Step 3 - Scout Your Area
What Are the Dangers Your Community Faces?
In the previous 2 steps, we took the time to figure out a defined area for your disaster plan to cover, then looked at the people who lived in the area and tried to determine what their needs could be during a disaster. We also reached out to the community to identify and recruit possible leaders: those people who have had the training and experience to assist and guide neighbors in the event of an emergency.
Now we have to get serious about the possibilities of threats and risks to our community; in other words, what sort of disasters or emergencies might be experience in our neighborhood, given our landscape, location, weather, etc.? Let's take a moment to identify possible threats.
Examples of Possible Orange County Emergencies
Here are some examples of what Orange County could be susceptible to in terms of disaster threats:
- Fires - During extremely dry weather conditions there is a high risk of wildfires, but they can occur any time. Wildfires can break out from hot cars parked on dry grass, faulty gas lines, electrical malfunctions and countless other ways.
- Flooding - This particularly affects low-lying area, but heavy rains or even a burst water main could cause severe water damage anywhere.
- Utility interruption - Electricity, water and telephone service can all be cut off or unavailable for an extended period during a disaster.
- Disease outbreak - This threat may be more difficult to quantify, but consider how services could be disrupted or shut down with an epidemic outbreak of major proportions.
- Extreme heat, cold, or other weather - Severe weather conditions can be harmful to certain members of the public, such as older adults, young children, or people with chronic conditions or disabilities. Other weather hazards can affect an entire population, including lightning strikes, high winds, and hail storms.
- Terrorist attack - Highly populated areas or significant structures and facilities could be a potential target for an attack. Think about places such as shopping malls, government buildings, schools or transit hubs.
- Local hazards - Think of hazards specific to your neighborhood, such as natural gas pipelines, overhead electrical transmission lines, power plants, chemical storage, etc.
Remember, when considering disasters that could happen to your neighborhood, it's best to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.