Don’t just sit there. Do something.

By that I mean get ready for a disaster. Today is “Do Something Day” put on by the Berkeley Disaster Prep Neighborhood Network. The group is encouraging Berkeley residents to take time from 9 am to noon to prepare for our next natural disaster.

From their website:

We are asking that all of you do SOMETHING to prepare yourself, your family, your neighborhood to respond to an earthquake. It does not need to be extensive — although it can be if so desired — but get started with some kind of progress toward better preparedness.

So….what can you do as an individual or household?

  • Discuss a plan for how to communicate or work together within your household during a disaster
  • Establish an out-of-the-area, preferably an out-of-state, contact person who can report your situation to others during a disaster
  • Start a household supply list or buy some additional supplies for dealing with a disaster
  • Check into CERT or first aid classes that are available for you to take

What can we as a block or neighborhood do on this day to better prepare ourselves?

  • Call a group meeting and ask attendees to start thinking about disaster preparedness OR collaborate with your neighbors to start a group if you don’t already have one
  • Re-energize your block group by updating your neighborhood emergency contact list or starting one
  • Start a neighborhood cache of needed neighborhood supplies OR inventory what you have already and make sure everything is up to date and working
  • Practice using supplies you have in the group cache: turn on the generator, check the flashlights, practice with the walkie-talkies
  • Have a practice drill to test neighborhood response to a disaster OR inventory which people on your block have special skills useful in a disaster (medical training, CPR, search and rescue work)
  • Run a scalable drill based on the Oakland drill materials

Don’t just sit there. Do something!

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...