After viewing HBO’s movie “Dirty War” in June of 2005, (available at, I was so concerned about the lack of civilian preparedness in America, that I did research and wrote a keynote presentation on the subject.  The events that occurred following hurricane Katrina are a direct result of that lack of civilian preparedness.  Imagine how different the outcome would have been if each one of those non-evacuated citizens had been educated on how to prepare for a catastrophic disaster and had the items needed in the event of a crisis… simple items like food and clean water!


           So why should you spend the brief time and resources needed to assemble a civilian preparedness kit for your family?  The fact of the matter is a catastrophic event, manmade or natural, accidental or intentional, can occur at any time, in any city or town in the United States.  And another fact is that no municipality, from the smallest town to the most populated city, has the resources or personnel to come to the aid of every citizen in the event of such a disaster.  First responders will need to concentrate their efforts on mitigating the emergency and assisting the most severely sick and injured victims who cannot help themselves. 


           The only realistic approach to a catastrophic event is for those of us who are first responders to be honest with the public about the limitations of our capabilities.  And to educate each citizen on how to save him or her self!


           This website is my contribution, as a first responder, to educate the public on civilian preparedness.  Please, for the sake of your family, take the brief time and resources needed to assemble your civilian preparedness kit and educate your family.  And finally, help your friends, neighbors and co-workers by passing this information on to them!

Cheryl Weaver-Docimo

First Responder


For information on civilian preparedness programs for your group or organization,

please contact Cheryl at:

1-888-250-1870 /


Special thanks to PA State Representative Timothy J. Solobay

for his support of civilian preparedness and his contribution of material for this website.

Cheryl E. Weaver - Docimo


Cheryl Weaver-Docimo joined the staff of Docimo & Associates, LLC of Stamford, Connecticut in January of 2000. Through 2012, she held the position of radiological trainer.  A native of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, she is a second - generation responder and a 34 year veteran of the fire and EMS services.  She volunteered as a technician with a regional hazardous materials response team in south central Pennsylvania.  In addition, she has ten years of experience in radiological technology and 28 years experience in education for first responders, healthcare personnel, and the general public.  Since October of 2005, she has also volunteered her time to work with political leaders, civic groups, and the media to promote civilian preparedness in Pennsylvania.

The information below is meant to be used only as a guideline. 

No warranties or guarantees are implied.


The “Self” Solution


1. Self Protection (S.N.E.E.C.) & Evacuation to a Neighborhood Shelter


   Basic Personal Protection Supplies to keep with you at all times (S.N.E.E.C.)


   These supplies offer some protection in the event you would have to evacuate an area

   following an event that produces a dust or smoke cloud (plume).

   Skin: household cleaning gloves or non-latex gloves for your hands, 

          zinc oxide or a thick lotion to coat areas of your face not covered by the other items,

          moist Towlettes to clean off any existing contamination  

   Nose: (and Mouth): N95 face mask (available at any hardware or home improvement store)

   Eyes: safety goggles that make a tight seal, (swim goggles work well and are more compact)

   Ears: earplugs

   Clothes: a hooded rain poncho or hooded rain suit,

               pre-cut strips of duct tape to seal openings,

               an umbrella to block dust from falling on you


   Neighborhood Shelter Options:

   (Listed from best building type to least preferred building type)

   Core of large industrial or office building (best)

   Basement of a frame house or 1st floor of a masonry house

   1st floor of a frame house (least favorable)


2. Self Decontamination: The objectives of self decontamination should include:

   Careful removal of contaminated clothing prior to entering a shelter.  Leave your clothes outside!

   Showering and washing your hair

   Flushing your eyes if contaminated

   Swabbing your ears

   Blowing your nose

   Rinsing your mouth


3. Self Sufficient for 7 days


   Link to Civilian Preparedness Supply List


 This website is revised on a regular basis.  Please check back periodically for changes or additions.  Additional information is available at the following websites:


AKC / ASPCA / AVMA / HSUS Pet Disaster Brochure


American National Red Cross


U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Community Preparedness

Cheryl E. Weaver, RT, HMT / / 888-250-1870

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                                                               for communities & families.

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