A small team is a term we use when we discuss community emergency preparedness and response. Our basic philosophy is this. Emergencies are better dealt with in a group, preferably a group that is prepared and capable. We believe that in the end, we are responsible for the safety of our families.
Our organization encourages the development of small teams of 4-10 people. It is best practice to be as close to one another as possible. It can be a neighborhood or the same side of town. For our more rural areas, it may mean the same city or even just the same County. Being as close as possible to your team is crucial because you may not have power or cell service in an emergency. You may not even have a working vehicle. So if half your team is too far, it could be useless in certain circumstances.
Why 4-10 people?
Well, it’s more of a guideline than a rule. We say 4-10 people and if you get to 12, split in half. First, don’t let not having four people stop you from getting started. You and one other person are all you need. It can be a family member, a neighbor, a friend from work, or a friend you go shooting. Maybe it’s someone from church or the local bar. Our suggestion aside from that is to keep it in real life, stay away from people you only know online.
Once you reach 12 in your group, we encourage splitting in half. Doing this will help the localization of the teams. When it’s time to break in half, It needs to develop with this in mind.
After the split, the groups should be geographically tighter. These two teams then continue to work together in the broader network of mutual support.
Once you have found 1 or 2 people to start, we suggest meeting twice a month with the simple goal of expanding knowledge and capabilities within the team. We encourage focusing on these main categories.
• Medical/First Aid
• Food Storage/Logistical Supply
• Area Studies/Local Intelligence
These categories can be broken down into multiple facets and worked on for years. These categories can each be researched, broken down, and worked on twice a month. We encourage each team member to seek out training within these categories and bring it back to their team.
Once a team is growing, evolving emergency scenario drills should be developed and executed regularly. Your team should develop internal procedures during these scenario drills. After the scenario, internal protocols should be developed in detail and kept in a three-ring binder for future reference by the team and to also quickly bring new team members up to speed.
Our goal is to provide a network and standard that is available throughout Idaho.
Now that we have touched on what our teams should look like, let’s talk about what they are NOT. Small teams are not a militia. There are no ranks held or orders given. They are under no circumstance intended to take orders from an agency or elected officials. If you wish to take orders from the state, join the national guard. The prime directive of small teams is to develop centers around pledged mutual support and emergency preparedness. Small teams are not intended to be law enforcement or do the job of law enforcement. And finally, small teams are not designed to be offensive at any level.
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