I’m a news junkie. I’ve been watching a lot of news following the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. I see all of the downed trees, and debris everywhere, and wonder if there isn’t some way to organize neighborhoods to work together to get things cleaned up.
I haven’t worked out details, so I’m sure there are reasons this wouldn’t work (most notably it’s nearly impossible to get people to work together), but here’s an idea.
Each block of homes should create a team. On each team, there would be people with specific job responsibilities based on their abilities. Someone in almost any neighborhood with trees is going to have a chainsaw. There will be folks with pickup trucks. There will be people who can cook and clean and do laundry. There are people with ladders, and other tools. Even people who think they don’t have anything to contribute could watch the children of others who can be outside working on clean up.
People could be trained to check for gas leaks and down electrical wires. This could free up the utility companies to work just where they are needed.
One person could take responsibility for notifying the utilities of downed wires. This would limit the number of people trying to call the different places, and keep from overloading the phone lines, leaving them open for real emergencies.
People could be trained in first aid and triage so they would be able to help their neighbors with minor injuries, keeping unnecessary calls to 911 under control, and allow hospital emergency rooms to deal with true emergencies.
I’m just starting to put these thoughts together, so I’m sure I’ll come up with more, but I wanted to put this down as a starting point.