A Neighborhood Network is all about neighbors organizing to help each other before, during and after a disaster. Residents in a tight geographic area agree to share contact information, special skills, equipment, and to keep each other informed about any emergencies in the Canyon.
A Neighborhood Network may be especially helpful if a major earthquake were to isolate Topanga from outside resources and aid. There is strength in numbers when people band together to share resources and keep others from feeling alone.
Talk to your neighbors and find a couple of people willing to share organizing responsibilities by becoming Coordinators for your neighborhood. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and a TCEP volunteer will help you get started.
Neighborhood Network coordinators are part of TCEP’s emergency notification system and will be among the first people in the Canyon to receive notice of a major wildfire or other disaster. Coordinators are then expected to share whatever they learn from TCEP volunteers with their Network.
First step on the coordinator’s agenda is to organize a meeting of all interested neighbors. A TCEP volunteer will attend your meeting to explain all about the Neighborhood Network program and how to get everyone connected with a mass communications system. You’ll also learn the value in sharing disaster plans, evacuation tips, and developing a Family Emergency Plan and disaster kit.
A typical Neighborhood Network has somewhere between 10-50 households. Buddy systems can be set up between adjacent neighbors for those who want to provide access to their property in case they are not home when a disaster strikes. The buddy neighbor could rescue a pet, grab some valuables or shut off a propane tank, for example.
A primary benefit of a Neighborhood Network is to quickly share emergency information with everyone. We encourage Networks to set up some type of mass notification system to make it easy to notify everyone in the Network with a single phone call if there is a fire nearby. (We’ll help you get a system set up.) Commercial calling systems such as Text-Em-All or One Call Now work well and are reasonably priced when the cost is shared among all neighbors.
Email us at email@example.com and ask if a Network already exists in your area. If not, perhaps you and a couple of friends can be the catalysts to start one.