Make Plans With Neighbors

A key to successful emergency preparedness is to not only prepare your family for an emergency but to organize a meeting with your neighbors to discuss how you can respond effectively to the needs of the neighborhood during a time of crisis.

Create a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Your Neighborhood
During a major emergency, first responders could be overburdened and might not be able to get to your neighborhood immediately. You and your neighbors may need to take initial actions to respond to the needs within your neighborhood and help one another until resources and first responders become available, possibly for the first 72 hours or longer.

Training is available through the Fire Department to help you learn response skills and how to organize a team. Take the initiative and form your Hi Neighbor CERT Neighborhood Team today. If you are interested in becoming a CERT volunteer, please fill out our online survey to sign up or email.

As part of the Community Emergency Response Team planning process, teams should conduct an inventory of the skills and resources available at home and in the neighborhood.
  • Identify people who have skills in the following areas:
    • Child care
    • Electrical
    • Firefighting
    • Leadership
    • Medical
    • Survival skills
  • Inventory available resources by identifying neighbors who own small tools and equipment such as, shovels or crowbars; have amateur radio licenses; four-wheel drive vehicles; motorcycles; generators and water purifiers.
  • Identify neighbors who are willing and able to be a runner/bicyclist to deliver messages if telephone lines are down.
Create an Emergency Kit
Creating a disaster preparedness kit will help you survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at minimum of 3 days. Consider special food and medical supplies for children, the elderly or pets. Local officials, first responders and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sanitation and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer.

Look through the emergency supply list for a list of supplies that you should keep on hand in case of an emergency.

Helpful Items For Emergency Tool Kit
In addition to water, food and other supplies that everyone needs to stock, members of the CERT Neighborhood team should store tools and other items in an easily accessible location. Create a list of what resources you and your neighbors agree to share in an emergency. Below is a brief list of items that will be useful during an emergency:
  • Whistle
  • Gloves and goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Tools: Adjustable wrenches, axes, crowbars
  • Hard hats and reflective vests
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Ropes