General Preparedness

Neighbor-to-neighbor outreach through volunteers is the key

People take action to prepare for disasters when they are convinced that the danger is real and that their friends, relatives, and neighbors believe the same thing. Native Americans and other aboriginal groups achieve this through oral traditions. For example, no lives were lost to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in native groups with strong oral traditions that taught instinctive evacuation after an earthquake. This "culture of preparedness" is best achieved by social networking, neighbor-to-neighbor outreach utilizing volunteers. When such networking occurs in a neighborhood, it can cause permanent change as neighbors get to know one another and feel a sense of community, leading to communal preparedness and response. This general approach is supported by research should be the centerpiece of the nation's outreach efforts. CERT is an excellent vehicle for this type of person-to-person outreach.

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Idea No. 78