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Ohio Emergency Management Agency

National Preparedness Month

Plan to Help Your Neighbor & Community

Help Your Neighbor

Whether you just moved into your neighborhood a week ago or have lived there for 25 years, getting to know your neighbors has always been an important part of a functioning society. It can also be helpful in a crisis, because after a disaster occurs, the people in closest proximity to you – and the people who will be able to help you most immediately – are your neighbors.

They may need your help, as well. FEMA research has shown that people often are not as prepared for disasters as they think they are. Forty percent of survey respondents said they did not have household plans in the event of an emergency. Almost 20 percent of those surveyed said they had a functional disability that would affect their ability to respond during a disaster, but only 25 percent of those people have made arrangements to, or alerted others to their disability, in case of an event.

There are several ways to find out what you can do to help. If you live in an area that is prone to disaster events or has had them recently, you can simply ask your neighbors how they dealt with the previous incidents.

You can also organize your neighbors with the help of local service groups such as Citizen Corps Councils, Neighborhood Watch teams, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), and/or local fire and police departments and emergency management agencies. Their input can help you figure out our neighborhood’s biggest needs.

FEMA also recommends hosting meetings with family, friends and neighbors to plan service projects, set service goals and learn about existing local emergency response plans.

Consider downloading the free private social network app, Nextdoor. The Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) partnered with Nextdoor in July to improve statewide communications and safety by connecting with residents on a hyper-local level. By using Nextdoor, ODPS and Nextdoor neighborhoods are able to work together to improve safety related to emergency preparedness, strengthen community engagement, and better prepare fore, mitigate and recover from emergency situations.

FEMA’s Community Preparedness Toolkit

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