Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and floods strike communities every year, injuring and displacing thousands. A plan and an emergency kit are important, but they only go so far. Ideally, your whole community should be ready, and if you don’t think it is, here’s how you can help make sure.

Organizing your neighbors with a plan in case the worst happens is no simple feat. It’s difficult enough for most of us to plan for our own families, much less a dozen in our building or on our block. So how do you do it?

We spoke to Mitch Stripling, the assistant commissioner of Agency Preparedness and Response for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the co-host of “Dukes of Hazards: The Emergency Management Podcast,” about the best ways to get everyone in your area aware and prepared for the types of disasters that are most likely to impact your community.

Why you should bother

It may seem like an impossible task, but reaching out to strangers in your community and persuading them that you should help one another in case of an emergency really isn’t as difficult as it might seem. After all, it’s something we naturally do, Mr. Stripling explained.

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