Neighborhood volunteers
A couple of our neighborhood volunteers

Why worry about a neighborhood emergency plan?

You may not agree with your immediate neighbors’ politics.  You might even have difficulty in communicating with them if they have a different cultural background or first language.

Make no mistake, in a wide-spread emergency, your lives and your neighbors’ lives will become quickly intertwined! Having a neighborhood emergency plan can make the difference in if or how well you survive.

First things first – Is everybody safe?

Your first challenge if structures are severely damaged will be search and rescue . . . is everybody safe and accounted for?  You won’t be able to answer this question unless you know who lives in the neighborhood.  Who is likely to be home at the time of the incident? Where are they likely to be? 

Neighborhood knowledge is he key to getting to people in trouble and getting them out.

Next, and quickly – Avoid more damage!

What are the immediate dangers . . . falling debris, fire, natural gas leak, etc.?

The more you know about your neighborhood — about building structures, about hidden pipelines or power lines, about water lines and the location of fire hydrants — the better able you’ll be to avoid more damage. Your neighborhood emergency plan will hold a lot of this information.

Your neighborhood plan can organize your neighborhood for best results.

Many of our Advisories are aimed at helping neighborhood groups plan and execute meetings and trainings to keep members engaged. As you will see, we are big advocates of Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) training as a foundation for neighborhood leaders, but our own neighborhood group is made up of all kinds of people with differing skill levels. Your own plan will reflect YOUR neighborhood!

Here are examples of some recent Advisories aimed at building your neighborhood group’s knowledge and skills:

The ultimate resource for building a neighborhood plan.

Neighborhood Disaster Survival
Which works best for your neighborhood?

We’ve been at this for 20 years, now! We’ve pulled together our thoughts and experience and published three books focused on building neighborhood emergency response groups and neighborhood plans. (Click for full details and comments from readers.) These are step-by-step resources, with plenty of easy-to-review lists and suggestions to help you customize your efforts for your own neighborhood.

Questions or comments regarding neighborhood organizing?  Contact us today!  We’d love to share what we know, and hear what you’ve done! (Now that we’re all doing virtual meetings, maybe we could step in as “guest speakers!”)

Joe Krueger and Virginia Nicols
The Emergency Plan Guide Team