With two massive hurricanes hitting our coastline back to back, I’m struck by the unsung heroes in these situations. The people who, without fear or needing to be asked, step in to help their community with support and compassion. It truly is a group effort to bring an entire neighborhood through a disaster without any casualties. As #NatlPrep month continues, this is your opportunity to build helping others into your disaster plan.
Until Help Arrives
During a disaster, emergency services are stretched thin trying to reach everyone who needs them. As a caring neighbor, you can offer support until professional help arrives. FEMA offers some excellent training videos and suggestions on how to keep your community safe until first responders can get to you.
Check on Your Neighbors
Combining resources and relying on each other gets communities through a disaster faster and with less stress. FEMA places tremendous value on neighbors working together. So much so that they have a program for it! The Neighbor Helping Neighbor program offers tools and programs to assist your community in navigating the aftermath of a disaster. Of course, we encourage you to talk with your neighbors to #PlanAhead – don’t wait until the disaster happens to start forming a community plan.
Downed power lines, burst pipes and other utility concerns can all arise in the wake of an emergency situation. Knowing who to contact and how to shut off utilities to prevent further damage can save time and money during cleanup efforts. Learn more about utility safety and talk to your local providers to understand their expectations.
Hold an Event
If you’re really passionate about helping your community during a disaster, consider holding an event to educate your neighbors about what they can do. Use the time to put together a neighborhood action plan.
Just like keeping your family safe, a little prep work now can help keep your entire community safe during an emergency.