Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This summer, become a Ready Neighborhood!

In an emergency, we all know to call 9-1-1. But in a disaster, our city’s first responders will be overwhelmed with requests for help. Your actual first responders will most likely be your family members and your neighbors. After a disaster such as an earthquake, your neighborhood may have gas lines leaking, live electrical wires down, trees fallen on houses, a neighbor with disabilities may need help . . . and 9-1-1 phones are jammed or dead. How you respond within the first hour after a disaster can significantly reduce injury, loss of life, and property damage.

Are you ready?
Become a Ready Neighborhood using the “Map Your Neighborhood” (MYN) tool. MYN is a program designed to help neighbors prepare together for disasters.
MYN will help you to:
• Learn the “9 Steps to Take Immediately Following a Disaster” to secure your home and to protect your neighborhood. It is hard to think clearly following disaster and these steps will help you to quickly and safely take actions that can minimize damage and protect lives.
• Identify the Skills and Equipment each neighbor has that would be useful in an effective disaster response. Knowing which neighbors have supplies and skills helps your disaster response be timely, and allows everyone to contribute to the response in a meaningful way.
• Create a Neighborhood Map identifying the locations of natural gas and propane tanks for quick response if needed.
• Create a Contact List that helps identify those with specific needs such as elderly, disabled, or children who may be home alone during certain hours of the day.
• Work together as a team to evaluate your neighborhood during the first hour following a disaster and take the necessary actions.

The City of Shoreline provides each neighborhood facilitator with all the materials needed to host a Ready Neighborhood meeting, including a DVD to help run the meeting, a facilitator’s guide, informational packets for all participants, and additional support for getting prepared together.
This summer, find a way to set aside two hours to host or co-host a meeting for your neighbors. It’s a small investment for safety and peace of mind.

To host or co-host a meeting or for more information, contact Emergency Management Program Assistant, Ready*Corps VISTA Peggy Williams Scott (206) 801-2256 pscott@shorelinewa.gov.

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