Do you ever think about what you need in a community to survive? I sure do. I have written a few articles about getting to know your neighbors. I recently saw something on TV where a community called DayBreak in South Jordan, Utah got together as a neighborhood to divert some “robbers” from stealing boxes off their porches.
I wrote this post several years ago, but I’m updating it today because I believe it’s critical for all of us to read.
They communicated with each other to try and stop whoever was stealing the boxes delivered on their front porches. They decided to fill some boxes and “trick” the thieves with containers filled with rocks and trash. So, just imagine this scenario, a thief is driving by or walking and sees a large cardboard box on someone’s porch.
He or she grabs it and then takes it somewhere to open it only to find its rubbish. Here’s the deal, they communicated as a community or neighborhood to put their heads together to protect their community, or in this case, their delivered packages.
I hope by now you know I’m not a doomsday prepper. I am nervous about where I live because I’m not sure how many people in my neighborhood are really prepared for the unexpected. If you are one of the lucky ones who has monthly meetings with your neighbors I applaud you for being prepared for whatever disaster may come to your neighborhood.
I would love even quarterly meetings. If you are living in a neighborhood of like-minded people you are very blessed. Do not take that for granted because it will be critical in a survival situation. It’s crazy because I’m asked to speak in cities all around my area because the people realize the need to be prepared.
It’s very discouraging for me to live in my neighborhood. I know the need to live in a like-minded neighborhood, but it’s not economically feasible for me to move. Yes, I have been asked to teach in my community, but it doesn’t go anywhere, in most cases. You either get it and do something about being prepared or it goes in one ear and out the other. It’s life. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox, for now anyway.
Here’s the deal, please picture your city’s power is suddenly disrupted for 24 hours. Now, let’s add 24 more hours. Again, another 24 hours. You have now been without electricity for three days and you’re unable to run lights, appliances, running water, or power to run your natural gas or electric furnace to heat your home.
The first 24 hours you may be upset because you have zero light, except in the daytime. Your TV, heat, air conditioning do not work. The running water we are all used to does not work because the city pumps are out. Whew, you think, glad I did that last batch of laundry.
Or luckily, I picked up some cases of bottled water. You call the local utility companies if you kept your cell phone charged, and the phone line is busy. You wait. Then you call back and wait on hold if the phone line even works.
The next 24 hours, people are going outside on your street and asking each other if they have heard anything. We have all checked our phones to see what’s going on. This may be an isolated situation in a 30-mile radius, or as large as a 500-mile radius or more.
We want to know, and we want to know right now. People are racing to the supermarkets to get water, diapers, food, batteries, and lanterns and they are SOLD OUT. It’s been 72 hours and the shelves at the stores are 90% empty.
Now, you may be one of the prepared ones and you stay inside your home, you keep your doors locked and your window blinds closed. Hopefully, your gas tank is at least half-full because the gas stations may not work because the pumps need power, not only to pump the fuel but also to process your debit or credit card.
Hopefully, you have some small bills and some coins available to purchase some products you wished you had stored before this unforeseen emergency. Please start an envelope stored safely in a secure place with a few one, five, ten, and 20 dollar bills. Some coins would be appropriate as well.
Now, the next 24 hours people are getting hungry and so are their children. Several people go to the supermarket daily and are totally unprepared for the empty grocery shelves. I would now be thinking about some of the elderly people on my street. I know a few would survive a few days, but others would not.
Now the people in your neighborhood are getting more aggressive. They need to feed their family. Maybe some have been on government assistance and their EBT card does not work because the power is out, now what? The stress level may become intolerable for some people.
Are we prepared to handle this situation? When your stress level is high for a long period of time your immune system may become compromised. Are we prepared to help with this? These are just a few items I think we all need to be thinking about.
Tips For Your Community To Survive:
- We need to know our neighbors.
- We need to have monthly meetings with our neighbors to check in with preparedness ideas and skills.
- Teach one another skills they can use if the power goes out.
- Teach one another how to make bread or crackers.
- Learn about food storage and start storing it.
- Learn how to store water and start doing it.
- Stock first aid supplies.
- Learn how to cook without power.
- Learn how to store fuel.
- Start acquiring cooking devices, as your budget allows.
- Teach people that the government will not be able to take care of them, we’re responsible for ourselves.
- Teach people to cook from scratch.
- We need to know some first aid skills.
- Take a C.E.R.T. class together.
- Get walkie-talkies and keep them charged, and choose a channel for neighbors to share. Here are the ones a search and rescue group suggested to a class I had them come and speak with. Walkie-Talkies
- Get your ham radio license (this is to nudge me to get mine).
- Break bread together often. This is very important, you talk to one another, you learn to love one another.
- Learn CPR and practice it from time to time to stay sharp on these skills.
- Talk together about scenarios after a disaster, share skills, etc.
- Talk about protection in the neighborhood, what will you do to protect what you have in your home.
- Put together a list of who lives nearby and what resources each family has, like tools, ham radios, food storage, first aid supplies, skills that can be put to use, who lives in the home and a general idea of schedules, any special medical needs, do they have pets, and much more as people are willing to share.
- Make a plan A and B, C if needed.
- Buy my book at Amazon Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation
Contact Information Of Your Community
Here’s the deal, if your neighborhood had an unexpected disaster, how well do you know your neighbors? If someone is hurt badly do you know someone related to them that you could contact? Do they have some close friends you could contact? This is assuming someone has a cellphone that is fully charged. Here is my Contact Information Sheet that may come in handy, if your neighbors feel comfortable sharing the information.
Critical Skills For Your Community
Have you heard about C.E.R.T., better known as the Community Emergency Response Team? Mark and I took the classes in order to be certified as a C.E.R.T member. Please note, it does not make us an expert by any means, but it does teach you some basic skills every neighborhood can use. Here are some things you will learn if you attend all the classes:
1. Disaster Preparedness
2. Fire Safety
3. Disaster Medical Operations
4. Light Search and Rescue Operations
5. CERT Overview
6. Disaster Psychology
7. Terrorism and CERT
8. Disaster Simulation
Point of Distribution
I was asked in my neighborhood to be trained for this program designed by our local health department. The health department works with local churches of every denomination to train people to be ready for a pandemic or other major disaster in our neighborhoods.
Here is the post I wrote several years ago below. Just so you know, these are available all over the country, in the US anyway. Are they broadcast? No, they are not. They typically ask people by word of mouth who they know are prepared for emergencies.
Please tell me some things you are doing in your neighborhood, I would love to add your tips or ideas to my list. Hopefully, you have a community in your neighborhood where you can work together to survive a disaster.
C.E.R.T. Website Community Emergency Response Team