We can do better

I’m against not preparing for something we know will happen. "You can borrow my boat" worked for Harvey, but it's not a strategy we should rely on in the future. I’ve got an idea.

Like any major storm or terrorist event, Hurricane Harvey overloaded our first responders. Firefighters, constables, police, and paramedics worked full time and shoulder-to-shoulder with cooks, lawyers, and homemakers. It was beautiful and inspiring. It would bring tears to anyone’s eyes. We stopped being consumers. We stopped being republicans or democrats. Rednecks or city slickers.

We became citizens again.  Citizens.

It was entirely spur-of-the-moment. We organized based on the most pressing, immediate needs.  We found new cell phone apps to communicate. We realized (finally) that Google made it easy to plot map coordinates online. We found boats, medical skills and dry land. And, we did it fast.

If elected governor, I’ll organize a statewide effort to create citizen-led, neighborhood response teams that can assist first responders in the event of a major natural catastrophe or terrorist event. These teams will catalog their skill sets from medical training and languages spoken, to boats and chainsaws.  They’ll organize a leader, agree on a communications plan, perform annual training exercises and coordinate with local officials. When first responders become overloaded, they will be responsible for sending requests for emergency services to the appropriate neighborhood response team.

This is what a governor should do.

What do you think we should call these neighborhood response teams?

Send me a note.

Here is more of what I saw first hand: WBUR and People