Neighborhood picnics cultivate preparedness through play | Local 20/20

Posted 8/1/22

As a rural community, our ability to respond to emergencies and recover from disaster is dependent on the networks and relationships we build in advance. Knowing where and how to connect to …

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Neighborhood picnics cultivate preparedness through play | Local 20/20

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As a rural community, our ability to respond to emergencies and recover from disaster is dependent on the networks and relationships we build in advance. Knowing where and how to connect to information and resources before a crisis is key. 

The 10th annual All County Picnic — a collaborative effort of The Production Alliance, Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management, and Local 20/20’s NPREP Action Group – invites East Jefferson County to celebrate community resilience on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21. 

Preparedness Presentations

A cornerstone of the All County Picnic is the opportunity for attendees to engage civic and community leaders from Jefferson County’s network of public health and safety professionals.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at HJ Carroll Park’s Rotary Pavilion, all are encouraged to attend the robust series of preparedness, response, and recovery presentations offered by the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management, Local 20/20’s Neighborhood Preparedness Action Group, East Jefferson Fire & Rescue, Jefferson County Public Utility District No. 1, and emergency broadcast teams from KPTZ 91.9FM and KROH 91.1FM. 

Community Points of Distribution

Community Points of Distribution (CPODs) are sites where the public can pick-up life-sustaining emergency relief supplies following a disaster, and may also be utilized as emergency evacuation points. 

In 2020, All County Picnic began incorporating CPOD Training Exercises into our annual tradition of distributing free corn on the cob to picnickers. This practice has become a playful and practical way for residents to practice identifying and traveling to their nearest CPOD to receive critical information along with “emergency” rations of delicious sweet corn.

To register your “Picnic in Place” and sign-up for Go Bags, visit www.allcountypicnic.com. 

“Picnic in Place” 

Another poignant practice brought to fruition by the COVID-19 pandemic, are the “Picnic in Place” neighborhood gatherings. Because preparedness planning is critical but it doesn’t have to be cumbersome or intimidating! And what better way to share lessons learned these last three years than to throw a neighborhood picnic or block party?

Now part of the All County Picnic traditions, “Picnic in Place” gatherings will be held county-wide on Sunday, Aug. 21. To learn more about your neighborhood network and if there’s an event to join near you, visit Local 20/20’s Neighborhood Preparedness page at L2020.org.

Events & Activities for All-Ages

Summertime is a perfect time to revisit time-honored traditions that bring together all-ages, encourage relationship building, and create joy. 

Here are just a few ideas:

“Map Your Neighborhood” (Toolkits available at L2020.org);

Walking and biking tours;

Scavenger hunts and lawn games;

Live music or performances by local artists;

Buy nothing booths for swapping household goods, tools, and toys;

Many hands making light work of a neighborhood clean-up or beautification project; and

Outdoor movie night.

For more information about booking entertainment, inviting local leaders and first responders, and resources for planning and permitting your picnic, visit allcountypicnic.org. 

Plan, Prepare, Practice 

While neighbors are gathered it’s a great time to review the skills and resources that individuals and households have to share in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

The more we know about our own capabilities and needs, and that of our neighbors, in advance of a crisis, the better we are able to respond and recover. 

(Megan Claflin is the director of development for The Production Alliance, a Jefferson County nonprofit organization whose mission is to build community through celebration.)

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