MONTECITO, Calif. - The Bucket Brigade, known worldwide for helping unite a community devastated by disaster, is using technology to bring people together during "social distancing" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A webinar, "Neighborhood Cooperation in a Pandemic," launched Monday on the Bucket Brigade's Facebook page.
"The webinar goes over basic safety fundamentals using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, explains individual safety, how services will get overwhelmed like public safety," said Abe Powell, President of the Bucket Brigade. "Talk about safe ways neighborhoods can cooperate and help each other."
Powell said more than 200 people took part in Monday's launch and, requests came pouring in from dozens of different groups wanting to use the video and power point presentation.
A Spanish version of the webinar launches Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m.
"We talk about ways that you can engage in your neighborhood, to communicate with each other, to loop your neighbors in, and let them know you're there ... do simple things to help each other," Powell said.
Powell's message, backed by hundreds of volunteers, has proven that residents cannot sit idly by during a disaster and solely depend on First Responders. Powell said the concept is modeled after what other countries have done during a national crisis, demonstrating the importance of local neighborhood cooperation.
In this current climate of "social distancing," keeping roughly six feet between you and the person sitting or standing nearby, Powell points to the importance of social media and said this where people can connect and can loop others into their neighborhood through Facebook, Nextdoor and emails, among other means.
"The most important thing in any crisis is to remember that we're stronger together and when we work together as a team, good things happen. And when we get isolated and have to do things alone, we're all weaker. The important thing is let's stick together, let's cooperate and ultimately, that's going to be the best thing for all of us."