Map Your Neighbourhood :
The Most Important Emergency Preparedness Activity!
What is Map Your Neighborhood?
What is Map Your Neighborhood?
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).
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.
Get Map Your Neighborhood Started Now!
Get Map Your Neighborhood Started Now!
How do you do this Map Your Neighborhood thing? Neighborhood Watch teams, local CERT teams, or local emergency management offices often arrange these sessions – if you have this resource, definitely use it. But you can do it without outside help. The Washington State Emergency Management Department designed the program, and has many resources on line. The most important is a myn_discussion_guide which takes you step by step through everything you need to put this in process in place, all by yourself!
Just one neighborhood meeting might mean life or death for you and your loved ones if you need help after a disaster. Even if you are away when disaster occurs, you know someone will be checking on your house, turning off your gas, and most importantly, checking on and helping your family members. There is really no one other than neighbors to do this – it probably won’t be our public responders. Besides, initial help may lead to neighborhood cooperation as long as the disaster lasts (maybe one neighbor has really good emergency stores and would share).
Now do you see why I think this is the single most important emergency preparedness step you can take? So go forth and organize – a Map Your Neighborhood evening!
Map Your Neighborhood Discussion Guide
Click to download Discussion Guide
MYN full collection of video segments
This is the link to the full collection of Map Your Neighborhoud (MYN) segments on YouTube. It is a terrific resource. You can click on the icon in the left upper corner to see links and titles of all eleven videos in the series.
Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) Meeting Invitation & Reminder
The reality is – neighbourhoods may need to respond to fire, injuries, and leaking natural gas during disaster. This meeting will help us know how. 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.
Press Release in Dunbar Residents Association Newsletter, June 2014:
Twelve people gathered for the DEEP meeting on Tuesday, April 22nd at the Dunbar Community Centre. We viewed the DVD “Map Your Neighborhood” (MYN), a step-by-step guide for reparing small neighbourhoods for an earthquake or other disaster. The MYN programme was developed by the State of Washington and is perfectly suited for preparedness in Dunbar.
Dunbar resident Brian Marcus spoke about his experience of hosting MYN for his block. Stephen Spiro, Susan Spiro, and Hiron Bhowmik, volunteers for the Neighbourhood Emergency Assistance Team (NEAT) and Vancouver Search & Rescue Team, provided a context for levels of preparedness and response. Dr. Sandra Y.S. Wong, British Columbia Disaster Psychosocial Services volunteer (DPS) and BCPA Board Member, contributed her expertise to the discussion. All agreed that MYN was an excellent complement to the City of Vancouver’s emergency and
disaster preparedness programmes.
Meanwhile, the city of Vancouver is also trying to raise awareness of the need to prepare as individuals and neighbourhoods. A recently released video prepared for the City highlights the impact an event like a major earthquake would have on the city. It also points out that the emergency services will be stretched beyond capacity (the definition of a disaster) and people will be on their own for significant periods of time.
There is much that we can do to prepare ourselves, DEEP is Dunbar’s response and now it is up to us to spread the word. Let’s look at ways in which to interest our neighbours in MYN. We can look to Brian Marcus and others who have hosted the film and helped to organize their blocks for inspiration.
We can help ...
Facilitating Map Your Neighborhood (MYN)
Ask us how to facilitate Map Your Neighbourhood (MYN): the film from Washington State with step by step workbooks.
Plan a review session every three months, so we build on the MYN process into the Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.
During the past years members of the Dunbar Emergency and Earthquake Preparedness (DEEP): organizing committee presented MYN at DCC, St Philip’s, and for residents on various Blocks throughout Dunbar. Many of you have already participated in these meetings, thank you! Each time the response is different, the MYN experience turns out to be worthwhile for all.
Let us know if you would like DEEP to facilitate a MYN meeting for your block
How to Mobilize your block for earthquake preparedness!
Includes the DVD programme & step by step workbooks.
A great plan for your next block watch meeting.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Map Your Neighborhood Program (MYN) was developed by LuAn K Johnson, PhD. Used with permission from Washington State Emergency Management