Thursday, April 7, 2011

Map Your Neighborhood Workshops

Build a Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness Team On Your Block —Map Your Neighborhood (MYN)

Training workshop for Map Your Neighborhood April 25 or 26

Carbondale’s Housing and Neighborhood Action Group will provide "Map Your Neighborhood (MYN), Train the Trainers" sessions to those people who would like to facilitate Map Your Neighborhood meetings in homes throughout the region. Choose to attend one of two identical sessions: Monday April 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center; or Tuesday April 26 from 9 am to 12 pm in Room F-110 at John A. Logan College. The sessions are free and open to the public. However, a reservation is needed to ensure sufficient materials for everyone. Reservations can be made by calling Mary O’Hara at (618) 713-0820 or <>.

The hour following a disaster is called the "golden hour" by emergency preparedness professionals. Golden because well planned responses to a disaster in the first hour can significantly prevent the loss of lives and property. "Map Your Neighborhood" trains neighborhoods how to work together to maximize their effectiveness during the golden hour.

After completing the training, a participant will have the tools to organize a neighborhood (usually 10-20 homes) to

-- learn the 9 steps to take immediately following a disaster,

-- develop a neighborhood skills and equipment inventory,

-- map the neighborhood and identify areas of concern such as gas meters, and

-- verify which neighbors need extra help in a disaster such as the elderly, those with a disability, or children who may be home alone.

Mary Pohlmann, lead trainer for the workshop, observed, "The extent of the devastation in Japan has left people in shock. We are not susceptible to tsunamis, but Southern Illinois sits between two seismic zones -- New Madrid and the Wabash Valley. Plus, tornadoes and ice storms are other disasters for which we need to prepare. The award winning Map Your Neighborhood program will help us be ready for all such disasters." MYN won the 2009 International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) "Public Awareness Award."

The Neighborhood Action Group grew out of the 2005 Carbondale Conversations for Community Action (a program of the Carbondale Human Relations Commission), when the conversations looked at Building Strong Neighborhoods. The Map Your Neighborhood program is organized in concert with Carbondale Emergency Management Services (549-5302 x 234). A video of a local MYN neighborhood meeting is available at Speakers to describe the MYN program to groups are also available. For more information contact or call Mary O’Hara at 713-0820

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