It has been proven that neighborhoods and communities that prepare together are more likely to recover and survive a disaster then those that don’t. In celebration of Earthquake Preparedness Month, here’s an example of one community that is doing just that, Lindberg Park.
About four years ago residents of Lindberg Park Neighborhood Watch decided that they needed to develop a community-based disaster program. They began by developing a disaster committee and then identifying what they thought would be most needed in their community. The first item on their list was disaster supplies.
The committee determined that they would need approximately $ 1,000 to buy disaster and medical supplies. Next step was to figure out how they would raise the money and where to store the supplies. They decided to fundraise by hosting seven garage sales and were able to raise $ 2,500. They also found a solution to storing all the supplies.
Step 2, they divided their neighborhood into blocks. They have 25 block captains and 25 alternate block captains that are responsible for walking their blocks after a disaster to determine where help or first aid is needed.
Step 3, they established a mode of communication using “walkie-talkie” radios and every year during the City’s Annual Disaster Drill, they practice their communications.
Step 4, they established “activation instructions” which is a one-page plan that outlines what everyone should do after an earthquake and is kept by everyone’s bed along with their “walkie talkies” and extra batteries.
Step 5, they established a network of medical professionals that live in Lindberg park and they created a disaster entertainement team that will provide support during a disaster like babysitting, staying with the injured and talking to them, running errants, etc.
Every year, Lindberg Park strives to practice and fine-tune their disaster plan. Last week at their monthly meeting in honor of Earthquake Preparedness month, they provided disaster training by setting up three “stations”. There was a CPR compression only station taught by the Culver City Fire Department, there was disaster plan/disaster supply station taught by Dr. Ira Diamond and Christine Parra, the City’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, and there was a first aid station taught by residents Tim Martinez and school nurse, Kathleen Lally-Arena. Attendees were divided up into three groups and assigned a station. Every 12 minutes, they would “call time” and the groups would rotate to the next station. The training was wonderful, highly informational and, a lot of fun!
Lindberg Park’s disaster plan was developed based upon assumptions that should a regional disaster occur, there could be a significant delay in help getting to them. They realized that they would rather be part of the solution then the problem and have taken matters into their own hands and have created a community of resililence!
For more information or questions about how you can help your community/neighborhood be prepared, feel free to contact Christine Parra at firstname.lastname@example.org.