Have you heard about a disaster buddy, or maybe a preparedness buddy? Here’s the deal, it’s not just an infant, toddler, or child that may need a buddy after a disaster.
Mark and I went to visit a friend at a care center to see how he was doing. As we left I mentioned how would someone in this condition survive an unforeseen emergency?
I wrote a post several years ago about getting to know your neighbors. Getting To Know Your Neighbors
It’s critical we get to know our neighbors, but now I think we need to go one step further. This may or may not work for your neighborhood. Where I live it’s about a 50/50 mix of different ages. I guess I would say we have babies up to 95-year-old people.
I remember my neighborhood made a statement about block groups for emergencies, but the ball was dropped. It’s been like 13 years. I’m not being critical, some people do not know how to organize stuff.
Or, they may not see how important it is to have people be assigned to watch out for others. I’m totally self-sufficient, I would not need someone to help me unless I was hurt, and it would have to be bad. Let’s make that clear. LOL!
When Mark and I took our C.E.R.T. training, we discussed how to put groups together. I wonder if people just think, well “Mary or John” will take care of stuff. But will they? We should not assume anything, in my humble
There is no guarantee that help will arrive quickly after an unforeseen emergency, so we must be prepared. Let’s break this down into groups.
Here are a few reasons why I feel strongly we need a disaster buddy. This means we could possibly assign or choose our buddy to help us after a minor or major disaster before we have one.
I was thinking about babies in general. They want their mother for food and nurturing. If something happens to a young mother, I hope we have enough cloth diapers and formula for the young babies. We may have to go back to the wet nurse program if the nursing mother is unconscious or hurt really badly.
Now, what if we can’t locate a nursing mother to help us out? Do we have bottles with appropriate-sized nipples for the age of the babies? If we have formula will it be okay for the baby? Does the baby have allergies? You get the picture, right? Oh, and I hope someone has a few extra pacifiers.
I love it when we have little ones around, they bring so much joy to the room. But, as you know, some toddlers are not very happy if they can’t see Mom or Dad in the room or sitting right next to them. Can you imagine the chaos if a disaster hits your neighborhood? Toddlers may be scared and unsure, at the very least.
Toddlers may need potty chairs and clean underwear if they have an accident. My or my, it makes me want to have a few toddler-size training pants in my preps, what about you? I do have cloth diapers and diaper pins. Oh, don’t forget the snacks, are they allergic to anything?
We may need to have a few books we can read to them to direct the stress away from the moment. I have a TV that I can use with DVDs that run on solar energy from my Goal Zero power unit, that will help for sure.
This is where I hope this age group has had some good training at home. When I go to Walmart or Target here in Southern Utah, I see a few mothers on their phones and the kids are running around out of control and the mother has no idea what they are doing.
It makes me nervous if I have to be the person in charge of the kids who have never been taught respect for others or rules for the times they are out in public. Hopefully, they will have older siblings who can help with them. It’s pretty easy to read them a book, help them use the bathroom, wash their hands, etc. But what if they will not “mind us?”
I’m just asking because I have seen some kids that I could not keep track of on any given day. Here again, I hope their older siblings can help us if Mom and Dad are incapacitated. I’m really glad I have a TV with a DVD player and some Disney shows.
We have a few great teenagers on our street that would pitch in to help us in any way if needed. They would make a perfect disaster buddy. Here’s the deal, they may be scared if say we have an earthquake. Who wouldn’t be?
I’m thinking they may not be verbal about it, but we will see it in their eyes. We need to be able to calm the stress level the best way we know how. This may be clearing the damage around some homes by keeping them busy.
Maybe asking them to put colored tape on the doors of homes to let the rest of us know the status of each family. As per my C.E.R.T.
Special Needs Children and Adults:
This is where we need help from our neighbors so we can help their special needs kids, teenagers, or adults living in their homes if the parents get hurt. They may need a wheelchair, hearing aids, or special tablets to have charged for them. But we won’t know what they need if we don’t find out now. That’s part of getting to know your neighbors, really knowing their needs.
Maybe the parents will love knowing we will step in and help if they are not home or unconscious. Maybe they will not want help. I said this before, we need to know before a disaster hits our neighborhood how we can help one another. Or stay away. We need a plan for our disaster buddy now, not after an unforeseen emergency.
People Who Need Oxygen:
My worry here is for those who have Sleep Apnea issues. Do they have a solar unit to charge their equipment if the power goes out? Do they have a battery from their car they can use if the power is out?
What about children with asthma? If they have an episode do we know how to use the child’s Nebulizer? Does the family have a way to power up the Nebulizer?
What about how to use oxygen tanks? Do we have someone who can help us with that in the neighborhood? I’m
Do we have any Diabetics in the neighborhood? We may have more Diabetics than we are aware of on the street. Are we equipped to help them? Do they want us to help them? Here again, they may need a disaster buddy assigned to them.
Do any of them have balance issues? Do they need a walker? What about canes? Do they have a special diet? Do they have any allergies? Do they need diapers? Do they wear glasses or contacts? How can we help if we don’t have their information, right? Do they want to share their information?
How many dogs do your neighbors have? What are their names? Do they require special treatment because they are aggressive? Do they take medications? Are they on a special diet? Where is their dog food located? Do they have a harness and leash we can find? Where do they put their water and food dishes? How often do they feed them? Could they post this on their contact information? That would be helpful.
Do your neighbors have cats, fish, or other animals they may need help with? What do they feed them? Where are their water and food dishes?
How often do they feed them? Could they post this on their contact information? That would be helpful.
Contact Information: we really need to know our neighbors so we can contact their friends and loved ones if a disaster hits our neighborhood and a neighbor is hurt. I realize there will be people that will not be too keen on the idea of sharing names and phone numbers.
That’s fine, they may be sorry if they are hurt or their house floods, catches on fire, or whatever. We can only do what we can with the information we have been given. Here is a Printable that may help: Contact Information
Here’s the deal, I’m worried about a few neighbors and how I’m going to be able to help them. If I don’t have a contact information sheet with a few details, how can I be a disaster buddy? What do you think? I need your help on this one. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world.