National Weather Service

Comprehensive preparedness requires the whole community to participate and FEMA places tremendous value on communities that embrace a local “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” approach. Neighbors Helping Neighbors empowers community leaders to involve and educate individuals from their community about simple steps one can take to become more prepared.Forty-six percent of individuals expect to rely a great deal on people in their neighborhood for assistance within the first 72 hours after a disaster. When the whole community comes together to respond to and help recover from these emergencies – neighbor helping neighbor – we can often meet the needs of everyone.

The Neighbor Helping Neighbor approach seeks to support state, tribal and local agencies, civic organizations, faith-based groups and other community organizations that serve the whole community. FEMA works to provide these organizations with additional tools and preparedness training opportunities so they can become more prepared. This includesIndependent Study 909 – Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyoneand theCommunity Preparedness Toolkit.

Download the IS-909 Fact Sheet for more information(2-page PDF; 313 KB)

Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone

Cover of Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone Guide

FEMA’s IS-909 course and Preparedness Activities for Communities Everywhere tools support communities already engaged or interested becoming more prepared. To support new and existing neighborhood preparedness programs, Preparedness Activities for Communities Everywhere tools are comprised of 16 preparedness modules on topics ranging frompreparedness on a budget (6-page PDF)tofire extinguisher operation (8-page PDF)and specific topics such as disaster planning for a pet or service animal. Attending preparedness training is a step individuals can take to become better informed. As community leaders, the tools are designed for anyone to use in coordination with your local emergency preparedness partners to help better prepare those you serve for emergencies. The tools include:

  • A comprehensiveProgram Leaders guide (13-page PDF)and Independent Study Course for those just starting a neighborhood preparedness effort. The Program Leaders guide strongly encourages coordination, collaboration and communication with local government and existing preparedness programs before starting a new effort.
  • Afacilitator guide (127-page PDF)to assist the person who will lead the training, related presentation materials, and handouts for participants to use and keep.
  • Sixteen preparedness modules can be used standalone for training sessions as short as 15 minutes, or combined to create a comprehensive community training effort up to 2 hours at a time.
  • Preparedness Activities for Communities Everywhere modules are available inEnglish (127-page PDF)andSpanish (127-page PDF).

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...