After disasters or during other major emergencies, previous experiences have revealed that emergency services response can be delayed for over 72 hours. Demands on these services have been proven so great that many requests for help cannot be handled immediately. Access to phone, gas, water, and electrical services are likely cut off. During disaster situations, experience has also shown that neighbours naturally come together to help one another. Learning how to be prepared can be crucial.
What is a Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program?
When disaster strikes, it may take emergency responders some time to arrive as they attend to those in most critical need. The Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program (NEPP) is designed to help individuals and neighbours prepare to be self sufficient for an extended period of time. It is natural for neighbours to come together and to help one another during times of crisis. Learning how to be prepared can be crucial.
The purpose of the Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program (NEPP) is to ensure that Emergency Preparedness is well practiced in the area where it will be most effective – our communities, neighbourhoods and homes.
This is accomplished by providing information to which can assist neighbourhoods identify their local skills and resources to ensure they are more organized to effectively deal with a disaster.
How is a Neighbourhood defined?
A neighbourhood is defined in many ways: group of homes on a street, clump of homes in a closed-in area, pre-determined PODs. Metchosin has organized areas, streets and homes into groups called PODs.
NEPP during a Disaster or Emergency?
What your POD does during a disaster, or how involved and organized your individual POD is, depends on the participants. You can go to the extent of having Trained Skill Teams such as First Aid, Communications, Rescue, Inventories, Etc. These Skill Teams would train and be called to action during an event – or you can keep it low-key and simply focus on checking-in on fragile neighbours and ensuring everyone is safe. The extent to what you and your POD plan and prepare for – is up to you!
What are the Benefits of NEPP?
NEPP can assist you and your neighbours plan to become more resilient to disasters by:
- Identifying potential hazards and their impact
- The preparation of a neighbourhood response plan
- Learning what are your existing localized resources you can work with
- Promoting training in personal preparedness, first aid, damage assessment and more, and
- Learning how to report neighbourhood status to the Emergency Operations Centre.
The idea is to help each other in the event of an emergency, this can be as simple as keeping eyes and ears open to being more involved by taking courses to learn more about emergency programs.
Other benefits may include discounts on home insurance, free training and becoming more resilient to disasters.
Although many natural disasters cannot be prevented, we can mitigate their effects through preparation and neighbourhoods who are prepared are more likely to:
- Cope effectively during the event.
- Recover more quickly after the event.
If you are interested in participating in your local NEPP please contact Kathleen Sutherland or via email at NEPP@metchosin.ca.
Check out our new NEPP BROCHURE