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PrepTalks: "Our Changing World" In his PrepTalk, David Kaufman takes time to pause, step back, and absorb the big changes occurring across the globe. He explains the evolving trends, where they intersect, and how they will dictate the future of emergency management.
Kaufman is the Vice President and Director for Safety and Security at CNA, a non-profit organization that provides operational analysis to advance the safety and security of the United States. He has also served as the Associate Administrator for Policy, Program Analysis, and International Affairs at FEMA, and is a faculty member in Georgetown University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program.
Watch Video: The Challenge for Emergency Managers - David Kaufman
To be a force multiplier by empowering individuals, families, and communities with a pathway to prepare and survive disasters within a local Grass Roots bottom-up governance strategy approach.
The methods of action in Government and Organizations have spent billions of dollars for disaster preparedness and response, though time and again they are often unable, due to the scale and scope of the disaster, to deploy effectively and efficiently during critical survival periods of disasters, at various levels.
Regional Public and Private emergency response teams need to unite as a whole with a common plan for short and long-term disaster preparation and logistics to implement during times of diverse emergency needs. The challenges include many historically repeated threats such as economic collapse, natural or manmade disasters, pandemics, climate geoengineering, foreign adversaries and attacks from within our country.
There are many organizations on record that provide a humanitarian response to disasters. These public and private groups must draw together into a cohesive unit to accomplish the magnitude of the task that will be required. Should any of the above worse case scenarios happen again to the city of Houston or any other metropolitan area in the country, City, State, and Federal assistance agencies have made it clear that they are taxed to meet the needs. Note: During Hurricane Harvey and Irma, local emergency responders depended on help from the citizens because they did not have the resources available for the scale and circumstances of the disaster and could not arrive in time to assist many of the residents, and while many residents and other states and cities opened their hearts and homes, there was not enough manpower or transportation available to evacuate or to provide them with the basic supplies needed in a timely manner.
When such a disaster occurs anywhere along the Gulf Coast, or anywhere in the world, families, and communities need to be prepared to the best of their ability. During a large-scale disaster of any making, the governmental entities may not be able to respond quickly enough, or in large enough numbers to help every community. In the case of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), whether natural or man-made, we would revert to a Dark Age existence in a matter of moments as was witnessed in Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria. There would be limited or no computers, phones, transportation, or access to financial needs.
Concerned citizens and groups are recommended to prepare by having 3 to 6 months of supplies, including food, water, personal care items, pet supplies, medicines, baby items, tarps, tents, a means to cook off the grid and proper cooking equipment for such means (i.e. cast iron) and other implements that do not require electricity to operate. The list is extensive, and the purpose of the Strategic Action Plan is to assist as well as provide the operational and logistical structure to execute short to long term localized needs to react in the shortest timeline to the needs of their communities in times of crisis.
Personal and community preparedness should be taken into careful consideration when developing an action plan for families, pets and livestock: 1-3 weeks, 1-3 months, 3-6 months, 1+ years, depending on the duration, scope, and scale of different catastrophic events and their associated timelines.
An inventory of assets should be conducted to determine the required acquisition of needs. The inventory should include not only Supplies, and Equipment, but personnel, from the family level to the community level, listing the strengths and weaknesses of each for proper assignment according to duties that will be required to be fulfilled.
Zones should be established for localized community preparedness, which will include meet-up locations to execute the following: security, staging areas, storage, food preparation, tools, supplies, equipment, medical supplies, eye care, dental care for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
The ability to continue communications during any situation is of paramount importance. In addition to email, and phones, the community zones should include Ham radios and operators, as well as handheld two-way radios and CB radio capabilities.
The goal of the Strategic Action Plan is to be fully operational and Scalable within the 2018-2022 timeline and beyond.
The locations of the Zones will coincide with team locations as well as community density for reasons of staging needs and logistical distribution ability.
A look at the everyday natural world, the current political scene, the unrest, and financial insecurity are clearly visible and reason enough to start with. When considering the threats from terroristic elements and natural phenomena such as storms, earthquakes, meteors, fire, flood, and manmade disaster scenarios from localized situations, to massive solar EMP threats affecting the weak infrastructure of the electric grid, or a global financial crisis, makes it even more important, and urgent.
Grass Roots Bottom-Up Strategy Approach
Our recommendations include working with existing community team leaders, who will conduct the duties of implementation, preparation, and recovery in their immediate local areas for citizens. They should also address the communications options that these teams and community leaders will operate within. It is also recommended that each community assess the strengths and weaknesses within their local groups and that the results be reviewed to coordinate the needed positioning for their specific areas.
The time to prepare ourselves, our families and our communities are now.
Humanitarian response teams should not have to respond to the needs of their own members unless it is a dire unexpected need. Humanitarian response units need to be strong and resilient and know that their own short term and long term needs have been addressed and met, so their families are safe and protected to the best of their ability.