What is the key to survival? Besides being well equipped with survival gear, research is now shining light on a new angle of preparedness. Political Scientist Daniel Aldrich found in his research that ambulances, fire trucks and government aid are not the main source for survival. This is because most emergency response takes too long and people die because they do not receive the help they so desperately need fast enough. However, there is something even more powerful at dire times besides help from officials. This type of help usually comes from your neighbors. It is very crucial that people make personal ties with members of their community because they will lend a helping hand when you need it most.
In the 2004 tsunami of India, Aldrich found that those who survived and recovered the quickest were people who knew the greatest amount of individuals in their community. It was not the ones who had the most money or power that succeeded in survival. People who know others in their community well know exactly who to turn to for whatever it is that they need. This is why it is so important to build good relationships with your neighbors. You never know when you are going to need help from them.
In Japan, when the 1995 earthquake hit, neighbors who knew where their other neighbors were asleep were able to quickly dig through the rubble and get to them on time. Neighbors helped save many lives before additional help arrived. Japanese government sees the importance of community building and they even fund a block party on government money to promote this idea.
What are some things you can do to create a better relationship with your neighbors without government funding? Be kind to your neighbors. Make sure to invite them to children’s parties. Offer baked goods, vegetables you grow in your garden or help around the yard when they need it. You can always offer services that you provide professionally at a discounted rate. Have small get-togethers whenever possible. Join community clubs and invite your neighborhood people. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. You will be surprised at how much you can learn from them before disaster strikes.
Another good tip is to let your neighbors know about survival gear. If you want to be a really generous neighbor, you can gift them a survival kit or a bug-out bag. You want all your neighbors to be just as prepared as you are. This way, when the time comes, you will know that their eye is not on your goods.
In this case we recommend that you get prepared by getting your neighbors prepared as well so that you can increase your chances of survival.
Shankar, V. (2012, September 18). The key to disaster survival? friends and neighbors. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2011/07/04/137526401/the-key-to-disaster-survival-friends-and-neighbors