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Map Your Neighborhood

“Map Your Neighborhood” is a program designed to help neighborhoods

prepare for disasters.

Using it you can increase your odds of survival in a disaster. 

Statistics show that 90% of all survivors of disasters are rescued

by other survivors. 

It may be up to you to save the life of another or you may depend on

your neighbors to rescue you or your loved ones.

The human psyche likes to delude itself by thinking “it can never happen to me” 

yet our community is vulnerable to a range of potential disasters and

experts agree the question is not IF something is going to happen,

rather WHEN is something going to happen.

This program is FEMA endorsed and has been successfully implemented

in 43 states. (Check if your state is one of them. The list is at the bottom

of the page).

The program was first utilized during the 17 October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California.

MYN is a program designed to help neighborhoods prepare for disaster. 

 Neighbors learn to work together as a team to evaluate their neighborhood following a disaster 

to increase neighbors’ capacity to survive and be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours after a disaster. 

This is particularly important when local police, fire, paramedic, 

and other professional responder services are overwhelmed.

The program aims to help communities identify which residents have useful skills 

for emergency response, residents who have specific needs that must be attended to immediately 

in an emergency, and the location of useful materials

in their neighborhoods (like natural gas and propane tanks).

MYN provides a step-by-step process that neighbors work on together

to prepare their neighborhoods for disasters. Neighborhood leaders

or “organizers” complete a two hour “Become a MYN Organizer” program 

that gives them the materials and skills to reach out into their neighborhoods 

and implement the MYN program.

Neighborhood residents may meet at one person’s home for a 90-minute preparedness meeting 

in which MYN program materials will help attendees to learn the 9 steps to take immediately 

following a disaster.

The 9 Steps -

Steps 1 through 7 are Individual Steps.

Step 1 - Take care of your home and family.

Step 2 - Protect your head, hands and feet.

Step 3 - Shut off the Natural Gas/Propane at your home.

(only if you smell gas or hear a hissing sound)

Step 4 - Shut Off the water at the house main.

Step 5 - Post "OK" or "Help" Cards in your window.

Step 6 - Put Fire Extinguishers out on the sidewalk or street edge.

Step 7 - Check in at the Neighborhood Gathering Site.

Steps 8 and 9 are Community Steps.

Step 8 - Assign groups of neighbors to accomplish the 4 Critical Tasks.

Step 9 - Report back to the Neighborhood Gathering Site with the information

you gathered. The entire neighborhood will know what happened and

what steps need to be taken next.

Neighborhood Mapping

This identify skills and equipment each neighbor has that may help in such

a event (such as who knows about plumbing or electrical issues, who knows

CPR and First Aid, who has tools that can be used).

It also creates a neighborhood map pinpointing the locations of all natural

gas meters, electrical lines and other information which can be needed.

A list is then compiled which includes the names of neighborhood residents

who may need extra help in a disaster such as the elderly, people with disabilities, 

or children who are home alone during certain times of the day.

Finally, neighbors will pick locations that will serve as Neighborhood Gathering Site 

and Neighborhood Care Center. 

Immediately After a Disaster

Residents check to ensure that their own families and homes are safe and sound.

Those who are able then go to the designated Neighborhood Gathering Site, 

where they use the skills and equipment information prepared earlier 

to assemble teams to accomplish the 4 Critical Tasks.

Task 1 - Monitor local radio broadcasts for emergency information.

Task 2 - Use the neighborhood contact list to check on individuals who

may need extra assistance and transport them to the care center.

Task 3 - Check neighborhood gas meters and shuts them off - only if need.

Task 4 - Walk door-to-door to check on homes displaying the “Help” placard

(or no placard).

As the teams complete their assignments, they report back to the gathering site 

and make further plans as required.

To start a MYN Program where you live -

Check with your local authorities or CERT to find out if the program exists.

You can ask for brochures and worksheets.

You can also do a search on your computer for your local MYN Program.

Here is the link to the videos covering what happens in the initial meeting.

There are 11 segments, which you can put on a disc or a thumb drive to use

in your presentations.


The question is not IF a Disaster or Medical Emergency

is going to happen,

Rather WHEN is something going to happen.

Make sure to include All members of your family -

the elderly, special needs people, children and your pets!

Partners in forty-three (43) states, including Washington, have found MYN

to be a cost effective and time efficient approach to neighborhood preparedness.

MYN has partners in the following states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT,


NC, NE, NH, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, and WV.

The program was developed by Dr. LuAn K. Johnson, PhD.

 LuAn is the Public Education Program Manager for the Washington State

Emergency Management Department. created model, "Map Your Neighborhood",

following analyzing responses to the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake in San Francisco

and the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake in Washington.

She has worked with neighborhoods in 16 states across the country.

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