Kara Shepard-Poat

Operations Manager

Kara Shepard-Poat

Operations Manager

Benefits of a Mutual Aid Pod

Aug 23, 2017 | Skillshares

Over the weekend, Joshua hosted our local Mutual Aid Pod Meetup in his beautiful backyard in Bellingham. After a potluck dinner and some socializing, we kicked off the meetup by talking about the purpose and value of Mutual Aid Groups.

Mutual Aid is a voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit and is as ancient as human culture but has been lost in recent decades in western culture. We discussed how we can use Mutual Aid to start taking back our dependency on the larger socio-economic system and begin re-directing that exchange back into each other.

Kara gave a small talk on the importance of psychological preparation for natural disasters or emergencies, explaining that living through a survival scenario is 90% psychological, and only 10% methodology and gear. She discussed the value of self-reliance and a positive attitude, and how being able to maintain and hold a harmonious attitude in the face of all things chaotic can be your biggest and best survival skill.

Tori shared a few Navigation Skills with us to keep in our minds should we ever get lost without a GPS. She demonstrated how to use a compass with a map, as well as explaining how to interpret contour lines on a map that has them. She also explained another method of navigation using a stick to cast shadows to show direction, as well as ways to identify the North direction by reading terrain patterns or finding the North Star. Learn More about taking Compass Bearings.

Micaela gave us a great refresher in CPR by giving a small demonstration with step-by-step instructions.  

We discussed the value of Cell 411, an application with real-time response management that can alert your friends, neighbors, and even emergency service providers when you are in danger, experiencing medical distress, or just need assistance. Learn more at Get Cell 411.

Justin then presented us with multiple uses for Duct Tape. Along with being able to repair various types of damages to equipment, clothing, and shoes, he showed us how you can also use it to open jars, remove splinters, make handcuffs for restraints, and how to make a duct tape sling for a broken arm.

Joshua followed up with his presentation, “Don’t get caught without a space blanket!” Here he gave us a variety of ways to utilize a space blanket, beyond just keeping warm. He taught us how we can use a space blanket for cooking, catching rain, making a sling, coiling two blankets together to create a rope cord, or to use its light-reflective material to mark your spot on a trail.

We concluded our meeting with a talk about future disaster planning, and a nation-wide program called Map Your Neighborhood. This program provides a simple plan to help residents and their neighbors during the important first hours after a disaster until emergency services can reach them. The Program’s 9-Step Response Plan teaches what to do to save a life, reduce the severity of injuries, reduce emotional distress, and decrease property and environmental damage.

This gathering was a fabulous kick-starter, and has definitely inspired a few of us to talk more with our friends and families about developing more Mutual Aid Pods in our area. If you’re also interested in adding the extra value of Mutual Aid to the trust in your family and friendship circle, we would love to help by providing you the tools and resources to help make the transformation smooth and fun!