MYN 4-15With generous support from the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF),  Phillips 66 and Providence Medical Center, COPE Preparedness  conducted the  “Map Your Neighborhood” emergency preparedness program on August 1 . The event was completely booked with 106 registrations and it was a sensational success. THANK YOU to our sponsors and thank you to all the attendees. Your enthusiasm, dedication and group participation was the highlight of the event. We look forward to your continued involvement with COPE Preparedness in implementing community preparedness.

The COPE Preparedness MAP YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD (MYN) program is designed to help neighborhoods prepare for disasters by providing a step-by-step process that gives residents materials and skills to become disaster resilient. MYN improves community resiliency because it specifically addresses the need for personal and neighborhood preparedness and for “block by block” preparedness planning, mapping of resources, care for the infirm, elderly and children in order to mobilize available human and tangible resources after disaster. In the MYN workshop participants learn how to prepare their own households and subsequently implement the MYN on their residential block. Program instructions and handouts include templates that are utilized to identify skills and equipment each neighbor has that may be useful during a disaster; guidelines on pinpointing the locations of all natural gas meters and compiling a contact list of residents who may need extra help in a disaster such as the elderly, people with disabilities, or children who are sometimes home alone. Instructions for selecting a Neighborhood Gathering Site and Neighborhood Care Center are included. The plan outlines specific disaster response steps as example; after residents assure that their own families and homes are safe they don protective clothing that is stored in their “under the bed box”, and then check for natural gas leaks. They shut off the gas, water and electricity if needed; tape a provided placard onto their front door or window signaling their status (“OK” or “Help”). Those who are able then go to the designated Neighborhood Gathering Site, where they use the skills and equipment information prepared earlier, then neighbors assemble to monitor local radio broadcasts for emergency information; walk door-to-door to check on homes displaying the “Help” placard (or no placard) and provide assistance to those in need. The MYN program educates the community on the basics of personal preparedness including what each individual and family should have by way of supplies and planning to self-sustain for the recommended two weeks and provides training on how to develop neighborhood plans. Ongoing education is achieved by distribution of the COPE monthly e-newsletter that distributes preparedness information. The prime objective of the program is safety. By preparing individuals and businesses to self-sustain during disasters lives will be saved, injuries prevented, the environment will be protected and response and recovery of the community will be enhanced. The MYN is based on an ongoing Community Initiative that forged and focused public and private partnerships to assess community preparedness gaps and fulfill resiliency objectives.

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