When a disaster strikes, a community working together can help mitigate the damage and keep residents safe. While every resident and family should also have their own emergency plan in place, an emergency is a time for a neighborhood to come together and help each other. Here are some helpful tips for your community to help everyone be prepared during an emergency.
Emergency Plan Tips For Your Community
- Have a Meeting Place: In times of emergency, communication is vital. Have a designated location where people will go to meet during a disaster. Also, have a backup location planned, possibly outside the community boundaries, in case the primary location is damaged or inaccessible.
- Stock Up on First Aid Supplies: If there are any common areas or community buildings, they can be used to store a backup of first aid supplies.
- Remind Neighbors to Prepare Emergency Kits: The HOA should send out reminders to residents to have emergency supplies ready, and to restock/replace supplies every 6 months. Also, remind them to have their own family emergency plans and contact numbers.
- Have a List of Residents with Helpful Tools and Supplies: While all residents should have their own basic emergency supplies, some of your neighbors may have additional tools that can come in handy. Does someone have a backup generator? Does anyone have heavy tools that could be helpful? Can someone provide extra shelter? If the neighborhood knows what is available and who can provide what, no one will be scrambling around after the disaster hits trying to find out.
- Assign Residents to Check on the Elderly and Disabled: In order to help disadvantaged members of the community who may not be able to fend for themselves during an emergency, make a list of people who are assigned to check on them and help them out during a disaster.
- Have a Plan to Take Care of Children: If residents have children, they should speak with other members of the community who can check on the kids and help out if they are injured or not at home during an emergency.
Individual Safety Is Neighborhood Safety
Having a community emergency plan in place doesn’t just protect those who may not plan ahead. It protects the whole community and encourages neighbors to come together during hard times. It is impossible to be completely prepared to fend off a disaster, but a neighborhood which has arranged to take care of itself is better prepared than most for when the unexpected happens.
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