The Map Your Neighborhood program, MYN, is designed to teach neighbors how to make the most of the precious minutes immediately following a disaster. The program was conceived and developed by LuAn K. Johnson of Washington State’s Emergency Management Department and is now used in 49 states as part of the American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Training. In Los Angeles, it is currently under the umbrella of the city’s “Ready Your LA Neighborhood” program.
MYN is an easy 9-step neighborhood response plan taught by community volunteers in about two hours. It is a bridge between individual preparedness and programs like CERT (Certified Emergency Response Team). In a disaster, MYN saves lives, reduces the severity of injuries and trauma, and reduces property damage. This program goes beyond the suggested preparation we have all been given, to have one to two weeks of food, water and medical supplies on hand for earthquake preparedness. It stresses individual preparedness, but then takes it a step further, training individuals to work in teams to assess the community and identify those who need help after a disaster.
In MYN, the goal is to cluster 20-25 homes, within a site-line, as a “neighborhood”. During the planning meetings, residents develop a Neighborhood Skills and Equipment Inventory as well as a single neighborhood map showing locations of gas meters and electrical panels. Residents learn which neighbors may need extra help, such those who are elderly and those with disabilities. They also learn which homes may have children home alone and who have pets and where they might be found.
In a major disaster, the services that we normally rely on will be stretched to their limits. 911 will be overloaded and fire departments and medical teams will be addressing the largest issues. MYN teaches neighbors to work together for safety, improving the quality of life in the community by making the community stronger.
This training traditionally is physical meeting of neighbors in a home. However, with the onset of the Covid-19 Crisis, there are ways to facilitate this program on-line. If you are interested in hosting a Map Your Neighborhood meeting, please contact me, I can facilitate a meeting or put you in touch with someone in your community who can.