Map Your Neighborhood teaches 9 important steps to follow immediately after a disaster, first to secure your home, and then to help your neighborhood.
It creates a neighborhood map identifying locations of gas meters, propane tanks, and other hazards, as well as a list of all residents, particularly those likely to need help. It identifies those with skills (e.g. medical, ham radio, machinery operators) or equipment (e.g. chain saws, generators, winches) that might help in an emergency.
The neighborhood chooses a neighborhood care center for children and elderly so they are not alone, and a gathering spot for those willing to check on other houses. Map Your Neighborhood teaches a team approach to neighborhood response, including communications and staying safe while helping (team is everything in disaster response).
ANYONE CAN DO THIS – INCLUDING YOU!
The best news – Map Your Neighborhood takes only one 90 minute neighborhood meeting, and costs nothing (except maybe cookies at the meeting)! Neighborhood watch programs are a good place to start this program, but even if your neighborhood is completely disconnected, it is still easy to do Map Your Neighborhood. The key is a little work and personal outreach before the meeting, and leadership at the meeting (and maybe afterwards) for seeing the process through. Who should the leader be? HOW ABOUT YOU? Most people are afraid to “take charge” but this is the time to step up.
A “neighborhood” is usually 15-25 “houses”. After a disaster, there is a golden hour when rescue is most effective. Base the number of residences in your program on how many can be checked in one hour, given the distance between. Defining house and neighborhood is also very liberal. One or two floors of an apartment building can be a neighborhood, as can 10 widely spread rural properties.
Scroll down to bottom of page to see a Sample MYN Meeting Invitation
You can watch all 11 Map Your Neighbourhood (YouTube) videos here.
These videos guide you through your Map Your Neighbourhood Meeting. Most videos are short (from 2-5 minutes). Watch the videos in order and pause to follow the instructions given at the end of each video. The third video, 9 Steps Immediately Following a Disaster, runs for 25 minutes. This video is very important because it explains the steps to take in the first 60 minutes (or golden hour) after a disaster.
Sample Invitation – Map Your Neighbourhood Meeting
The reality is – neighbourhoods may need to respond to fire, injuries, and leaking natural gas during disaster.
This meeting will help us know to prepare. Please come.
What is a disaster?
• Disasters, by definition, are events that overwhelm police, fire, and medical 911 emergency responders.
• MYN helps us organize a timely response to disaster when 911 is unavailable. All of us, working together, can reduce the serious consequences of disaster in our neighbourhood.
What will we do?
• We will learn a 9-step Neighbourhood Response Plan that immediately helps us know what to do – both at home and in the neighbourhood – to respond to injuries, leaking natural gas, and assisting people who may be alone and frightened. The process is proven, fun, and easy.
• We will identify the skills and equipment each neighbor has that are useful in an effective and timely disaster response.
• We will map our neighbourhood’s natural gas meters and propane tank locations so we can quickly respond to leaking gas and reduce the threat of fire.
• We will all go home with a neighbourhood map, contact list, and skills and equipment inventory.
The Map Your Neighborhood Program (MYN) was developed by LuAn K Johnson, PhD and is used with permission from Washington State Emergency Management. Much of the material on this page comes from the work of Shelia Sund, M.D. and is licensed under A Creative Commons Attribution-NonComerical 3.0 Unported License. We at DEEP thank Dr. Sund for generously sharing her approach to MYN.