Map Your Neighborhood
Earthquakes, Floods, Storms, and Tornadoes - Is Your Neighborhood Ready? Map Your Neighborhood - a program to bring your neighborhood together. Prepared areas are more effective in their disaster response and have an increased capacity to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours after a disaster.
You can learn more about Map Your Neighborhood by emailing Study Circles.
In a disaster, the neighbors around you are your most immediate source of help. Traditional 911 responders (police, fire, medical, and utility) are quickly overwhelmed by demand. Knowing what to do in the first hour (the golden hour) of a disaster response may save a life, reduce the severity of injuries, and reduce the damage you, your family, and your neighbors sustain.
The primary goal is to prepare neighborhoods (generally 15 to 20 homes in urban areas, 6 to 7 in rural areas) to be self-reliant during the first hours of a disaster response when traditional 911 responders are overwhelmed by demand.
Objectives accomplished during a 90-minute neighborhood meeting include:
- Learn the 9 Steps to take immediately following a disaster to secure your home and protect your neighborhood.
- Identify each neighbor's skills and equipment that are useful in effective disaster response.
- Create a Neighborhood Map showing the locations of each natural gas meter and propane tank (about 67% of house fires following disasters are caused by leaking gas); and the areas of each neighbor who may need extra help in a disaster, such as older people, persons with disabilities, or children who are home alone during certain times of the day.
- Pick locations for a Neighborhood Gathering Site and Neighborhood Care Center.
Steps to Immediately Take
The nine steps to immediately take after a disaster strikes are:
- Take care of your loved ones.
- Protect your head, feet, and hands.
- Check the natural gas or propane at your home.
- Shut off the water at the house main.
- Place the help or OK sign on your front door or window.
- Put your fire extinguisher on the sidewalk.
- Go to the Neighborhood Gathering Site.
- Form teams to listen to the radio for alerts; check on elderly, disabled, and children; check gas and propane; check homes with help cards and those without cards.
- Return to Neighborhood Gathering Site to share what has been done.
How to Get Map Your Neighborhood Started in Your Neighborhood
Complete the following steps to get Map Your Neighborhood started:
- Neighbor Host calls the Carbondale Office of Emergency Management Services (EMS) at 618-457-3234 to get MYN materials and arrange for a Map Your Neighborhood trainer to attend your neighborhood meeting.
- The Neighbor Host (or trainer sent by Carbondale EMS) guides the neighborhood preparedness meeting using the Discussion Guide and/or the MYN DVD.
- After the neighborhood meeting, the Neighbor Host sends an evaluation form to Carbondale EMS so that the Carbondale EMS knows who has organized for disaster.
- In a year, the neighborhood group meets again to update the map and to engage in a tabletop exercise. Drills and exercises are held annually after that.
Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) was developed by Dr. LuAn Johnson, first in Sunnyvale, CA, and then in Seattle, WA. The State of Washington’s Emergency Management Division (EMD) implemented the program state-wide in 2006. This award-winning program has proven its effectiveness.
During the Nisqually (Seattle) Earthquake on February 28, 2001, 92% of 460 organized neighborhoods effectively responded utilizing the 9-Step Neighborhood Disaster Response Plan. More than 50 counties and cities in Washington State are in various stages of implementing MYN. States which have adopted MYN include:
- South Carolina
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is enthusiastic about implementing MYN in Illinois.