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Emergency Preparedness
Overview
When a disaster does occur, it will take the cooperative effort of all elements of our communities to restore a normal state for all concerned. The greatest resource for any community is its people. The purpose of this site is to increase citizen, family, neighborhood, and community preparedness, thereby boosting their chance of survival and enhancing their ability to cope with disaster.

Helping Your Community
Follow this easy five-step guide for organizing your community. Meeting with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood can work together before a disaster occurs will lessen the impact of any disruptions. Pulling together will also give your neighborhood a sense of resilience and strength in the face of uncertainty.
  1. Invite
    Invite your neighbors to dessert and coffee, a pot luck dinner, a BBQ, or other get together to discuss emergency preparedness. Everyone, including children and the elderly, can be encouraged to participate.
  2. Inform
    At the meeting, welcome everyone and invite them to have something to eat or drink before settling down. Take a few minutes for introductions. Discuss people's questions and concerns.
  3. Inventory
    Identify those in the neighborhood who are vulnerable (sick, elderly, pregnant, disabled). Discuss how the neighborhood can watch out for these individuals in the event their friends and relatives can't reach them. Next, learn your neighbors' skills. Who is a doctor, nurse, plumber, carpenter, mechanic, electrician, teacher, etc. Ask people to list their skill on a neighborhood skills inventory form, and then distribute it to everyone in the neighborhood.
  4. Individualize
    Make sure everyone is aware of basic personal preparedness guidelines suggested by FEMA and the Red Cross. The more individuals and families are prepared, the better shape your neighborhood will be in. Set additional meetings to work through the details.
  5. Inspire
    As your neighborhood's team leader, keep a positive can-do attitude and keep people motivated to work together to prepare. Learn about how to build your neighborhood team.

More Ideas
For more ideas on how to organize your neighborhood and help your community before disasters strike, contact the Merriam Fire Department at 913.322.5530.