by Board Member Michael Russelle

Nearly every week there are reports of emergencies around the nation — due to weather, wildfire, industrial accidents, derailments, civil unrest, and other causes. Are you ready to respond, to take care of yourself until help arrives?

An excellent source of information is the Ramsey County Emergency Preparedness and Management website ( There, you can find learn about the dangers, how to plan for them, and how to make a kit for sheltering in your home or car or for evacuating  ( With winter weather upon us, now is the right time to make sure your car kit is complete. 

As the website declares, “The disaster resiliency of our communities is directly tied to the preparedness of individuals, households and small businesses.”

We encourage you to develop and distribute phone and email contact lists of your nearby neighbors. Learn who is most likely to need help if the power goes out, if storms damage the building, or if smoke threatens their ability to breathe, for example. Who might need assistance getting food or medicine? Who might suffer because they have no air conditioning? Who might be willing to help you?

Neighborliness is necessary for community strength and resilience. If you doubt this, be inspired by the stories about neighborliness and resilience in Strong Towns, like this one (