Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Lugon's challenge

Loyal reader/commenter and Flu Wiki stalwart lugon has issued a challenge that is worth taking up. "Revere," he asked, "please do start a competition among bloggers with the theme: what should be the elements for community preparedness?" Lugon goes on to make a suggestion for a letter to neighbors he has posted over at The Flu Wiki.

There are a lot of possibilities, here, since there are many things that can be done. So I will start us off with the understanding this isn't either the most important or the most urgent idea, just an example.

There are many older citizens who live alone and depend on their children (often in their fifties or sixties themselves) to get them groceries, pick up their prescriptions and make sure they are OK. What if these caregivers get sick and cannot do these things anymore? There may be a lot of clever solutions to this problem. Let me advance a simple-minded one with the hope someone can do better.

A social service agency (Visiting Nurses, Red Cross, charitable/church group or just some enterprising community members) could organize a roster of volunteers and a place to register someone needing care or a number where a caregiver could call in the event they were incapacitated. This would be a well-publicized contact point supported by protocols for doing the most frequent and urgent tasks in the event of need. For this to work it would have to be organized ahead of time and sufficient publicity be given so it could be employed in a timely and efficient way. Nothing fancy, just mobilizing the community to meet a foreseeable need.

Now it's your turn. Use the Comments.