I am meeting tomorrow with the woman who manages the Columbia enewsletter to discuss organizing a core of people responsible for disaster response education and needs assessment in our neighborhood -- for example if someone is not mobile and would need help, or if someone is at work when a disaster hits and cannot get home to turn off gas, etc.
Further than the immediate response to a disaster, Transition Whatcom people who understand the grater need for self reliance in context of the "long emergency", have a unique chance now to educate our community about resillience and to help everyone reach toward more self reliance -- before the emergency.
I lived within miles of the 1989 Loma Prieta 6.9 earthquake epicenter in California. That quake happened during the opening game of the World Series, so a lot of people watched it hit the Bay Area. Images of the disaster are of the collapsed the Bay Bridge over 65 miles from the epicenter. Only a few people died in my town but the widespread damage to buildings (jumped foundations, destroyed chimneys, crushed all glass in houses) but devistation of buildings in downtown is still evident today and the story of the Japan quake brought back a flood of memories for me.
From that experience I know what the immediate response need is for neighborhoods, what people need to think about in preparation for the reaction to the shock that comes with earthquakes. Even if you live outside the predicted tsunami zone, or are far from an epicenter, our community will need to be prepared in the same way that we are endeavoring to be responsible for community self sufficiency.
This article calls out the Cascadia Subduction Zone as exactly like the one that created the 8.9 quake in Japan. http://www.npr.org/2011/03/12/134484951/Quake-Tsunami-Hit-Along-Sub...Please let me know if you are interested in getting involved disaster preparedness outreach in your neighborhood - and bring Transition Whatcom great ideas to this topic!
Let me know if you learn of something that goes beyond the city limits, and that brings neighbors together without having to pay for a fee-based workshop. The Rome Grange is located out here, off of Mt. Baker Hwy, and that would be a good setting for many rural & farming neighbors that are without any neighborhood group or local meeting cafe.
Let us know what you learn. You might also want to post info relevant on your neighborhood group- Transition Columbia group at- http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/transitioncolumbia
Yes, there is a lot you can do. The best thing might be for us to call a little briefing meeting for folks who would be willing to organize some educational short workshops with their neighbors.
There are a lot of resources, and I am working in the Columbia neighborhood with the woman who has been organizing such things for many years, in coordination with the Map Your Neighborhood project and the CERT training. She has a lot to offer and is willing to travel to spread the word.
Would you like to organize the Transition regions across the county for such a briefing? We could do it by planning event about 3 weeks out, and the meeting would take about 90 minutes.