Being part of Neighborhood Watch, I received a newsletter that I thought important to share about how to prepare your neighborhood for emergencies. But then it occurred to me that many of our neighborhoods here in Palos Verdes don’t even have a Neighborhood Watch program. So before I get to the material on how to prepare your neighborhood, let’s go over some tips on how to set up a neighborhood watch. So, how to set up a Neighborhood Watch? Just keep reading…
It’s really not all that complicated. The city of Rolling Hills Estates put out a guideline that will help anyone, anywhere t o set up a neighborhood watch. You can download a copy of the guideline by clicking here How to Set Up a Neighborhood Watch
So, now that you have your Neighborhood Watch set up for your Palos Verdes neighborhood, how can you prepare your neighborhood for emergencies?
How to set up a Neighborhood Watch
Click here for your plan – PREPARING YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD FOR EMERGENCIES. Attached to it is a one-page HOUSEHOLD SURVEY FORM, which shows the skills and resources in your neighborhood. First responders encourage residents to fill out this form so your EP team can utilize such things as who has what equipment, and who has what skills.
Often after disasters, residents look to blame what could-of or should-of been done before. One issue mentioned several times is that, “More people would have survived if the first responders knew ahead of time who was elderly or disabled.” In fact, loved ones have deluged law enforcement dispatchers with reports of homebound and other vulnerable people, some with no cars, standing in the roadway with pets, nearly all of them alone.
Recent out-of-control fires move so fast that alerts and evacuation systems break down. There is no time to deploy accessible vans to ferry out those in need. There is no time to look for lists of vulnerable people. We have a better solution. Part of our EP program addresses the problem of homebound residents. No one should have to call the Fire and Sheriff’s Dept.
During a time of chaos when phone lines are overwhelmed, maybe even out of service. Our first responders have certain priorities in a major disaster. In a small community such as ours, it is a given that we should know who the people needing assistance are in our neighborhood. We must plan ahead of time for who has a van for wheel chairs or electric scooters in an evacuation. If first responders do come into the neighborhood, residents should point out to them any homebound or disabled residents. Knowing and helping elderly or disabled neighbors all year round is each neighborhood’s responsibility. It is not the responsibility of our first responders during a disaster.
Setting up your EP program NOW is easy to do. You can’t do it during or after a disaster.
- Get together a team of neighbors who want to help.
- Choose a leader.
- Get the Household Survey out to the neighbors. Ask them to fill out the forms and return to the team leader.
- Someone on the team should transfer the data from the Survey forms to a spreadsheet (which NW provides). Make sure key people on the block get a copy of the spreadsheet. A copy should also go to the EP Area Coordinator who is over the whole area.
- Several residents have asked when we will forward job descriptions, spreadsheets and other forms. They will be forwarded to all Block Captains after EP-6 is sent out.
If you have any questions or need help, here are some links to get in touch with folks that will be happy to help you.
How to set up a neighborhood watch in Palos Verdes Estates
How to set up a neighborhood watch in Rolling Hills Estates
How to set up a neighborhood watch in Rancho Palos Verdes
Here’s an added tip … Get on NEXTDOOR
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