When a disaster strikes, family disaster preparedness is the foundation for a strong community. Prepared citizens and community leaders help reduce loss and suffering. This is especially true when normal services are lost for an extended period of time. In the last few years, we have seen our vulnerability to flooding, windstorms, snow storms, and other natural occurrences. There is also a very real threat of an earth quake.
When disruptions of this scale occur, our emergency response agencies are working at full capacity. In this environment, neighbors helping neighbors is the single most important asset we have. A concerned and caring neighbor prevents small problems from developing into a life-threatening situation.
How to Help
You can help those who are less prepared to meet basic, life-sustaining needs with:
This manual provides tools to help neighbors help each other meet basic life-sustaining needs. It is a guide only, and does not substitute for common sense. Your response to a disaster, and the use of this guide, is founded on these principles:
- The strength of a community is prepared individuals.
- Each family's situation and resources are unique.
- Each family's privacy and dignity are respected.
These principles are vital, because disasters are also a psychological shock. In general, most people bond together as a community to help each other get through a crisis. Over time, however, you may see (and experience yourself), a wide range of emotional responses, including:
- Family problems
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep disturbances