Ready Together: A Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Handbook

Getting Ready Together

In 2018, the United States saw multiple, unprecedented natural disasters, from the deadliest wildfire in California's history to the worst hurricane to hit the East Coast since 1969. Rain and mudslides hit wildfire-scarred areas of California, flattening homes, covering freeways, and claiming many lives. Flash flooding devastated Ellicott City, Maryland with residents scrambling to flee streets that turned into raging rivers from the eight inches of rain that fell in under one hour. By mid-2019, blizzards blanketed communities across North American, rapid snowmelts caused historic flooding, tornadoes ripped through an alarming number of communities, massive earthquakes shook Southern California and the 2019 hurricane and wildfire season is just getting underway.

How can we most effectively prepare for this “new normal” fueled by global climate change before the next round of super-charged calamities hit us right where we live? One essential strategy is to prepare our households and neighborhoods to respond in a collaborative and coordinated way. Transition US is currenlty collaborating with NewStories and Emergency Manager for the City of Renton’s Office of Emergency Management to develop a community preparedness program that is designed to help you and your community become "ready for anything." This program includes a new series of workshops and webinars and the centerpiece: ReadyTogether: A Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Handbook.

The Ready Together Project works like this:

  • A small cluster of near-neighbors come together over several sessions and work through a user-friendly handbook full of practical, low-cost and no-cost tips to help you and your household be more prepared for emergencies of any kind.  
  • The self-guided Ready Together Handbook contains sessions on the following topics and more: collecting essential supplies to have on-hand for emergencies, making "go-bags" for all members of your household (including pets) in case you need to evacuate, and developing emergency response plans so that in critical times you already have clear instructions in place. Perhaps more importantly, the very act of going through the Handbook together with neighbors builds up the social conditions so that in the event of an emergency, you will be much more likely to thrive. 
  • This Handbook will be supplemented by an Outreach Guide that you can use to rally your neighbors, a Facilitation Guide to help you have good meetings, and a Community of Practice (facilitated by Transition US) to provide additional, ongoing support for those facilitating Ready Together in their communities. 

The Ready Together Handbook and resources will be widely available in early 2020. Please provide your name and contact information on this form if you would like to be kept apprised of its release. We will not provide this information to any other parties.


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