11.20.14 Wall Street Journal
If a devastating earthquake were to hit this city, local officials hope to deploy a new weapon: residents trained as emergency response teams to help neighborhoods fend for themselves until water and other services are restored.
“We need to be ready to go the distance, like five days,” said Daniel Homsey, director of the city’s Neighborhood Resilience program, which so far has organized volunteer teams in three communities.
This effort and other, less-formal ones across the nation come in response to severe natural disasters in recent years, which public-safety coordinators say have highlighted the inability of government agencies to respond immediately in certain situations. As a result, more Americans are being told they will have to rely on their own means to survive in the first hours or days following a catastrophe.