Quick resources for getting started with resiliency prep

Thanks again to the awesome folks at Code for America San Jose’ who invited us down to share the Resiliency Maps project. One of the questions we got: What are some basic resources for preparedess?

Here are a few to get you started. We focused on resources at a national level, although many communities (San Francisco, we’re looking at you) have an amazing array of offerings and it’s worth your time to search locally.

If you’re looking for something we don’t have or know something worthwhile to add, just drop us a line!

Guidelines suggest preparing enough supplies in your home for three days — here’s how to plan plus lists of what you may need to meet hazards from communicable diseases, earthquake, fire, severe storms,terrorism, tsunamis, earthquakes and fires.
You can also find out about how to set up a 72-hour site for your city with the code and content offered at sf72.org

Resilient workplace
Resources and planning for businesses.

Red Cross
Emergency planning
Survival Kit


Listed in order of time commitment
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a six-hour online version of community emergency response training. It is not considered a substitute for in-person CERT training (see below), but if you’re pressed for time or there’s nothing offered near you, check it out.

Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams
This six-hour online class provides an overview of the CERT role in disaster preparedness and response. It also covers what you will learn in other lessons about CERT organization and activities. Course materials available in English and Spanish here.

CERT Supplemental Training: The Incident Command System
Do you like filling out forms? Is paperwork your jam? This is for you! Hands down, this is the most tedious part of CERT training, but in a disaster situation the world will most reliably run on paper. And your legs as you sprint around the neighborhood.

Centers for Disease Control
The CDC has a wealth of online resources for coping with many aspects of disaster situations (psychology, children, homelessness, pets) available in multiple languages. Peruse them here.

In person
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area. The training covers basic disaster response skills, including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and triage. There are 2,700 of them nationwide, FEMA keeps a data base to find one near you 
(NB: The search function looks janky, try Googling your town or county + Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), many of them have websites.)

Books about resilience in general:
“The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong” [public library]
We’ve got a proper review of this in the works, but do check it out. It was written by Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation which has funded projects like 100 Resilient Cities. It’s an interesting/inspiring look about how communities around the world respond to various kinds of disruptions.

“We Fed an Island” see our post on this, definitely worth a read to better understand what actually happens after a hurricane.


Featured image via SF72.org

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