A resilient community is where people know each other, are connected and involved, and have a strong sense of community pride. Knowing who your neighbours are, being involved in your local community groups and events, and being committed to your community will make you someone most likely to both cope well during an emergency event, and bounce back afterwards.
Here are some ways to be involved in your community:
We all belong to different groups due to our individual interests and circumstances. These groups are known as communities of interest. Examples include:
In an emergency you may also help others within these communities, as well as in your local neighbourhood.
We all need to prepare for emergencies. If you’re an older adult, or have older family members, friends or neighbours, there are a few extra things you may like to consider.
Create a plan, with yourself in mind. The first step in preparing for an emergency is creating a plan that suits you. You may have thought about the support you would provide to others, such as looking after young grandchildren, but have you considered whether you'll need extra support? Talk to your family, friends and neighbours, and make a plan that considers your needs.
Pack a grab-and-go bag in case you need to leave in a hurry. Keep it simple with water, food, warm clothing, and a battery-powered torch and radio. Store any essential medication in there, too.
Get supplies for your home– but make sure you can manage them. After an emergency, you may not have access to clean water. Make sure you’re prepared to be stuck at home with your own supply of food, water, medication and other items to last at least three days.
Can you manage your emergency supplies on your own? You might have a 10-litre bottle of water that you can’t lift, or fiddly screw-tops you can’t open. Emergency supplies are only good if they’re manageable.
Do you have a cupboard full of canned food? This used to be the norm for emergency food supplies, but you can keep the things you ordinarily eat on hand instead. You don’t have to stockpile canned or packet food.
Consider your needs. Do you take regular medication? Do you have any aids? Make sure you include these in your emergency kits, including equipment and supplies such as hearing aid batteries, and your prescription names and dosages. Get your repeat prescriptions ahead of time – don’t wait until you run out. It can be hard to fill scripts after an emergency. Write down your regular medications in your emergency plan.
Older people are more likely to have pets. Make sure you include your pets in your emergency plans – they need help, too. Make sure you’ve got enough food and water for them, and microchipping them is a good idea if you haven’t already. A microchip gives your pet the best chance of being reunited with you if they get lost in an emergency.
Connect with your community. How well do you know your neighbours? More and more research shows the communities that recover best from emergencies are those that have good social networks.
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