Disasters happen. They don’t happen often or everywhere, but it’s best to be ready when they do. With planning and preparation, you can make a difference. You can reduce a disaster’s impact on you, your family and your community.
To help you be ready, our Office of Emergency Management has released the Community Emergency Response Guide (CERG), a new, free resource to help you plan out what to do before, during and after a variety of potential disasters and emergencies. The guide includes checklists, templates and other key information to help you prepare for more than a dozen different natural hazards, human-caused hazards and “everyday” emergencies. The CERG is available for download and can also be viewed in hard-copy at county libraries and district supervisor offices.
The guide can help individuals and families prepare for disaster, but it also allows local communities to start a conversation. Whether you want to collaborate with your neighbors, your work colleagues, or your school and church communities, the CERG allows you to define your own network and become a local leader for preparedness.
“This guide will facilitate neighbors helping neighbors,” Braddock District Supervisor and Public Safety Committee Chair John Cook said at a press event announcing the CERG. “It doesn’t do any good if the person a block away has what you need but you don’t know about them and they don’t know about you. We’re tapping into Fairfax County’s tradition of volunteerism.”
Once you define your community, the CERG will help you identify critical needs within your own area. You will begin to identify leaders; discover functional needs of residents within your community; and recognize actions that need to be taken now before disaster strikes. Not quite sure where to begin? Then get your group together and request a workshop or presentation from county staff on the CERG and we’ll get you started.