PC-NET is a neighborhood-oriented approach to emergency preparedness. It is based on the belief that a cooperative effort between a community and its citizens is the only sure way to prepare for major disasters.
Major disasters stretch city resources to their limits. It is estimated that regular emergency services will be unable to respond to most calls during the first 72 hours following a major disaster, such as a severe earthquake. The number of people who will be needing help, and the inaccessibility of many neighborhoods due to damage and debris will prevent immediate aid.
If individuals and their neighborhoods are prepared to mutually assist each other during thee critical hours, lives can be saved, property can be spared, and emergency services can be freed to respond to the most devastated areas. PC-NET's overall purpose is to enable neighborhoods to be self sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours following a major disaster. This will be accomplished by:
- encouraging each individual and home to become personally prepared at home
- organizing block groups into seven disaster response teams:
- Block Coordination
- Damage Assessment
- First Aid
- Safety and Security
- Light Search and Rescue
- Sheltering and Special Needs
- utilizing the skills and knowledge the neighborhood currently possesses.
While the overall purpose of the PC-NET program is to teach neighborhoods self sufficiency during times of disaster, preparedness efforts must also focus on individuals and families in their homes. A city whose population is prepared at home will see a significant reduction in the need for police, fire and ambulance support.