Transitioning to a More Prepared Community
Minnesota has always been a place of weather extremes. You might think we’d be ready for anything. Some of us are but many of us really aren’t prepared for even commonplace weather and medical emergencies, much less the extreme weather events coming our way.
People engaged with Transition Towns often take time to learn about the kinds of weather emergencies their communities are likely to face. They may decide to create family emergency response plans, store emergency supplies for home and car, become part of a community emergency response team, and learn first aid skills.
While some might view this level of preparedness as reactionary, others see it as simply being responsible. There’s a reason airline flight attendants tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first. In an emergency situation, most people would rather be the person who can offer help than the person who needs help.
What’s Your Emergency Plan?
In 2018, Transition Longfellow created an emergency preparedness email series, outlining tasks that could be done each week so that by the end of a year, a family would be prepared for car emergencies, medical emergencies, extreme weather, food shortages and more. This email series, located on the Transition Longfellow website, is a great way to begin creating your household emergency response plan.
Help Your Community Get Prepared
Preparedness can’t truly be done alone. It takes a community to meet the needs of the community. We’re all in this together, although we don’t always know that until we’re put to the test.
Transition groups can help community members get to know one another before a crisis, which may make it easier to provide support and share resources when it’s actually needed. Here are a few things Transition groups have done in the Twin Cities around emergency preparedness:
- Hosted a study group on emergency preparedness, identifying the most likely emergencies a person or family could face and crafting a plan of action.
- Hosted an emergency preparedness fair to provide examples of a good first aid kit, car emergency kit, and go-bag.
- Hosted speakers on health and safety topics.
- Taught (or sponsored) a first aid class.
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Transition Twin Cities sends out a monthly newsletter listing local Transition-related activities and national webinars/trainings.
Preparedness is a Justice Issue
Read this moving piece by author Sharon Astyk on Resilience.com “Sometimes the Onion Isn’t All That Funny” and you’ll understand why preparedness and resilience are also justice issues.
Money and interest may dwindle before recovery is complete, leaving communities struggling. Gathering resources, building partnerships and helping people connect with one another can make a difference in meeting short-term needs and in longer-term recovery.