February 2014 home page

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Carol Kerridge | El Amigo Road

Staci Dixon installs a smoke alarm for her neighbor June Strasberg. Photo Carol Kerridge.  Click on image to enlarge.    

It might have been an obvious match to many people, but hey, many wonderful inventions take a while to hatch and evolve.

The plain and simple truth is that although many of us are somewhat aware of what we need to do if a disaster occurs, let’s be honest…lots of our residents are secretly embarrassed that they may need help should something disastrous occur in our town.

A new program sponsored by Del Mar Community Connections has been created to reach out to just those people in need. The NEST Program (Neighborhood Emergency Support Team) is helping to identify those who may need help and to match them with neighbors who can assist them in emergencies. Although the program is new, it is already obvious that the idea is catching on and several of our residents and their neighbors are feeling much more friendly and eager to watch out for each other.

If that weren’t enough, we are lucky to have an already existing lay first-responder program called CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). This program, sponsored by our Fire Department, trains residents to help out during disasters if first responders are overwhelmed or are unable to get to our neighborhoods.

By matching these two programs, we are hoping to create neighborhood networks to inform, teach, help provide confidence and reassurance, and actually give hands-on assistance to our residents who have mobility impairments prior to and during disasters. Tailored to our community needs, this project will help reduce confusion and panic, help to make the response provided by Emergency Services more efficient and organized, and help to save the use of public resources during disasters.

For more information for yourself or to reach out to help a neighbor, please call Del Mar Community Connections at 858 792-7565.

For more information on what you can do to prepare for a disaster, or what to do during a disaster, please check out our community based video, “Are You Ready ” on the Del Mar website www.delmar.ca.us/disasterpreparedness.



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