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Earthquakes, Floods, Power Outages, Severe Weather and Tornadoes – Is Your Neighborhood Ready?  Map Your Neighborhood brings your neighborhood together during a crisis.

"Prepared neighborhoods are more effective in their disaster response and have an increased capacity to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours after a disaster."

Premise:  In a disaster, the neighbors living around you are your most immediate source of help. Traditional 9-1-1 responders (police, fire, medical, and utility) are quickly overwhelmed by demand. Knowing what to do in the first hour (THE GOLDEN HOUR) following a disaster may save a life, reduce the severity of injuries, and reduce the amount of losses that you, your family and neighbors sustain.  As part of the New Madrid Bicentennial, the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission is implementing a program in the central U.S. to create better prepared and more self-reliant neighboorhoods.  This program is known as "Map Your Neighborhood".

The Primary Goal of Map Your Neighborhood:  Prepare neighborhoods (generally 15-20 homes in urban areas, 6-7 in rural areas) to be self-reliant during the first hours of a disaster response, when traditional 9-1-1 responders are overwhelmed by demand.   Be prepared to assist your family and your neighbors with this easy, simple and friendly program.


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Map Your Neighborhood (MYN, pronounced “mine”) was developed by Dr. LuAn Johnson, first in Sunnyvale, CA and then in Seattle, WA. The program was implemented state-wide by the State of Washington’s Emergency Management Division (WA-EMD). This award-winning program has proven its effectiveness during the February 28, 2001 Nisqually (Seattle) Earthquake. MYN has been adopted by many states, counties and cities and the program is being encouraged by the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program. The city of Carbondale, Illinois has enthusiastically implemented MYN. The Missouri Seismic Safety Commission (MSSC) has endorsed MYN for Missouri and has been given permission by WA-EMD to print the copy-written materials and conduct training. Other states or local government offices are welcome to get information from both WA-EMD and MSSC.

- Train the Neighborhood Host, who delivers the program to neighbors with useful supporting materials. The neighbors develop and document their own plan.

- 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. Neighbors’ data is documented in the Neighbors’ Handout for later reference.

- 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 meaningfully to the response.

- Create a Neighborhood Map identifying the locations of the Gathering Site and Care Center, and of exterior natural-gas valves 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 teams after a disaster to evaluate your neighborhood and take the necessary actions. Coordinate and communicate team actions.

1.  A local civic or government organization or faith-based group advertises a local MYN Hosts’ Orientation. Interested persons, who will later “host” their own Neighbors’ Meetings, attend the Host Orientation and receive their materials.

2.  The local Host leads neighbors through the 90-minute preparedness meeting using the MYN Discussion Guide and DVD. The neighbors make decisions to prepare for a disaster. A Neighbors’ Handout, the response plan, is acquired for every participating domicile.

3.  At the conclusion of the Neighbors’ Meeting, the local Host sends contact information to the supporting organization in their area. This data allows the government entity to know the distribution of program preparedness and to send out annual reminders.

4.  Annually, the neighbors meet briefly to update information, and may engage in a short exercise. The Host will be prompted for annual refreshers from their submitted contact data.

- Learn the Nine Steps to take immediately following a disaster to secure your home (steps 1 through 6) and to assist your neighbors (steps 7 through 9).

- Identify the skills and equipment each neighbor has that are useful in an effective disaster response. Every one in the neighborhood has a role.

- Create a Neighborhood Map showing: the locations of exterior natural gas meters and propane tanks (about 67% of house fires following disasters are caused by leaking gas); and, the locations of each neighbor who may need extra help in a disaster, such as the elderly, 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.

- Document your decisions in the MYN Neighbors’ Handout. The Neighbors’ Handout or “Shingle” is a Disaster Response Plan for your home and neighborhood. The Neighbors’ Handout includes: actions to take during and immediately following a disaster, a map of your neighbors’ home and their contact information, what response teams to form, and the decisions made by the neighbors at the MYN Neighbors’ Meeting.

  For general MYN information in the central United States, contact:
  Greg Hempen
  Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  Phone:  (314) 743-4136

  For MYN information in Missouri, contact:
  Steve Besemer, Missouri Seismic Safety Commission
  Email:    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  Phone:  (573) 526-9232

  For MYN information in Carbondale, IL, contact:
  Mary O'Hara, Carbondale Emergency Management Services
  Email:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  Phone:  (618) 713-0820
  Video 1:  "In Focus" featuring MYN creator Dr. LuAn Johnson
  Video 2: Carbondale, IL local MYN Neighborhood Meeting held at Liberty Villas

  For information on the original MYN Program developed by Washington Emergency  Management Division, contact:
  Rosanne J. Garrand, Public Education Coordinator
  Email:    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  Phone:  (253) 512-7419
  Online:  http://www.emd.wa.gov/myn



Remember, in a disaster, your most immediate source of help are your neighbors around you...


 All Images courtesy Washington Military Department, Map Your Neighborhood Program