Here is my dilemma, how can I get my neighbors to be prepared for the unexpected? I have mentioned to you before that I am asked to teach classes to churches, businesses, and subdivisions about food storage and emergency preparedness. As I stand in front of groups I can tell if a group understands the importance of working together as a neighborhood. Mark and I had dinner with friends last night and we started talking about the importance of neighbors working together as a team if and when a disaster hits our neighborhood. About six years ago I taught classes for one hour every week on Wednesday’s to whoever saw my sign outside that said “Food Storage Moms”. I then sent out emails and posted my message about the FREE classes on Facebook. I also tried to encourage people to gather their important documents and place them in a binder.
I charged a small fee for the binders at my cost. I provided the dividers, zippered bags, paper protectors for pages to include in their binders. I shared food storage by having a taste testing of the various freeze-dried fruits and vegetables for everyone who came to try them out. I had a few speakers come and talk about walkie talkies from a search and rescue team. They suggested the ones we needed. Here are the ones they suggested at the time. Walkie Talkies
Well, two other families joined Mark and me for our quest to be connected by choosing channels on our walkie talkies so we can check on each other after a disaster or pandemic. It’s frustrating for me not to be able to sell at my cost to others items as critical as these and my book at local churches and neighborhoods. Here’s the deal, I am not selling trinkets or frivolous items. I understand the tax issues etc. BUT I am paying the taxes. So, for whatever excuses they have, very few are prepared in my neighborhood. I’m grateful for those that are, but I cannot feed or hydrate the entire neighborhood.
This is why I am writing this post to get ideas from you, my readers. I would love it if my neighborhood felt the need to be prepared. Do you sometimes wish you could shout from the roof tops,”please store water or how full is your pantry”? Is your gas tank partially full? Do you have flashlights with extra batteries, etc?
I know of maybe eight families in my neighborhood who are self-reliant or at least partially prepared. I know for sure that four families heeded my advice to get some food storage and water. I realize some people are living paycheck to paycheck. I know that feeling, trust me.
After a year of doing these meetings, I decided to teach the world. I thought if I can’t get more than a handful of my neighborhood to “get it” I will try and teach whoever sees my blog. I will forever be grateful for being interviewed by The New York Times after six months of my blog going live. Then I was honored to be asked to write a book “Prepare Your Family For Survival”. Then, I was interviewed by a group who helped gather information for Ted Koppel’s book “Lights Out”
So today, I am asking for your help, how are you getting your neighborhoods prepared to work together as a team? Here are some things I have tried. I would love to add 50 ideas if you have them. I realize after a disaster like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, people will “get it” after remember seeing the horrific water storms and the empty grocery stores. They may remember to fill their gas tanks to 3/4 full, just in case.
But what about three weeks from now or three months, will they pick up an extra can of beans or a case of water? I really need your help on this one today. I thank you in advance.
How Can I Get My Neighbors To Be Prepared
Decide who to invite to your neighborhood team. Or maybe don’t have a team at all. Just hand out information when asked about it.
Emergency Contact Info:
We need to share family members phone numbers, emails, and addresses so we can contact people if we need to after a disaster. It would be helpful just to contact a family member if we have a minor disaster in our neighborhood.
Have a meeting once a week or once a month to decide what we need as a group or as individuals.
Send emails about good deals available, ask for money up front before ordering so no one is stuck with the bill.
Here is my list which is really long, but have them pick and choose what fits their needs. 72-Hour Kits-Adult Size
I had a reader on Facebook today write this comment: (Roxy) I have a lot of friends in small apartments who don’t have the space for major storage. You’d be surprised how much you can fit into a Rubbermaid tote to allow a small sense of security that really isn’t too expensive. Encourage people to start small as being prepared can seem overwhelming. Something as simple as buying a few cans of beans or a pack of water each pay period is attainable for most.
Ask what skills each person has to bring to the table if needed.
What tools do the team players have if we need them after a disaster, like chainsaws? That neighbor down the street that has one maybe your new best friend after a disaster.
First Aid Supplies:
Order first aid supplies in bulk and divide them out as ordered, paid for in advance.
Decide what food products people would like to purchase and save money by buying a case and splitting the cost.
Who have some electric ones, who have hand grind ones? Who has some hard wheat? Who knows how to make bread, biscuits or crackers?
Order high capacity water tanks, you’ll save money and then fill them with a lead-free hose.
Order WaterBricks and split the cost if they are cheaper by purchasing eight to ten of them.
Decide what types of water containers people can store in their homes.
Order Water Preserver (you only need to rotate the water every five years).
Talk about how much water is needed for each family for each day.
Solar Power Items:
Check Costco for a Roadshow for emergency preparedness items coming. Goal Zero has great prices when they come there. They have items needed for people who use CPAP’s and nebulizers, to name just a few.
Have everyone stock up on paper goods, like plates, paper towels, paper cups (hot and cold), and plastic silverware. Baby wipes, diapers, toilet paper and Depends for the elderly if needed for older neighbors.
Store black 33-gallon garbage bags, you will need many, trust me.
Ask how much fuel each one has stored and what kind. Propane, charcoal, lump charcoal, pine cones, raw wood and butane canisters are all examples.
See the kinds of outside cooking devices each family has. For instance, Camp Chef stove/ovens, Volcano Stoves, Dax Stove, Butane stoves, etc. Please practice with all cooking devices before you need them after a disaster.
Who has Dutch ovens, griddles, how many and what size?
Flashlights, make sure every family has several flash lights, batteries, and lanterns, to name a few items.
Who has access to a back hoe if needed?
Washing and Drying Clothes:
Who have clotheslines, washing buckets and clothespins? Bleach is for safety measures.
Who has a portable potty with the necessary 10-gallon bags, with kitty litter or Reliance Bio Blue
How can I get my neighbors to be prepared? It’s not if, but when we have a disaster we must work together as a team. Do you know your neighbors? Do you want to know your neighbors?