Emergency Prep for Your Neighbors

by Bill Hanover on January 21, 2013

If you want to have good neighbors then you need to be a good neighbor yourself. This isn’t just empty claptrap; studies show that during disasters a full 46% of victims rely on friends and neighbors as first responders—the bigger the catastrophe, the more we’re going to need one another. With this in mind, it’s time to forgive and forget about that loud party last Saturday or who broke your lawnmower. It’s time to get prepared.

Create a Neighborhood Preparedness Plan

Starting this process is simple, meet with your friends and neighbors to answer the following questions. (Let’s focus on situations with extended needs.)

• What disasters are most likely in your area? Do you live in a location prone to floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, war, or a zombie apocalypse? Now determine if you’re prepared for these events.
• What are your neighbors’ needs and contributions? Are there a lot of seniors or young children? How about anyone with disabilities? Is there a language barrier? On the flipside, are there any doctors, electricians, HAM radio operators? Does anyone have a well, garden space, firewood, or fruit trees?
• What can each household do to help everyone? Answer this one for yourself and let’s discuss it in more detail.

Once you’ve answered these and other basic questions, put together a plan that addresses search and rescue, communications, and basic survival needs such as food and water.

What You Can do to Help Your Neighbors in a Disaster

Before any disaster strikes, help and encourage everyone to prepare. In your personal preparations consider what supplies you can gather beyond what your own family needs. Be realistic, you will never be able to stockpile enough food, water, clothing, or medical supplies for all your neighbors, it just isn’t possible.

Look at the following list of items most needed during an emergency and determine what you can collect for those around you that have the greatest needs.

• Water The most important personal need in nearly all emergency situations. Store as much as you can, but even more practical is to identify water sources such as wells, streams, rainwater, lakes, etc. With Black Berkey Purification Elements and a few containers, you’ll have no trouble providing an ongoing source or purified water for dozens of people.
• Food Grocery store foods are intended for short-term storage, so don’t expect them to last for long periods of time, especially in circumstances where you can’t control the temperature. Items prepared for long-term storage, i.e. pressure canned produce, often have a shelf life of two years or less. It only makes sense to share these items during a month’s long emergency, providing you the opportunity to use them before they go bad.
• Other Supplies Items in this category include; blankets, sleeping bags, clothes, first aid kits, firewood, tents, cash, batteries, propane for cooking grills, soap and personal hygiene needs, candles, matches, can openers, knives, flashlights, water vessels, radios, and many more. If you have the means to obtain these items in bulk, do so.

Identify Ongoing Sources for Emergency Needs

Although storage is important, it’s not enough in a prolonged situation, especially if you’re working to sustain numerous families. Both your personal and neighborhood emergency plans must include potential long-term sources of food and water.

An obvious food source is a garden; encourage everyone in your area who has space to plant one. If you live in an apartment, small window boxes and hanging planters can still yield helpful amounts of produce. Your locale determines the resources available to you, which may include fishing, hunting, trapping, or wild edibles such as berries or mushrooms.

Water resources include wells, streams, lakes, and irrigation systems. Be sure to always purify water before consumption. A Berkey Purification System works anywhere; no electricity needed.

Plan to Work Together

Pulling together during an extended emergency is human nature. It follows that making emergency preparedness plans with those closest to you is in everyone’s best interest. It doesn’t mean you have to share everything you have, however working together improves everybody’s chances of coming out ok.

As a Berkey Dealer and a “Prepper” in general, I have long thought about an eventual earthquake in my area; Northern Utah. There is a high likelihood that our water lines would break and we would all be “heading to the river” (about 3 blocks from my home) and gathering essential water once our in-home storage was depleted.

My thoughts are, in that situation, I’d setup a table in my front yard (probably on the sidewalk,) and put all of my homemade and standard Berkey systems on it. I’d then encourage people to bring buckets of water from the river and let them pour them through my systems so they could take home pure water.

Yeah, it’s sort of a “community service” thing to do, but I have to think it might also encourage some good-will among neighbors, perhaps even become a bartering tool if there were a prolonged need. I sorta don’t like thinking about such a long-term disruption in services like water, sewer, electricity and etc. but that is entirely possible and has happened throughout the world and even in the US.

Be Prepared… and while you’re at it… prepare for those who were too poor, lazy, short-sighted, and the like, cause they are still your family, friends and neighbors and you don’t want them suffering any more than they have to… do you?

All the Best,

Bill

About Bill Hanover

I am and do many things: A child of God, the father of 8, a Lean Manufacturing Consultant, Hold a Masters Degree in Psychology and help many people prepare for emergencies by hooking them up with emergency water purifiers and other supplies. I am a proud and grateful citizen of the United States of America and deeply appreciate all who sustain her! Google+

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