Thursday, October 15, 2015

Book Review: The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook

Last week I had Scott Finazzo, author of "The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook" on the 7 P's Of Survival Radio Show (Listen to that show HERE- LINK). I thought I would follow that conversation up with a little additional information about the book and why I think it is a great book for anyone to add to their library, especially anyone involved in a Civilian Emergency Response Team (CERT). I taught one of the first CERT team classes hear in West Virginia and have been a proponent of the concept ever since, Although CERT went to the wayside here in WV it was replaced by WV REDI which is a state wide initiative that is quite impressive. So why do I live this book? After reading this book I dug out my CERT Instructor manual and compared the two and found that this book contains most of the same information in a more user friendly format. I instantly thought that this book should have been the student manual for a CERT class with a supplemental work book that has a few additional pictures and setup like a field guide. So lets go through this book and review a few lessons learned from each chapter! If you haven't picked up a copy of this book you can get one by clicking the link below for less than $12.

Chapter 1-When Disaster Strikes: If you take nothing else away from this book take away what each first responders incident priorities should be: 1) Life Safety, 2) Incident Stabilization, and 3) Property Conservation. So what does that mean? Life safety first and foremost refers to you and all other potential first responders and then those you're trying to rescue. Incident Stabilization is quite simple, keep the incident from spreading beyond it initial destruction if reasonably safe to do so. Property Conservation refers to saving as much personal property as you can safely (i,e, if there was a tornado that blew a roof off a house, try to move all the savable property to a central location and cover with a tarp to preserve it until the owners can recover it.  This chapter also explores the incident command system and how to work within when responding along side first responders.
Chapter 2- Basic Disaster Procedures: This chapter talks more about personal preparedness and preparing your home for disaster as opposed to responding to help others after an incident. This is particularly important as you can't help anyone else without knowing your family is safe and your home is OK. Just think back to Katrina when so many fire/ems/police officers didn't report to work simply because they needed to ensure that their family's were safe before they took care of others. Working in an area torn by a natural disaster/terrorism/war/etc. isn't child's play and is extremely dangerous, compound that with being distracted thinking about your family and you are more likely to become injured as opposed to helping anyone.
Chapter 3- Fire: If you have any experience with firefighting this chapter will take you back to memories of Firefighter 1 or your first day at the Fire Academy. On the show Scott and I (both second generation firefighters) reflected on a few memories that this chapter evoked for us from the start of our careers. This chapter introduces you to the fire tetrahedron (formerly fire triangle), basic firefighting principals, fire extinguishers and hazardous materials. If you didn't listen to the show yet check it out as during this section of the show I share a few applications for you phone (Wiser and DOT Guidebook) that can help you identify hazardous materials and a fun game you can play to learn how to identify these hazardous materials.
Chapter 4- Light Search & Rescue: As a member of WV-TF1 (State Structural Collapse Team) this chapter made me smile. My favorite part of teaching CERT classes was showing how hand tools could be used to effect light structural collapse rescue (closely followed by fire extinguisher training). This chapters explains where you can find potential patients in need of rescue following a structural collapse, how to get to them and various ways to carry them out of danger. During the live show I talked about the utility tool we gave to all CERT team members (You can buy one HERE-LINK *** Now less than $6.00)
Chapter 5- Disaster Medical Operations: This chapter deals with the difficult topic of triage. When conducting triage you are often deciding who will live and who will die. Whenever resources are short and you simply can't help everyone the START Triage matrix will help you make those life and death decisions based on the current condition of all of your patients.
Chapter 6-  Disaster First Aid: First Aid/CPR is without a doubt one of the most in-demand skills post major disaster. There simply are not enough doctors/nurses/first responders to go around to care for thousands of patients at a time. Unfortunately, the emergency response system in this country is met to meet the regular demand of calls, when a major incident occurs more help must be called in which can delay care, sometime for hours or days. While this chapter will help you build a good first aid kit and deal with the life threatening Airway, Breathing and Circulation issues which are most likely to result in immediate death if not dealt with immediately. So read the chapter, build a kit and follow that up with taking a first aid/cpr class one weekend!

Chapter 7- Disaster Psychology: This chapter is dedicated to recognizing post-traumatic stress disorder signs and symptoms. While PTSD has been talked a lot more in the media post 9/11, there are still many who don't understand what it is or what to look for and this chapter could help you not only save a life but it could be someone who is close to you and not in a disaster. This book does a great job of looking into dealing with the stress of a major incident and preventing PTSD in many cases.

Chapter 8- Disaster Preparedness Networks: This chapter is dedicated to starting up your own preparedness group or CERT Team. The best advise I can give is to start by talking to your local emergency management agency, fire department, police department, EMS agency or search and rescue team as they can guide you to volunteer opportunities in your community. If you hit a road block there contact your state department of emergency management to see if there are any state sponsored programs available.

Need To Add To Your Survival Library? Try One Of These:

If you are interested in giving back to your community and volunteering post disaster or major incident I highly recommend you check out this as it provides the foundation for a civilian to operate with first responders. If you are a long-time first responder this may not be the book for you, but if you are planning to start a CERT team in your community you may want to look into using this book as a supplement to the FEMA CERT textbook.
Visit Us On Social Media: 
Consulting Company Website:
Have something outdoor/bushcraft/trapping/preparedness/hiking/camping/fishing/hunting related you want me to make a post about? Leave me a comment and I will see what I can do! As always feel free to leave your questions and comment below! Also if you enjoy the blog please vote for us on the following websites to help us reach a wider audience:
You are only able to vote once DAILY using this site! Currently we are just outside the top 20 on this site.  
  You are able to vote DAILY on this site! We are currently ranked # 2 on this

No comments:

Post a Comment