The Do 1 Thing site won the Awareness to Action category of FEMA’s 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. It’s a 12-month program of small steps that you can take to increase your personal and household preparedness. Throughout 2015, DEM will feature Do 1 Thing items during our weekly blog post series of One Thing Wednesdays. Check back here every week for a new preparedness activity or tip!
Managing emergencies response requires more than just police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel. Citizens who are committed to their community’s well-being are critical in every stage of a disaster, from preparations before the event to the weeks or months of recovery. For August, we’re looking at ways you can get involved to make your own community more resilient – and to acquire connections and skills that will make your own household more prepared.
Isolation makes individuals more vulnerable to a disaster’s effects and aftermath. Both physical hazards and emotional factors can take their toll, and individuals who live alone or have few social connections are less likely to ask for help or follow emergency instructions. Evacuation or escape may be difficult or impossible for people with disabilities. Those with limited English proficiency can have difficulty understanding emergency instructions.
Today’s Do 1 Thing action can be scary for the introverts among us, but it’s still worth doing. Take the time to meet your neighbors. Learn who may be isolated, help them prepare for emergencies, and make checking on them a part of your own emergency plan.
If you want to take this a step further, a neighborhood watch group is an excellent framework for mutual support – and not just in disaster situations. To find out if your neighborhood has an active watch, or to get more information on organizing one, contact the Lexington Police Department’s Community Services Section.