Preparing for Chaos in Your Community
by Terry Noonkester
When emergency response officials are overwhelmed, we need to take care of our own communities. Communications organized before a disaster can save crucial time and lives. For example, many of our forested areas have small communities scattered along long, windy roads that either dead end or may become impassable due to the weather or fire. Having an accurate list of all the homes in geographical order with contact information for everybody on these roads can make an evacuation or other emergency response much quicker and efficient.
An emergency contact list could also include the use of CB and Ham radios. Other useful information such as who owns heavy equipment or water trucks could be listed. A long road could be broken into sections, each with a person designated with the responsibility of knowing the status of individuals in the subgroup.
Good community preparation needs to be at a grass roots level in each neighborhood. There is no agency that will do this type of preparation for us and any preparation is better than none. Any person can start such a list. All that is needed is to write his or her name and contact information down and pass it on to the next person, the list will most likely evolve into something much better as it gets passed along. If several people started lists separately, that makes getting to a complete list much easier.
Now is a great time to connect with neighbors and talk about ways to prepare for a chaotic future.
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