3 Steps' Circles of Concern

3 Steps to Family & Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness a way for neighbors to help each other in times of emergency.  It not only helps families to prepare for personal emergencies, it also empowers neighbors to be more effective in helping each other in the minutes and hours after a neighborhood or community disaster--during the interval before professional help can arrive.  The three inner circles show the focus of concern of the 3 Steps plan.

Figure 3.  The 3 circles of concern of the 3 Steps to Family and Neighborhood Emergency Preparednessplan.

As Figure 3 shows, in a disaster-level emergency, professional assistance workers can provide help within days or weeks, but only your family, your next-door neighbors, and your neighborhood members can offer help within seconds, minutes, and hours.  The help of neighbors becomes important because typically many parents are separated from their children during the day and would not be available to provide needed help to their family members.  The 3 Steps program assumes that planning, preparing, and training neighbors to help each other during emergencies will be more reliable and more dependable than leaving the safety of loved ones to chance.

As shown in the inner circle, self and family are usually the only ones who can provide help within seconds.  In the next circle, next-door neighbors can typically provide help within minutes, especially if they have rescue training.  In the third circle, other neighborhood members who have special skills could provide help within hours.  The outer circle, where most existing emergency plans begin to kick-in, shows what the emergency professionals have told us: their help typically will not be available until days or weeks after a disaster-level emergency has occurred.

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