Prepare Your Neighborhood (PYN) is a grassroots effort of ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ to build and strengthen disaster readiness. Disasters can create many emergencies at the same time and professional responders, in our rural area, may be overwhelmed. Residents must often rely on themselves and on neighbors for assistance.
PYN is organizing teams of volunteers into ‘neighborhood clusters’, where adjoining neighborhoods can support each other. By sharing information regarding tools, resources, skills and special needs with each other, neighbors are ready to respond to problems and help the most vulnerable when disaster strikes.
Following a basic orientation to PYN (called PYN 101), neighbors organize a team to begin to identify neighborhood needs and resources that can be shared in an emergency or disaster. PYN teams first emphasize steps that individuals and households can take at home (a GoBag for each person and pet, a family emergency plan, practicing their evacuation route). Those steps, taken by individuals and households, form the foundation for a prepared neighborhood.
Immediately after a strong local earthquake, after the shaking stops:
If you are in a tsunami inundation zone, move as soon as possible to high ground and the nearest Assembly Area. Take your Go-Bag and Yellow Radio. Assembly areas will not be stocked with food and water.
If you are above the tsunami inundation area, these (9) nine steps are recommended:
- Protect your hands and your feet! Have protective gear at your bedside (hard sole shoes, leather gloves, whistle, and flashlight).
- Check on the safety of your family and home.
- Check for propane gas leaks and shut off tanks.
- Shut off water and electricity to the house.
- Secure water resources in your home (hot water heater, toilet tank, etc)
- Tape a sign on your front door or window signaling your status – ‘OK’ or ‘HELP’. (Keep an unopened band-aid with the sign as an alternative to tape.)
- Keep a fire extinguisher available.
- If you are able, go to the designated Cluster ‘Gathering Site’ in your neighborhood.
- At the Gathering Site, neighbors will use the skills and equipment prepared in advance to assemble several teams with distinct roles to: 1) monitor communication; 2) check for those who may need assistance; and 3) help shut off propane tanks and water when needed.
- As the teams complete their assignments, they report back to the Gathering Site and make further plans as needed; contacting the next in chain of communication with reports about neighborhood status.
Each neighborhood needs a team to spearhead the PYN effort, build it and maintain it over time. Tasks include:
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you interested in organizing your neighborhood.
- Contact all property owners and full-time renters and invite them to a basic PYN 101 orientation to introduce the PYN concept.
- Organize a neighborhood get-together to discuss emergency preparation. Identify neighbors who can take on a role to help with organizing.
- Ask neighbors for voluntary sign-up of contact information, skills, resources and special needs.
- Delineate your neighbors on a map and in a database.
- Establish a telephone tree and email list for out-of-the-area owners.
- Encourage preparation of a Go-Bag for each household member and ‘camp at home’ kits.
- Invite EVCNB to hold training classes in your neighborhood.
- Discuss a possible Gathering Site. Determine this site well ahead of time at your cluster meeting. Consider selecting a site that is covered, easy to see (porch, garage). Mark the location on your cluster map and make sure everyone knows the location. Include a First Aid Center location in the neighborhood.
- Continue regular communication with neighbors regarding emergency information and available training.
- Hold a practice evacuation to your nearest Assembly Areas.
- Plan an annual get-together to re-acquaint neighbors, update information and train new residents.
- Plan for continuation of the PYN program by training your replacement.
- Attend ongoing training and community meetings two or three times a year.
Optional activities some neighborhood teams find worthwhile to include:
- Creation of a neighborhood cluster newsletter and/or directory.
- Sponsoring preparedness classes offered by EVCNB, e.g. Go-Bags, WaSH (water, sanitation,hygiene), Yellow Radio (emergency communication system) and more.
- First aid, CPR, and/or CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training.
- Ham radio training/license.
- Recognize the types of possible disasters and understand the need for individual/household preparedness.
- Know the key steps to prepare yourself and your neighborhood to be ready to respond to an earthquake and tsunami or other disaster and what ‘success’ looks like.
- Learn the next steps to begin to form and sustain what is called a ‘Cluster’ or group of adjoining neighborhoods that can help each other become better prepared.
- Know the vital areas of assistance needed in a disaster or emergency that a Cluster can provide.
- Learn the three key steps every individual can take to become personally prepared.
- Understand support available to you and your team in forming a Cluster.
To schedule and plan for a PYN 101 orientation for your neighborhood, contact email@example.com
To learn of upcoming training opportunities for individuals or groups, please visit our EVCNB calendar. Encourage others to visit our home page evcnb.org and review the helpful links at the bottom of the HOME page.
Oregon Tsunami Clearinghouse has a number of resources to raise individual, household and neighborhood preparedness for earthquakes and tsunamis.
Check for your evacuation route to high ground following a local earthquake.