Emergency preparedness begins in the home, but how does one actually make a family emergency plan?
Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed a "how to" guide to help you prepare your family and your home. Visit the below website to get your family and home ready for the next emergency.
- Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
- Sign-up for the Village Blast Email System
- Sign-up for Alert Montgomery
The New Reality
There is no easy way to say it; 9-11 changed our lives.That day's events made us acknowledge the world is far different than we would like it to be. For us and the generations before us, emergency planning had been limited to seasonal sparring with Mother Nature facing rain, snow, high wind and related power outages.9-11 reshaped the environment.Today, emergency preparedness means planning for not just the normal assortment of natural phenomena but also for a host of unthinkable and unpredictable man-made disasters. Does dwelling on the situation do any good? No. Does accepting the reality and making the necessary basic preparations make sense? Yes.
Since 9-11, the American population has become uncomfortably aware of a whole host of potentially devastating event scenarios. Unlike the weather events where we know how to pick up the pieces, these new types of events are unfamiliar and we must develop new plans to endure them drawing, where practical, on our experience. Added to these man-made possibilities is the avian/bird flu potential with an entirely different range of impacts.
Institutionalized community and region-wide planning within Montgomery County is not new.The Village became involved with Montgomery County's Emergency Planning and Preparedness work in the 1990s when concerns were identified dubbed "Y2K" over potential wide-spread computer failures at the rollover from 1999 to 2000. That planning group and coordination effort has evolved over time and the Village staff, especially our Police Department, is included.
This summary's remainder focuses on preparedness addressing in sequence:
- What the Village has learned thus far in working with County and other officials
- What can reasonably be expected from the Village government
- What Village residents as individuals, families and neighbors must plan and be prepared to be responsible for on their own
What Should Residents Do?
Planning is essential. Click on the below link for specific preparedness information guidelines, lists, recommendations and general discussion on the planning process you and your family should put in place. The Village staff and the staffs of countless other governmental units will be constrained by the nature of the event in exactly the same way residents will be.
Village Resident Coordination
Planners across the country advocate the best way we can help our residents is to foster the development of support networks where assistance is provided by neighbors helping neighbors. Initial-stage aid will come in many forms ranging from simply relaying news and information, to providing refrigerator space for a neighbor's medicines, to providing 4-wheel-drive transportation when appropriate. Following the listing of web addresses and organizations for individual planning is a questionnaire we ask you to please complete.
The questionnaire will help us identify people across the Village with special training, education, skills or resources that, we would hope, could be drawn upon in times of need to help those nearby. We have the Village directory cross-referenced by name and address, but we would like to build a third cross-reference telling us who might be a registered nurse or who is a ham radio hobbyist or who has a generator and would be willing to store refrigerated medicines.