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Your response does not need to be heroic or immediate. It simply needs to be helpful and not caught up in ego, politics, or legal considerations. Take care of the needs of your own family members first, so that they do not significantly burden the system. Team up with other families or neighbors to create a larger “family.” Be resourceful and flexible, so that you can better help your community.

For example, if water and electric resources are limited, flush less often, bathe less frequently, and be conservative with the use of electrical appliances.

Don’t be a self declared expert responder.  If there is no help, then help. But if there are organized efforts by the government or Red Cross, showing up without self sufficient gear, food, shelter and water or the right skills makes YOU part of the burden taking resources from those that really need it.  If you want to be n the front lines, train with the local Red Cross and get on the lists to be called to deploy. 

Remember, if you are prepared, you do not need to be worried or panicked. You are resilient, you are ready.

Be a leader, be patriotic, and be a Force for Health.

Tip List: Respond

  • Be prepared to personally assist as a volunteer with you skills. Take classes to improve your skills.
  • Join fire companies or ambulance services, or support these services in any way that you can.
  • Call you community policing officer at the Police Department and see if there is a Block Watch program or Community Emergency Response Team in your neighborhood.
  • Do not assume authorities are prepared to handle a particular emergency, or that they are aware of your availability for that emergency. Volunteer your services.
  • Make it easy for others to volunteer by organizing a response to emergencies. These emergencies can be an immediate or long-standing need.
  • Give generously, whether that means blood, money, or letters of support.
  • Do not be afraid to do routine tasks in order to free up more highly skilled people to do the dangerous or glamorous tasks. This is about helping others, not receiving medals or headlines.
  • Take on extra work to allow family members or co-workers to volunteer for the benefit of the community.
  • Be prepared to capture data on the injured and the rescuers for current care and future study purposes. 
  • Start today by writing to your local proactive service or utility agency with a letter of appreciation, and encourage others to do the same.
  • Be tolerant of others.
  • Pray and support your religious leaders and institutions.
  • Do not be afraid to show your patriotism.
  • Consider creating or utilizing various curriculum to better prepare for emergencies.
  • Ask your schools if they have implemented an updated on-line disaster planning and response manual that can be shared with first responders and authorities in emergency situations.