The YOYO Principle

Main content

The YOYO Principle is an acronym for the simple truth of surviving in the immediate wake of a disaster or terrorist attack: You’re OYour Own. Demand will exceed supply for resources in a major events. Individuals must therefore prepare a plan and prepare a reserve of supplies.

A guide to connecting with and training your neighbors to respond cohesively to a disaster is offered through Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Neighbors Helping Neighbors provides guidance on getting fellow community members involved in preparing for a natural disaster. The organization will send you monthly pamphlets on what to do in any kind of emergency situation. There are a number of ways in which one can participate, including becoming a Block Captain on your home’s block, or engaging your homeowner’s association.

For more information, tips, and guides to improve your emergency preparedness, see the Los Angeles County Emergency Survival Program (ESP)(link is external). Designed as a large-scale community outreach program, ESP aims to promote readiness for any potential disaster through the use of publications and materials and can be applied using Neighbors Helping Neighbor’s system.

Community cooperation will be essential for survival in the aftermath of a disaster or terrorist attack. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) offers individuals education and additional training in basic disaster response skills. CERT members are trained to work together to assist their local community in a variety of capacities during and immediately after emergencies.

In the event of a major disaster or attack, communication will be challenging if not impossible. Cell phone towers will likely become overloaded with calls and messages if they are functioning at all.  In order to compensate for this, a communication plan with family, friends, and co-workers is critical to being able to quickly recover and reunite.

In addition, emergency kits are valuable tools to keep family, friends and your community prepared. California cities stock on average a seven-day supply of crude oil in the event of a cutoff to supplies. However, this is an average, and depending where in a calendar month a disruption occurs, it could be as few as three days’ worth. Remember that food and water are transported in to the region using fuel, and hospitals’ backup generators run on diesel fuel. During hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, hospitals’ backup generators failed.

Emergency supplies should include food, water in the amount of one gallon per person per day, medications, cash in small bills, and a radio.  Many companies sell emergency kits. Your home’s hot water heater is an excellent source of fresh potable water, unless it is a demand heater.  Just-in-time supplies with short half-lives or needing refrigeration (i.e. oxygen, blood products) will be even scarcer, and markets may run out of food in a matter of hours.

In advance of an event, identify the shelter nearest you.

To connect with your neighbors in a way that shares your information while maintaining your privacy,Nextdoor offers an address-verified social networking platform and is a useful tool for additional advice. The City of Los Angeles formed a partnership with Nextdoor in December 2013(link is external)

Skip to toolbar