Disaster Preparedness Overview

Whether it be the wrath of nature's fury, or the senseless acts of man, disasters and emergencies may occur at any time, and at any place. For some we may have a warning, and for others not; but in either case, it is clear that taking the time to prepare to cope with emergency situations can often make a critical difference in the amount of property damage and casualties suffered.

In order to be fully effective, preparedness can be thought of as a chain or network, with optimum success of the effort dependent upon how well all of the links performed and coordinated.

The basic link is the preparedness of the individual, family or business. Since large emergencies or disasters may require more responders than are locally available, every individual/family/business should prepare in such a manner as to be capable of being self-sufficient for a period of 48-72 hours after a disaster occurs. The Individual/Family Preparedness section will describe actions that should be taken to insure at least a minimum level of preparedness.

The next link is the cooperation/coordination of each neighborhood, where neighbors can call upon the support and skills of other neighbors to help respond and recover from an emergency. Coordination at this level can be extremely important, as described in the Neighborhood Preparedness section.

One of most overlooked areas in in the area of back-up emergency communications for the community. Often it is suggested that families have walkie-talkies handy for these communications, but nothing more. The communications section will describe the problems encountered in real-life emergency communications situations, and how your Community Coordinator will move to overcome or mitigate these shortcomings.

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