Disaster Preparedness Talk and General Meeting 8.12.'08

Ask anyone who attended tonight's LSCG meeting (Aug. 12th '08) - they'll tell you it was one of the most worthwhile meetings the group has ever had.

The reason mostly was Scott Montgomery, Recovery Chief for Sarasota County Emergency Management, who gave an informative overview of two kinds of preparedness for disaster that neighborhoods can choose to adopt. The first is neighborhood disatster planning, the second is CERT.

The county will train neighborhood volunteers to prepare in a common sense way for disasters: to look out for neighbors, to prepare for emergencies, to develop chains of command, communication, medical and other assistance, disaster assessment information and more, according to a customized plan developed by the neighborhood itself, said Montgomery.

With the CERT Program, the county offers 20 hours of training in first aid, triage, disaster assessment and search and rescue to neighborhood volunteers, who become the first-on-site eyes and ears of the county Emergency Operations Center.

Montgomery also recommended that every family have a personal disaster plan, and to be prepared with a disaster supply kit, which would include at least 7 days worth of food, water, medicine, cash and gas on hand, and a weather radio.

Click here for the 2008 Sarasota County storm shelter and evacuation route map.

After Scott's presentation, those present agreed to follow up with a newsletter report, and to make copies of the presentation CD available for anyone who wants one.

The Group also:

  • Voted to accept a $990. bid to landscape the front entrances at Mauna Loa and Westminster by Diffley and Daughters.
  • Agreed to have designated members look at the materials, costs and requirements for two projects that could be funded by the neighborhood grant: a pocket park at Hina, and a butterfly park at the end of Luzon. They are to report their findings at the next meeting.
  • Agreed to purchase meeting signs to alert residents to upcoming meetings.
  • Welcomed several volunteers to serve as interim chairpersons to chair future meetings until new officers are elected.
Update: A note on Citizens Patrol from Ted:
The chief crimefighting tool of a Citizens Patrol" or Neighborhood Watch" is its visibility. Sight of a vehicle with patrol signs either cruising the streets or stationary in one spot is a strong deterrent to the career criminal or the teenage vandal. They realize that the patrol members are only a cell phone call away from law enforcement. We all know of the tragic chain of events about two miles from here (on Lalani Drive in Colonial Woods) that cost a young man his life. I don't know if Colonial Woods has a neighborhood watch program. If they had, and the Patrol made an appearance, perhaps the "party crashers" would have been dissuaded from remaining, and the fatal fight not broken out. Or, had the party noise level kept increasing, a Sheriff's Deputy summoned by the patrol would have broken it up. Fellow Patrol members, when the call goes out for volunteers again, please consider the importance of the Patrol and try to devote at least one night a month to protecting Lake Sarasota.

Ted Cover
Citizens Patrol
Lake Sarasota Community Group


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