I shared information with the Heights CERT group this week. As usual, I learned a lot from this group of volunteers who have trained themselves as first responders as well as community activists for emergency preparation. A few already had experience with caregiving or disabilities. Main pitch of our discussion was around how to meet a person with a disability and let communication give you clues to your assessment of what is needed. This lets you respond quickly in the correct manner. I stressed the importance of immediate post emergency care in keeping everyone together at the evacuation point or caring for persons who are hunkered down. There was a lot of interest in how to aid shut ins, and we discussed some of the ways to find shut ins and help them prepare for an emergency. I took with me a prototype of a booklet I am making for first responders, and the group made suggestions for improving it.
Perhaps your neighborhood has a C.E.R.T group: Community Emergency Response Team. They may be on the job and you never heard about them. They offer basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills. They train ordinary citizens to first take care of themselves, their families and home, and then, if possible to help their neighbors.