If there is any lesson COVID 19 has taught us, it’s that things quickly fall apart when a disaster strikes. Due to negligence, four hundred and sixty thousand Americans have already died because of the virus as of this post’s writing. Due to misinformation and lack of empathy, the virus continues to spread despite the government’s efforts to contain it. Even the simple task of wearing a mask seems too hard for some populace members.
It is predicted that such crises and disasters will only be more prevalent in the next few decades. Experts calculate the frequency of natural and human-made disasters to increase as nations fail to answer global warming. As the population continues to grow and the amount of pollutants we keep dumping in the environment increases each year exponentially, we are sure to expect the wrath of Mother Nature. Pandemics, droughts, famines, landslides, earthquakes, flooding, tornadoes, and flooding will be the warning signs of things to come. Crises and disasters will be the norm of this new century.
It pays to be prepared in times like these. How can we, as community members, prepare to respond to these types of crises and disasters?
Information is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to community disaster management. Weeding out the false information and filtering the reliable news sources is key to surviving in times of crises and disasters. Gunning for a digital public relations agency level of disseminating information and reach is vital for the community to get involved in your efforts.
Having reliable communication is significant during a crisis or a disaster. Electricity and the internet will not always be available during emergencies. Having backup communication should be the mindset for every home. A simple battery radio to receive government instructions can be of great help. Having a handheld two-way radio transmitting and receiving radio from multiple frequencies can be directed to every home inside your community for faster emergency response.
Program the necessary numbers for the medical response, fire response, police response, and emergency response inside your own mobile phones. You’ll never know when you’re going to need them. You wouldn’t want to be scrambling on the internet for the correct number at the wrong time.
Disaster Planning and a Disaster Gray Zone
Planning a disaster plan for every family in your community will help keep everyone safe when a natural disaster or crisis occurs. Outlining where you will go and whom you will communicate with when all else fails is important in establishing order when chaos will most likely ensue. A place like a school gym or a local theater where people can meet up, take shelter, and be safe against the elements are ideal places to designate as the evacuation area.
Having a designated disaster-safe emergency area where you can group up with other community members during times of disaster is crucial to disaster response. As part of the community disaster plan, the gray zone shall serve as the evacuation area where you can gather the community members and wait for government rescue operations.
Preparing Emergency Bags
Gathering significant resources and having them in a single bag is essential in disaster management and disaster planning. It can spell a night spent in the cold and wet or dry and comfortable. Some important objects that must be inside these bags are drinking water and portable containers for drinking liquid. Another important article inside the bag is a bunch of nonperishable food that requires no cooking.
An all-around knife set that can open canned goods and hold its own in utility is also critical. Having a first aid kit, a battery-powered radio, maps, flashlights, and a large plastic sheet that can serve as temporary shelter are the finishing touches to your emergency bag. Encouraging your community to make time and also prepare their own can really save lives.
Training for emergencies with everyone in your community will ensure that no matter who is called upon at times of crisis, they can quickly answer the call. Having first aid training and other drills will ensure the overall safety of the residents within the community. There is no greater relief than knowing that everyone has the means to take care of themselves during times of crisis.
Disasters and emergencies can strike our communities at any given time. Luck happens when preparation meets the opportunity. Giving yourself and your community ample time to prepare shall be key in saving lives and property within the community.