mother with an infant, or the vet in a wheelchair.
Basic Elements of a Ready Neighborhood
- Know your neighbors. Share information among your neighbors so everyone knows who needs help and who can help. Neighborhood social events help build this sense of community.
- Build a safe response capability. Identify the resources that already exist in your neighborhood such as knowing who is medically trained, who is a CERT member, who has a generator, etc. to improve your response capability.
- Organize your neighborhood into groups of homes led by block captains. Whether by going door-to-door, social media or local events, organize your neighbors and build a response group.
- Get trained. The skill level and training of your neighborhood group will be critical after a disaster. Whether its a Get Ready class, CERT training or radio skills, the more your group knows, the more resilient you’ll be.