Saturday, September 04, 2004

Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness notes

Willard Neighborhood Association's notes on

Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness Organization

  1. Introduction-

    a. Introduce facilitator(s) and have group introduce themselves

    b. Use Berkeley CERT Disaster Preparedness Handbook as model and reference (show copy)
    i. The “Neighborhood Organization” section is organized into 3 parts, we will cover the 1st section about how to best organize your immediate neighborhood and keep your group going.

    ii. We strongly recommend going through the entire CERT Handbook to gain real expertise in complete disaster preparedness.
    c. Remember, before you can assist the neighborhood, you must first, take care of your home and your family – see the CERT Handbook (and Home Safety Emergency Prep Guide?)

  2. Getting Started – Hopefully at this very meeting!

    a. Define “the immediate Neighborhood” and who will be included in the group. Don’t get too big! Use natural boundaries (line-of-sight, apartment buildings, central gathering spots, etc.) You should start small and can always expand.

    b. Once you have defined the group, the next step is collecting information:
    i. Make a “contact sheet” (CERT, pg. 44) or a “contact map” (Oregon / Regent Neighborhood)

    ii. Map the neighborhood and mark water, gas and electrical shut-offs as well as water spigots and hoses in case fire suppression is required. This is a great committee assignment and helps neighbors familiarize themselves with the neighborhood. You can get a copy of a map at the City of Berkeley Permit Center (CERT, pg. 45)

    iii. Collect Family Information from each neighbor – another great task for a “Leadership Committee” (CERT, pg. 46) and collect the “Skills and Equipment Checklist” (CERT, pg. 47).
  3. The next step – provide an overview. How does all this come together during a disaster?

    a. Look at the CERT handbook pg. 56 “Day of Disaster Checklist” note:
    i. After self assessment, hang a green/white/whatever agreed-upon color our
    front and proceed to designated gathering spot

    ii. After check in with coordinator(s) look at general information or special instructions posted on bulletin board

    iii. Proceed with pre-determined assignments (see section
    b. If you still have time and the energy, begin to determine who in the group might be willing to serve
    on various committees or perform these pre-determined assignments:
    i. Disaster Coordination / Block Captain(s) (CERT pg. 58)

    ii. Communications (CERT, pg. 59)

    iii. Search & Rescue (CERT, pg. 61) including:

    -----1. damage assessment
    -----2. security

    iv. Medical / 1st Aid (CERT, pg. 62)

    v. Fire Suppression (CERT, pg. 63)

    vi. Logistics including: (CERT, pg. 65)

    -----1. food / meals
    -----2. sanitation
    -----3. shelter
    -----4. child, elder, pet care
  4. If we get this far on the first meeting, we have done great! The next meeting needs to accomplish the following:

    a. Review roles of different Committees/Tasks and determine where “gaps” are with volunteers”

    b. Bring others into the meeting and educate them on the process so far

    c. Begin discussion, leading to consensus, on:
    i. Exact signal for letting neighbors know your home is okay

    ii. Location of designated gathering spot

    iii. Access to your homes –

    -----1. How aggressively will you allow neighbors to search and enter your property?

    -----2. Do you want to share keys to your homes?

    -----3. Are you comfortable having the “Committee” turn off your utilities

    iv. Group supplies –

    -----1. Are you willing to share personal supplies and tools?

    -----2. Do you want to collect funds to purchase group supplies?

    v. Security – how aggressive/tight do you want to make neighborhood security?

    vi. Does your neighborhood have special concerns that would impact you
    in a disaster?

    -----1. Alta Bates

    -----2. UC

    -----3. Traffic corridors

    -----4. Fire Stations

    -----5. Willard School/Park

    -----6. People’s Park
    d. Review the data you have collected since your first meeting

    e. Develop action items for your next meeting
  5. Long Range

    a. Make sure committees are “staffed” and information is updated as neighbors move in/out

    b. Consider adding a social event to further consolidate the neighborhood (like a block party)

    c. Participate in area-wide drills and keep current with local government (utilize the WNA!)