Monday, February 9, 2009

Systems for Individual and Community Calamity Response

Session Topic:

Systems for Individual and Community Calamity Response
Name of convener:
Lynda Connor
Brent Summerville, Travis Thompson, Nita Obrien, Ellie Lyne, Ron Redmon, Sam Zimmerman

Main points from the conversation:
We feel we have a general lack of preparedness for major calamities such as longer term fuel
shortages, grid failure, major natural events: floods, snow, storms, wind, ice.
Some individuals are resilient already (campers, they have the skills, tools and supplies) but some are not ready at all (elderly, just not prepared).
We need both self and community assessments.
Community assessements involve identifying sources of water (springs), lists of elderly people or
people in need (churches may have this), food resources, people with tools, skills, chainsaws,
generators, solar/wind with battery storage, 4wd equipment...
How do we prioritize help - triage?
Firehouses are central - could be source of info, supplies
Need to setup a plan, much like a fire escape plan in a house, where does the community gather, is there a list of the community assessment?
Analogy: airplanes are ready for a crash, they talk about it and educate the people, even though it is an uncomfortable thought, you have to plan for such an emergency. We need to educate the
community and be ready for major calamities, even though this is an uncomfortable subject.
Communication - before the calamity, use newspaper, radio, craigs list, rays weather for education and to pubicize community meetings for assessments, planning, education.
Plan for AM radio as a possible emergency communication tool after calamity - generator for
WATA? Crank radios at households?
We had a gentle warning with the gas shortage - we realize that even the gas station attendants
need a plan for how to handle the gas lines, a plan will help minimize the craziness.
Brent is going to Turtle Island, Eustace is pretty ready for this.

Action steps:
Meet with local officials to learn about existing emergency preparedness systems.
Educate public on findings (existing systems and plans)
Provide a handbook to the community
Help folks perform self-assessments of preparedness
Help communities do community assessments
Apply for federal funding for demo/pilot project of community preparedness
Identify gaps in the system and address them

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