An Aero Methow Rescue Service Program


Hayley Riach

The Benefits of Participating in Map Your Neighborhood

In a disaster, the neighbors living around you are your most immediate source of help. Traditional 9-1-1 responders (police, fire, medical, and utility) are quickly overwhelmed by demand.  Knowing what to do in the first hour (THE GOLDEN HOUR) of a disaster response may save a life, reduce the severity of injuries, and reduce the amount of damage that you, your family and neighbors sustain.

Goal of Map Your Neighborhood Program

To prepare neighborhoods (generally 15-20 homes in urban areas, 6-7 in rural areas) to be self-reliant during the first hours of a disaster response when traditional 9-1-1 responders are overwhelmed by demand.

As a participant, you will:

1. Learn the 9 Steps (see below!) to take immediately following a disaster to secure your home and protect your neighborhood.
2. Identify the skills and equipment each neighbor has that are useful in an effective disaster response.
3. Create a Neighborhood Map showing the locations of each propane tank (about 67% of house fires following disasters are caused by leaking gas); and the locations of each neighbor who may need extra help in a disaster, such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, or children who are home alone during certain times of the day.
4. Pick locations for a Neighborhood Gathering Site and Neighborhood Care Center.


1. Take care of your loved ones.
2. Protect your head, feet and hands.
3. Check the propane at your home.
4. Shut off the water at the house main.
5. Place the HELP or OK sign on your front door or window.
6. Put your fire extinguisher in front of the house.
7. Go to the Neighborhood Gathering Site.
8. Form teams to listen to the radio for alerts; check on elderly, disabled and children; check propane; check homes with HELP cards and those with no card.
9. Return to Neighborhood Gathering Site to share what has been done.

History of Map Your Neighborhood Program

Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) was developed by Dr. LuAn Johnson, first in Sunnyvale, CA and then in Seattle, WA. The program was implemented statewide by the State of Washington’s Emergency Management Division (EMD) in 2006. This award-winning program has proven its effectiveness. During the Nisqually (Seattle) Earthquake on February 28, 2001, 92% of 460 organized neighborhoods effectively responded utilizing the 9-Step Neighborhood Disaster Response Plan. More than 50 counties and cities in Washington State are in various stages of implementing MYN. States which have adopted MYN include Alaska, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho, Kansas, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

For additional information, visit the State of Washington Emergency Management website.