Map Your Neighborhood

Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) connects individual preparedness with preparedness in your neighborhood. Know who your neighbors are, who might need special assistance, and who might have special skills or equipment to help your neighbors in a disaster. When the emergency responders are overwhelmed, we will only have each other to rely on.

The 9-step program is easy and covers what to do both at home and then in your neighborhood in the first 60 minutes after disaster strikes. Practicing makes it even easier.

The “Map Your Neighborhood” program was developed in Washington state by LuAn Johnson, PhD of the Emergency Management Division and is endorsed by the American Red Cross. MYN is designed to bridge Community Emergency Response Team training (CERT) and individual preparedness.

MYN is implemented through an interactive meeting with 10–20 neighbors in one of their homes. A 9-step program is clearly laid out through informational videos that are watched and paused to develop simple maps and lists on the spot.

Everyone leaves with a custom booklet to keep under the bed for emergencies. The entire process takes only about 2-1/2 hours and participants leave both more prepared and better knowing their neighbors.

The 11 videos, featuring a neighborhood in Tigard, Oregon, are available on YouTube and listed below. Here is the introduction to give you the idea:


The 9 steps immediately following a disaster

Step 1 – Take care of your loved ones

Step 2 – Dress for safety – protect your head, hands and feet

Step 3 – Check the natural gas and/or propane, and shut off if you smell, hear, or see evidence of leak

Step 4 – Shut off water to prevent contamination from possible broken pipes elsewhere

Step 5 – Post OK / HELP sign

Step 6 – Place a fire extinguisher on the curb visible to neighbors

Step 7 – Go to the neighborhood gathering site

Step 8 – Form teams to listen to emergency radios and check on neighbors

Step 9 – Return to the gathering site and report findings


Links to individual videos

01 – Introduction – 3:50

02 – Assumptions and Boundaries – 5:30

03 – 9 Steps Immediately Following Disaster – 25:03

04 – Identify Neighborhood Gathering Site – 2:33

05 – Identify Neighborhood Care Center – 3:47

06 – Neighborhood Skills and Equipment Inventory – 1:26

07 – Neighborhood Map – 2:06

08 – Contact List – 1:55

09 – Review Steps 1–7 – 2:38

10 – Steps 8 and 9 – 4:14

11 – Next Steps – 1:55


Host your own MYN meeting

If you’d like to host a Map Your Neighborhood workshop for your neighborhood, we can help you organize the meeting. You can plan to lead the meeting yourself (see the MYN Facilitator Training Video) or we can arrange to lead it for you. The guidelines put together by the Washington State Emergency Management Division provide everything you need to do, and we’ve added a few key things ourselves. Contact us to find out more.


MYN resources: