Emergency Preparedness Resources
Unlike traditional environmental groups or green teams, the scope of Transition Town groups easily stretches to include practical actions like emergency preparedness, extreme weather preparedness and resilience.
Individual Action is an Easy Way to Start
Transition US is currently development a workbook, Ready Together: A Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Handbook, scheduled for release in 2020. Like Transition Streets, this workbook can be done by a family or with neighbors, providing step-by-step actions you can take to become more prepared. In the meantime, if you would like to begin taking action on personal preparedness, take a look at the preparedness email series on the Transition Longfellow website. They will guide you step by step in gathering resources and putting a plan in place.
You can also find classes on emergency preparedness offered through:
- MN Department of Public Safety
- CERT – Statewide Community Emergency Response Teams
- FEMA Preparedness website
- Peak Prosperity’s Crash Course and its website section PREPARE
- Red Cross First Aid training
- Coursera (an online university course)
These are great resources, but don’t forget your emotional needs. When faced with a crisis, emotional distress, fear and grief can make it difficult to take right action. Transition groups may create Inner Transition groups to explore these needs using resources from authors like Joanna Macy (Work that Reconnects and Active Hope), Sharon Astyk (Making Home), and Carolyn Baker (Collapsing Consciously).
While not specifically about emergency response, the book My Grandmothers’ Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by local therapist Resmaa Menakem, offers many simple, practical methods for emotional self-care for individuals as well as groups. It will be useful for all of us to gain a greater understanding of trauma and how people respond to trauma. If you have previously experienced trauma and find yourself reacting strongly to triggering situations, the exercises in that book may be particularly freeing for you.
Group Action Will Take Us Further
Don’t expect to prepare alone. Preparedness is a community effort. Get to know your neighbors and talk about preparedness together. If you’d like ideas for community engagement, contact Transition Twin Cities.
Faith communities can play a critical role in helping to build networks of caring, not just within their congregation but also radiating out into the community. This is an opportunity for practical outreach.
- Who in the neighborhood is particularly vulnerable? Who are the elders, people with medical concerns, people who don’t speak English?
- Do you know which of your neighbors has no air conditioning and might need a helping hand on an extreme heat day? Can someone check in with them?
Faith communities usually have buildings where people can gather in an emergency and staff who have experience meeting people experiencing difficult times in their lives. Are you prepared to welcome strangers who need immediate help?
Local businesses can step up during times of crisis in a variety of ways.
- A local clinic can offer classes on health impacts of climate change, like the Health Partners Como Clinic did in January 2019 when they hosted an evening workshop.
- Local stores can carry emergency supplies for sale.
- A local business with freezer space may offer to store food for homes or businesses that have lost power.
- A business with a generator may become home base for emergency organizing efforts.
Municipalities continually work on emergency preparedness as part of their everyday responsibilities. Usually that preparedness does not extend to “climate change” but several Minnesota Cities have begun such planning.
In St. Paul, the City worked with the Science Museum and several neighborhoods to help communities begin to think about climate change. These partners created a guidebook for St. Paul residents entitled Ready & Resilient: A Guide to Extreme Weather for St. Paul Residents. For another example of community planning, see also the City of Bloomington’s Community Based Emergency Preparedness Toolkit.
Does your township, municipality or neighborhood have a plan? If not, ask them to get started now, before it’s needed. Ask them how they will inform and include the public.
Realistically, our climate is going to continue to change for the rest of our lives. We are in this for the long haul. When repeated disasters drain state and federal funds, citizen networks of mutual aid will become increasingly important. Learn more about grassroots disaster relief efforts like Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, one possible model/partner for future preparedness work.
Who Can Help?
This list may not be complete. If there are organizations or companies you would like to see added, please email the webmaster to request consideration for inclusion. Resources found on this website are for informational purposes only and listing does not constitute endorsement. Transition Twin Cities does not receive any financial support from companies listed here.
|Ramsey County Community Emergency Response Team||This CERT program through the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office partners community members and emergency services personnel together to coordinate responses to catastrophic disasters. CERT provides a 9-week training course to prepare citizens to assist their neighbors in the event of disaster. Contact: Email: CERT@co.ramsey.mn.us , Phone: (651) 266-7333||Preparedness, Ramsey County, Resilience||preparedness ramsey-county resilience|
|Minneapolis Office of Emergency Management||Minneapolis’ Office of Emergency Management offers a ton of resources on what to do in the case of emergency or extreme weather, as well as resources to increase personal preparedness and resources for after an emergency such as how to navigate flood insurance. Many of these resources are available in …||Hennepin County, Preparedness, Resilience||hennepin-county preparedness resilience|
|Minnesota Department of Health Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response||The MDH Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response works to establish integrated preparedness, response, and recovery planning at state, local, and tribal levels. Their website has resources on personal/family preparedness, preparedness regarding public health, among other information. Contact: Phone: (651) 201-5700 , Online Contact Form: https://survey.vovici.com/se/56206EE31CB50E82||Preparedness, Resilience||preparedness resilience|
|The American Red Cross Minnesota Region||The Red Cross works with volunteers to prepare Minnesotans for disasters as well as respond with disaster relief when crisis does strike. Red Cross seeks to strengthen communities by improving community preparedness. Contact: Phone for General Inquiry: (612) 871-7676 , Phone to get help: (612) 871-7676||Preparedness, Resilience||preparedness resilience|
|Metropolitan Council Local Planning Handbook||The Met Council has produced a Local Planning Handbook to help communities update their local comprehensive plans in the areas of land use, transportation, water resources, parks and trails, housing, energy infrastructure, resilience, health, economy and social connection. See the workbook at https://metrocouncil.org/Handbook/Plan-Elements/Resilience.aspx||Climate Policy, County/City Plans, Energy Policy, Food Systems, Housing, Land Use, Metro-Wide Resource, Policy & Advocacy, Preparedness, Resilience, Transportation, Waste Reduction, Water Protection||climate-policy county-city-plans energy-policy food-systems affordable-sustainable-housing land-use metro-wide-resource policy-advocacy preparedness resilience transportation wastereduction water-protection climate energy food boost-natural-systems|
|Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy||The Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy’s mission is to ensure that communities and policy makers have the tools and information they need to create just, sustainable energy and environmental policy. CEED researches vulnerability to rising energy costs and the many reasons it is a greater burden in EJ communities. …||Climate, Climate Action, Climate Justice, Climate Policy, Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy, Preparedness||climate climate-action climate-justice climate-policy energy energy-advocacy energy-policy preparedness|
|Six Foundations for Building Community Resilience||Efforts to build community resilience often focus on growing the capacity to “bounce back” from disruptions, like those caused by climate change. But climate change is not the only crisis we face, nor is preparing for disruption the only way to build resilience. Truly robust community resilience should do more. It should engage …||Books/Videos, Preparedness, Resilience||books-videos preparedness resilience|
|Financial Literacy: Disaster Preparedness||Learn more about financial planning to deal with expected and unexpected emergencies, like a job loss or damage from extreme weather.||Preparedness||preparedness|
|Transition Longfellow Preparedness Emails||Be Prepared It is easier to make the right decisions when the worst happens if you have planned ahead. Transition Longfellow created an Emergency Preparedness Challenge providing weekly emails for 35 weeks to help members create their own preparedness plan and get resources in place. Transition Longfellow gave permission for …||Preparedness, Resilience||preparedness resilience|