Published in the West Linn Tiding and Oregonian:
Happy Fourth of July to you and your family! It is my honor to serve as your city councilor.
I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to an amazing public safety program called “Map Your Neighborhood.” This program is designed to bring neighbors together in advance of an emergency.
Experts agree that the key to survival during a disaster is a close network of friends and neighbors. In the event of a natural disaster, it will take time for first responders to reach us. We, as neighbors, need to be prepared to care for one another. Also, it is important to coordinate and delegate important tasks now so when a large event happens, we all can spring into action — we are not immune from disasters and, according to experts, we are due for a large earthquake.
Neighborhoods that are prepared for emergencies and disaster situations save lives, reduce the severity of injuries and trauma and reduce property damage.
Under the leadership of my friend, Grant Oakes, the West Linn Map Your Neighborhood program is easy to implement and organize in your neighborhood. In just a few steps, you can put together a plan that puts everybody on the same page; shares responsibilities so you can do what you do best; and shares resources so you don’t have to plan for everything. Additional side benefits include getting to know your neighbors better and increased neighborhood safety on an everyday basis.
We recently implemented this program in our neighborhood. We delegated responsibilities, mapped our major utilities, prepared supplies and coordinated efforts.
The ideal Map Your Neighborhood program includes 10-20 homes. This generally means homes you can see from your front yard. The goal should be to put together a group that will care for each other when fire, medical, police and utility first responders are inundated with requests for help, limiting their ability to get to everyone in a timely manner.
The first step in developing a Map Your Neighborhood program for your neighborhood is an email to Grant Oakes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Grant will prepare you for your first meeting with your neighborhood, including a Map Your Neighborhood DVD, a neighborhood map and information about the program for your use.
As we celebrate our nation and our community, now is a perfect time for you to take a leadership role in your neighborhood and implement the Map Your Neighborhood program. Imagine a major disaster occurring — are you prepared? I believe that West Linn neighbors genuinely want to help each other if a disaster were to occur. The Map Your Neighborhood program will help you prepare for a situation so your neighborhood can work together to keep each other safe in an emergency.