Share What You Know With Your Friends and Neighbors
One of my goals for this year is to become more involved in my community and share my emergency preparedness and gardening knowledge. I do this knowing that others might think I’m strange (or possibly… obsessed!), and that’s okay. Because lets face it, the more people we can get prepared with extra water, food, knowledge and self-sufficiency, the less people we are going to have to take care of when a disaster strikes.
It’s been proven time and time again – In the face of disaster, Americans come together with courage, compassion and unity and ask, “How can I help?”
There are many ways to Get Involved especially before a disaster occurs. Community leaders agree the formula for creating a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters. Major disasters often overwhelm the first responding agencies, and individuals need to step in to lend support.
There are several great community organizations that you might consider joining, to increase your own knowledge and then be able to share it. Here are three ways you can get involved:
CERT – Community Emergency Response Team
Several years ago my husband and I went through CERT training. I consider it one of the most important training courses I’ve taken. It gave me the confidence to know that I can take care of myself in an emergency. Once your training is complete you can volunteer to support disaster efforts in your community. Plus being a CERT team member puts you in contact with other like minded people in your community.
Find a group at local faith-based and community organizations or your community fire department. The training materials are online and worth taking a look to gather valuable information to add to your preparedness library.
Join or start a preparedness project.
MeetUp is a place online where neighbors arrange to get together to learn something, do something or share something…check out the website – www.meetup.com and see what others in your community are doing for preparedness, premaculture, chickens or cheese-making. I did a search today for my area and came up with a shooting group, and a back-to-basics group having a class about wild mushrooms.
Find an event or identify local resources. Build a team, choose a project, set goals and serve your community by improving the preparedness of your friends, colleagues and neighbors. Get started by checking out a MeetUp group near you.
Start a Neighborhood Watch
My friend Dee G. writes a newsletter for her local neighborhood watch. I asked her advice about getting a group started. “Advice I would give? As obvious as it sounds, get to know your neighbors.
Some people think they are being nosy when they see the next door folk leave for work at 4 a.m. in a blue car, or another neighbor tends to work in his shop until midnight and sleep in until 10 a.m. Knowing this, if you suddenly saw a black van at 8 a.m. at your neighbor’s house, you could suspect something isn’t right. The slogan we use for our area is, “If you don’t know your neighbors, how do you know what’s normal?”
If you are just starting out, try and have some sort of group activity, a potluck, picnic, something that would be a gathering where people can meet each other, in an informal setting. Contacting your local Police Department, or Sheriff’s Office would be likely to give you some sort of community person that could help establish and cement some of the ideas behind Neighborhood Watch, such as reporting suspicious activity, and *what* to report if you need to do so. That can be a meeting, or two, in and of itself. Try and find out if the group has a common interest, (like CERT, or preparedness, or things of that sort), and there could be some focus meetings on that… eventually.”
You have an opportunity this year to get involved with your community and make a difference. Your community needs you!
How do you share the knowledge you’ve gained?
I contacted my local fire department about CERT training. Its supposed to start some time this year, although I have the feeling that its a low priority among the fire dept.
What I would love to find is a medical course that is a step above first aid but a step below EMT. I have yet to find that.