Building and Strengthening Disaster Readiness Among Neighbors
Disaster Preparedness Part 4 of 4 – Neighborhood Preparation
Kathi Larkin and Jeff Powell
The hour following a disaster is critical in terms of minimizing damage and protecting lives. The reality is that you and your neighbors will be the first ones on the scene of a major disaster like an earthquake. In a major disaster, first responders may not be able to reach every neighborhood immediately, so residents should plan and prepare to safely and effectively help one another until emergency service personnel can arrive. In the final installment of this 4 part series, we highlight the critical importance of neighborhood preparedness, specifically the Map Your Neighborhood program: http://goo.gl/SPCzh4
Map Your Neighborhood is a DVD-based program designed to let you to host a 2-3 hour workshop in your home with your neighbors. Make it fun! Host a weekend BBQ or dessert night, with a disaster response theme. MYN will help you to:
- Learn the “9 Steps to Take Immediately Following a Disaster” to secure your home and protect your neighborhood. It is hard to think clearly in the chaotic, post-disaster environment. These steps will help you quickly and safely take actions to minimize damage and protect lives.
- Identify any special skills and equipment neighbors have that will be useful in an effective disaster response.
- Create a neighborhood map identifying the scope of your neighborhood response, and things like the locations of propane tanks for quick action, if needed.
- Create a contact list (neighborhood phone tree) and discuss plans for caring for elderly, disabled, and children after a disaster.
- Learn simple strategies to help you organize more effectively as a neighborhood team, including some particular to our rural community.
Summit CERT and LPVFR have created a checkout system for the MYN Host Kit, making it even easier for you to host a MYN workshop in your own neighborhood.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time to pick up the MYN Host Kit at Loma Prieta Fire and Rescue at 17445 Old Summit Rd.
- Checkout the MYN Host Kit
- This includes the DVD, workshop brochures, and some props.
- Schedule your neighborhood MYN workshop, invite your neighbors, host it.
- Return the MYN Host Kit within 3 weeks of checkout so we can pass it on to the next neighborhood.
- Complete a short evaluation of the MYN Workshop.
Those wanting to learn more now can review these resources:
Previous articles in this series covered related information. We encouraged you to build your disaster supply kit and create a family disaster plan. We introduced several local disaster response volunteer organizations (CERT, Red Cross MERC, Ham Radio ARES, Equine Evac, and the volunteer fire department) that you can join to get trained to help yourselves, your families, and your community in the aftermath of a major disaster. Now you know that the first hour after a disaster is the time when help is most critical, and that it could be you and your neighbors helping one another. The time to organize your neighborhood and prepare to meet that challenge is now.
Host MYN on your road! Questions? Comments? Contact email@example.com.
The Loma Prieta program is a local implementation of the award-winning Map Your Neighborhood Program (MYN) that was developed and copyrighted by © LuAn K Johnson, PhD; used with permission from WA State Emergency Management Public Education Program. Alameda County Fire secured a Bay Area UASI grant to reprint the DVD and other materials. Our own local Santa Clara County Firesafe Council has generously donated to help us implement MYN in our Loma Prieta area community. We provide the workshop materials to our local resident hosts free of charge.