Re: Request for Coho Emergency Response Plans & Protocols
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2010 17:59:32 -0700 (PDT)
RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA. Our likely emergencies are earthquake and prolonged power outage, like in a winter storm. There has been lots of local Emergency Preparedness awareness, with many workshops, literature, etc, in our town. A couple of years ago we had a few people here as an EP task force. We attempted to do an educational unit of some sort each month. Did it a few times, but it kind of fizzled out. Things that did get done:

a) Each family wrote up instructions for locating the shutoffs in their house (our units are all different): power, water, propane. These are kept in a binder at the Common House. We did an exercise at the outset in which small neighborhood groups toured each other's houses and showed each other the shutoffs. One group located the shutoffs for the common house and reported back to the group.

b) Another binder has emergency contact info for as many families as keep it up to date. Not just disaster focus. Simply, to put it bluntly, "if we find everyone in your household is dead or not communicating, whom should we notify??" So family members elsewhere, for instance.

c) We located a nice $20 first aid kit sold by the local Red Cross (in a red zip pouch) and took orders for many who decided to buy one or more for car(s), home, etc.

d) We started a collection of stuff for community use in an emergency -- some hard hats, some medical stuff, some tools, food, etc. Stored in a shed.

e) We realize that, planned for or not, our common house would likely be a neighborhood gathering place, not just for us but for neighbors. Earthquake is the most likely situation, and we were advised that we should have good maps of the neighborhood, flashlights (we got a bunch of wind-ups), clipboards, pens: when people show up give them an assignment: "Here, take this and go check on 4332 Spring Street and report back." Be prepared to be an information clearing house for the neighborhood.

f) As we already have propane tanks at many of our houses, it was suggested we get a propane-fuelled generator, but we haven't yet researched that. When our common house was built, we invested in the slight extra cost of having the electrical box have a "transfer switch" so a generator CAN be used.
Our common house kitchen has a gas range, as do a number of our homes.

g) We have a well for our agricultural water (though City water for our homes). We installed a supplementary hand pump for the well so that we can get water out of it even if the electric pump is off. We also have a Big Berkey gravity-feed drinking water filter.

Maraiah Lynn at RoseWind Cohousing
lilacs, tulips, rosemary in bloom; shirtsleeve sunny with a cool breeze

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