Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Map Your Neighborhood

two neighbors talking

Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) is the program selected by Bainbridge Prepares and its partners—the City of Bainbridge Island (COBI) and the Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD)—to organize neighborhoods in preparation for a disaster. Think of it as your first line of defense after you have prepared your own household.

So far, 38 percent of Bainbridge neighborhoods have organized. If you live in one of the still unprepared 62 percent, this article will help you take the steps you need to get you and your neighbors ready for earthquake, wildfire, a radiological event, winter storms, pandemics, and any other kind of emergencies that we might encounter.

What MYN Will Help You Do

  • You’ll learn what steps to take to secure your homes and protect your neighborhood.
  • You’ll learn what steps to take immediately following a disaster to assess damage and needs.
  • You’ll identify the skills and equipment each neighbor has that are useful for an effective and timely disaster response.
  • You’ll identify the locations of propane tanks in the neighborhood so they can be shut off in the event of an earthquake or wildfire.
  • You’ll create a neighborhood contact list to identify those with specific needs such as the elderly, disabled, or children who might be home when an event occurs.
  • You’ll work together as a team to evaluate your neighborhood during the first hour following a disaster and take the necessary actions.

How to Get MYN Started

  1. The first thing you need to do is reach out to your neighbors to choose some times and a place for a first meeting (or you can host a Zoom meeting). Then contact COBI Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage. Provide her with one or two dates and times for your neighborhood meeting. Anne will confirm the meeting date and time with you and provide you with the name(s) of the MYN trainer(s).
  2. Have your meeting. The trainer(s) will bring handouts to your meeting (or send them in advance for Zoom meetings). Then the trainer(s) will review the program and what you need to do. The meeting will take between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the numbers of questions asked.
  3. Select your neighborhood captain. The neighborhood captain will collect the Household Data form from all neighbors and compile it into a plan. Then the captain will email the plan to all neighbors.
  4. Choose a neighborhood gathering point. This is where you and your neighbors will meet up after an event to check in with one another.

How to Keep MYN Going

  • Meet at least once a year to update your plan and check in with new neighbors.
  • Create a neighborhood Google Group (or other email listserv) and share preparedness information once a month.
  • Do a neighborhood walkthrough to look at everyone’s propane tanks and to review household emergency supplies.
  • Practice your plan. Pick a day and time for a simulated earthquake. Have two neighbors not show up at the gathering point and have them post Help signs on their front doors.
  • Practice your utility shut-off procedures. Make sure everyone has a wrench that will work.
  • Host trainings with BIFD for neighborhoods on CPR/AED, using a fire extinguisher, and Stop the Bleed. Request training from Janine Courtemanche.

Have more questions? Contact Anne LeSage:

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