Disasters are major events that can strike anywhere and at any time. In a disaster, traditional 9-1-1 and first responder capabilities such as fire, police, medics and utility personnel will be overwhelmed and unable to immediately assist individuals.
Preparing your neighborhood is vital. Neighbors will likely be the first ones to offer you assistance. Neighbors that are prepared are more effective in their response to a disaster and have an increased capacity to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours after a disaster.
Knowing your neighbors can give you a critical advantage during an emergency. Good community relationships can help keep your family and neighborhood safe and simplify your family communication plan. Make arrangements with your neighbors to check on each other's homes and pets when traveling. Find out what specialized knowledge, skills, and equipment members of your community possess. Knowing what is available to you in the event of a disaster can make your response more effective.
Volunteer opportunities are available to assist in community emergency preparedness and response as well. These function to assist first responders and other agencies during disasters and large-scale emergencies.