A Neighborhood Preparedness Program
After a major disaster, your most immediate source of help are the people living around you. Emergency Watch is a neighborhood preparedness program (called Map Your Neighborhood in the Lower 48) that enables your neighbors to plan, prepare and train to respond to disasters that impact your family and your neighbor's families. Emergency Watch is available to all neighborhoods. Training is offered to potential and current leaders, team members and neighbors.
Each neighborhood of 15-25 households has 2 leaders and 4 Critical Task Teams: First Aid, Damage Survey,Communications, and Resources. Neighbors are taught about disaster prepared-ness and given the opportunity to participate on a Critical Task Team, contribute to the plan, or help in some other way. Anyone may start a program or get connected to one established in their area.
To connect with a leader in your neighborhood or area, email your name and contact information with the number or neighborhood name you'd like to reach to email@example.com and we will forward your information to that leader.
How do I start a program?
- Attend the 2.5 hour Emergency Watch Orientation to learn about the program, why it is so important to prepare as a neighborhood, how the program will help you and your neighbors, and what a Neighborhood Leader does.
- Hold an initial planning meeting with your neighbors and develop your emergency response neighborhood plan using our easy to fill out templates. The Office of Emergency Management Program Manager for Emergency Watch will attend or conduct this meeting at your request.
- Enlist the help of your neighbors at this and future meetings. Each Emergency Watch neighborhood will operate 4 Critical Task Teams: communication, first aid/CPR, damage survey, and resources. A neighborhood leader will oversee these teams and tasks but the teams will be made up of neighborhood volunteers.
- Conduct an annual or biannual exercise to practice and evaluate your neighborhood emergency plan. This can be as simple as a tabletop exercise or it can be a full-scale exercise to walk through every step of your plan. The Office of Emergency Management is available to help you plan, put together, and conduct your exercise.
If I attend the Orientation, do I have to start a program? Will I be pressured to start one?
No and No. Being a leader in this program is not a good fit for everyone and we know that. We ask everyone attending an Orientation to seriously consider if it is something they want and can pursue. A Neighborhood Leader who does not want to start a program will not be effective. We give you the option at the end of the Orientation to sign up to get started right away, to tell us you are interested but still considering, or to just say thanks, but this is not going to be a good fit. Your level of participation is entirely up to you.
What if I dislike talking to people or conducting meetings?
You are not alone! This is new and uncomfortable territory for many of our new leaders. We encourage you to start by attending the Orientation to learn more about the program. If you decide to move forward, be assured there are options for getting the program started that does NOT have to involve large group public speaking. Of course, if you never want to talk to any of your neighbors, this might not be the ideal volunteer position for you.
Can I just start one on my own without going to the Orientation?
While that is possible, official programs have the benefit of support, guidance, and recognition of their volunteer efforts, can connect with other Neighborhood Leaders, are notified of the various training events and information updates, and are included on the Emergency Watch maps so that people in their area can get connected to the program. To be officially recognized in the program, the Neighborhood Leader must attend the Orientation.
To learn more, check out this informational brochure or email Michelle Torres, Emergency Programs Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Neighbhorhood Leader Orientations will be held at the Office of Emergency Management, 1305 E Street
(To Be Scheduled)
Select which date and time works best for you and then register.
***Orientations need a minimum of 10 people registered. If registration falls short, you will be notified by email of the Orientation's cancellation and the next available dates.
Neighborhood Leader Toolkit
The toolkit is being rewritten and updated and will be available soon. Please check back or call Michelle Torres at 343-1407.