Monday, March 23, 2015

March Challenge #23 Know Your Community

Your challenge today is to find out as much as you can about where you live.  You might think "I drive in my community every day...of course I know all about it" but there is probably more to learn.  Here's what you need to do:

  • Use Google Earth to check our your neighborhood and immediate area via satellite.  What do you see?  Parks you didn't know about?  Waterways you didn't know about?  Industry you didn't know about?
  • Walk around your neighborhood during a week day, during a weekend day, during a week night, and during a weekend night.  Neighborhoods can have varying activities during these different times.
  • See how many ways there is to evacuate your neighborhood and your town in the event of a disaster.  Pay attention to things that could block your way such as downed bridges and overpasses, known landslide areas, choke points in traffic, etc.
  • Find natural sources of water around your area (useful to know during a disaster).
  • Where are the woodlots, forests, places to hunt and places to fish near your neighborhood?
  • Are there dangerous places near your neighborhood (industrial plants, chemical plants, high crime areas, roads used by street racers, etc)?
  • Do you know your neighbors?  Who would be able to help you during an emergency?
  • Are there overland shortcuts (accessible by foot or bicycle, not on a roadway) you could take to get out of town, get from your home to the police department/fire department/hospital, get to a friend's house, get to the airport, etc.?
  • Practice walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation to get from your home to where you need to go (work, the store, etc).
  • Know where the railroad lines are in your community and where they go.
  • Where are the community shelter sites in your city?
  • Does you community have posted evacuation routes (these are usually found in tsunami-prone and flood-prone areas)?
  • What are the most likely types of natural disasters common to your area?
  • What are the most likely types of man-made disasters common to your areas (chemical plants, etc)?
  • Where could you find food in your community during a major disaster (stores, restaurants, shipping transfer stations, etc)?
  • Are there community groups you could join to learn some survival skills (hiking club, volunteer for Search and Rescue, HAM radio club, shooting ranges, etc)?
  • Do you know who your city, county, state, and federal politicians are?
  • Do you have pertinent community apps on your cell phone (newspaper, TV news stations, Department of Transportation, Department of Emergency Management, local and state police, local fire department, etc)?
  • Do you know of any foraging areas in your community (wild berries, wild nut trees, wild mushrooms, etc)?
The purpose here to to know everything about your neighborhood and could come in handy during a disaster.

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