Preparation and Community
With problems piling up and the government apparently unable to help, many communities across the nation are turning inward for solutions. To disengage from dependency on outside resources and agencies, communities have begun to pool resources, develop local capabilities, and police themselves.
Many people, seeing how unprepared society is for a prolonged crisis, are starting to make life changes to help themselves improve the future. Community networks are bringing together the expertise of their members to share ideas, goods, and skills to lessen the effects of the crisis and keep chaos at bay.
Part 1: Set the Stage
Part 2: Take Action
- Watch Kal's "Small town Shortage" video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP_C_Sn66yM
- If you could not rely upon the government, what could your community accomplish? Create a list of potential ways your community could survive an oil shortage. In what ways might your community come up short? Review the following WWO posts for inspiration:
Part 3: Lesson Activity
Part 4: Reflect
- Browse FEMA's "Are You Ready?" web site:
Answer the following:
- What makes a good emergency preparedness plan?
- What level of planning is the responsibility of the individual? Community? Government?
- Some areas have developed strategies to address potential problems, but at this time (March 2008) few have addressed in depth the possibility of an oil shortage. Portland, Oregon, stands out as an exception. Have students review this "Portland establishes task force on peak oil" article:
Could this be a model for the rest of the nation?
- Create an outline for a personal and community-based emergency plan. The outline should include:
- Tasks they as individuals need to take to be ready
- A list of potential problems that their area might face, and specific issues these problems may cause
- Basic needs and amenities that would be affected by potential problems
- A list of responsibilities of local offices and groups
During a crisis, being properly prepared for an emergency can make all the difference. The same can be said for having a strong network of friends and families that can face a difficult situation together. For this lesson, student reflections should focus on the following questions:
- How prepared were you for an oil crisis? Your family? How prepared was your immediate community?
- Who do you have to turn to? How have those people responded?
- What has your community done to in order to limit suffering and other long-term problems?
Part 5: Take It Further
Being prepared appears to have made a big difference for individuals during this crisis. For others, working together in small and large communities is opening a way to collectively cope and move forward. For today's challenge try one or more of the following ideas:
- Explore your community - take pictures or video of your surroundings, interview your neighbors, and assess your community's ability to handle an emergency.
- Create your own personal emergency kit - using the FEMA or other local resources, stock an emergency kit at your home. Use photos or video to show what's in it.
- Try and find your town's, city's, or county's emergency preparedness plan. How readily can you obtain a copy? Read and assess the plan. Do you think your area is being pro-active enough? Why or why not?
As with all of the challenges, post your findings on your blog. If you can, add photographs, drawings, or video!