The Neighbor 4 Neighbor program provides opportunities for neighborhoods to pool talents and resources to increase the chances of withstanding and recovering from a disaster, preventing crime, and to look out for each other.
Properly implemented in a community, the Neighbor 4 Neighbor program provides greater resilience in a number of important ways. First, neighborhoods take responsibility for reducing residential crime by increased vigilance and a willingness to be actively involved acting as eyes and ears for local police. With familiarity, preparation, and training, neighbors can band together with greater potential for withstanding and recovering from both natural and personal disasters.
Many residents are already organizing their streets so when a big earthquake or other disaster happens, we will all be prepared to not only withstand the actual event, but also to recover from it as quickly and safely as possible. In emergencies, people tend to bond with those around them. The premise of Neighbor 4 Neighbor is to create those bonds before they are needed so people have appropriate training and structure already in place.
Most disaster preparation focuses on how to respond to catastrophic situations. On a more personal level, many "individual" disasters can be prevented by situational awareness and neighbors simply looking out for each other as Americans have done throughout history. This concept was the basis for the old Neighborhood Watch programs, and is an important component of Neighbor 4 Neighbor. Vigilance and a willingness to investigate and/or report things that seem to be "out of place" can often prevent small personal traumas from becoming significant personal disasters. Knowing neighbors opens doors for this level of communication.
An important aspect of this effort is to revive a neighborhood watch awareness and work together to ensure that the community remains a wonderful, safe place to live.
To that end, we have prepared an organizational plan that includes a neighbor "Meet and Greet" where we can gather to make sure everyone knows everyone, and to assess levels of preparedness. Our hope is to have the entire block band together not only to prepare for disaster response, but also to promote neighborhood safety and provide the care and support many of us, from time to time, may temporarily need.
If this sounds like a good idea, let us know and we can help you through the organizational process. We already have prepared materials and plans that can be customized to the personality of your street.
For questions or more information about the Neighbor 4 Neighbor program, please contact the Seal Beach Police Department at (562) 799-4100.