Tag Archives: Neighbors

ReadyDominican: Neighbors Knowing Neighbors

Our mission is to have all homes in the Dominican neighborhood organized into groups and prepared for an emergency. Yes, we think big. Be a part of it.

There are a number of emergencies we might have to deal with: wildfire, evacuation, earthquake, and crime-based lockdown are just a few. In all instances, we need to be able to take care of ourselves. First-responders may not be available to help us depending on the size and characteristics of the emergency. Both public agencies and private organizations  in Marin County prepare plans and conduct drills to be ready in the event of an emergency. What are we doing? ReadyDominican is an initiative to organize, prepare, and build our own readiness. We need your participation.

Learn more about readiness complete with checklists and suggestions at ReadyMarin.org. You can also register for a CERT class on the site!

The Big Picture

There are 23 firefighters on duty in San Rafael on any one shift. 23 firefights, 57,000 residents which grows to 100,000 during the day. Do the math. Getting help is going to be very difficult. Our first responders will be overwhelmed very quickly. We need to prepare to take care of ourselves.

The ReadyDominican program is based on establishing groups where neighbors share contact information and confirm completion of five basic steps toward emergency preparedness. Our goal is to have at least one member of each neighborhood group complete the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course offered by Marin County (www.ReadyMarin.org). The Dominican Black Canyon Neighborhood Association, who is sponsoring this initiative, will reimburse the CERT training fee upon completion (the course will be offered in September in San Rafael!).

Importance of Communication

We have several small hand-held radio networks active in our neighborhood. If we had no phones or text capabilities, how do we communicate within the neighborhood and with the San Rafael Emergency Operations Center? We need to broaden our communications plan and the best way to do that is through neighborhood groups.

Get Ready Program

We can conduct a Get Ready 90-minute presentation, complete with snacks, to give you a more thorough overview of what you can do to prepare. If you are interested in hosting a presentation for your neighbors, please contact us at DBCNA.info@gmail.com.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I’m very busy. Can I still participate?
We are all busy. We have designed ReadyDominican to show you how easy it is to establish basic preparation at your home. You will see that taking a few additional steps to your life (using our guidance) isn’t such a time consuming task. There are no deadlines or requirements. You can build your readiness at your own pace.

Why should I participate?
Many people think “it won’t happen to me”. Unfortunately, we know the dangers of living in “earthquake country” are real. We also live in a hot, relatively dry, climate adjacent to open space lands susceptible to wildfire. If there is a severe earthquake, it will help to know that the lady two doors down has mobility problems and might need help. In the event of a daytime fire evacuation, it will help to know that the people next door work in San Francisco and their dog is inside the house. Maybe you find that your neighbor has an injury and the local first responders are consumed with other calls following a large event. Participating in ReadyDominican will help you know where nurses, doctors, or CERT team members live nearby. Participating in ReadyDominican leads to knowing your neighbors, so you’ll be able to recognize suspicious activity on the block and alert the authorities in a timely manner. Participation builds community, a sense of belonging and safety. It is YOU that will make this program successful.

Do I have to participate?
No. ReadyDominican is a voluntary program. We are asking all residents to participate to the degree they are comfortable.

Studies show that people are more inclined to prepare after an emergency. We don’t want to wait. Let’s learn from others before we are truly affected by an emergency event. People are also motivated to prepare when they see their neighbors being prepared. That’s why we have set up ReadyDominican. Let’s support each other and build a culture of preparedness within the neighborhood. Meet your neighbors, fill out a ReadyDominican form to share your information, and talk about what each of you are doing to be prepared for an emergency. Pass the word. Whether friends live in the Dominican area or elsewhere, the more we are prepared, the better off we will be when a disaster happens.

How It Works

Building Neighborhood Groups

We are in the process of building groups of 10-20 homes where one neighbor is identified as the Block Preparedness Coordinator. Their responsibility is to maintain contact and critical medical information for the group. Each neighbor in the group fills out a simple form (it takes 3 minutes) with phone numbers, pet information, special skills (medical, CERT, construction, etc.), and more. This information remains confidential with the Block Preparedness Coordinator unless you authorize for it to be shared with the other neighbors in the group.  Once the group is established and the Block Preparedness Coordinator has collected the forms, we build a map showing the authorized information such as names, contact information, special needs, and available skills/tools for each of the participating neighbors.  A copy of this map will be provided to each neighbor in the group. The map is designed to be a concise and effective means of sharing pertinent information which will help neighbors communicate regularly and assist each other in emergencies.

The Block Preparedness Coordinators throughout the entire Dominican neighborhood will be on an email list with each other and the neighborhood association. They will be notified of ReadyDominican program updates, pertinent emergency preparedness information, crime alerts, etc. Each Block Preparedness Coordinator will then communicate the information to their group participants.

Buildng Household Readiness

5steps-graphicAs part of the ReadyDominican program, we ask everyone to do these 5 Simple Steps toward Emergency Preparedness:

1. Form a neighborhood group (see above and let us know if you’d like to be a Block Preparedness Coordinator)

2. Store water for 5 days for your family and pets

3. Place a flashlight next to your bed

4. Know how to turn off your gas and water

5. Place a pair of shoes and socks under your bed

lawn-signOnce the marjority of your neighborhood group has completed these 5 steps, we will offer you the opportunity to place a small sign in your yard that says “I’m Ready. Are you?” for one week. After a week, we’ll remove it and put them in another group’s yards. Why do this? To spread the word. The more places we can get the word out that ReadyDominican is in place and working, the more others will be involved. Anyone driving by your house will see another instance of someone getting prepared and hopefully will want to be involved as well. We appreciate you helping us with this promotional part of the program.

Get Involved. Email Us.

If you want to be a Block Preparedness Coordinator, we will help you get started, give you the program forms, explain the process in detail, and even walk the neighborhood with you. If you want to hold a meeting with your neighbors, we will come speak to your group or coordinate a member of the fire department to be in attendance to answer questions. If you just want to be a part of a group, we’ll work with you to find someone in your neighborhood to be the Block Preparedness Coordinator. Email us at DBCNA.info@gmail.com.