In It Together
When disaster strikes, the most immediate help will come from those around you - your neighbours. Connecting and building relationships with them today will mean a better response and faster recovery.
Download the In it Together: Neighbourhood Preparedness Guide (PDF) and start talking with the people next door. It will help you join forces so you collectively know what to do in an emergency, who to check on and what resources are available nearby.
Prepared neighbourhoods are resilient neighbourhoods. When you're in it together, you're stronger.
Eight steps to working together
Step 1: Prepare your home
Pulling together as a neighbourhood requires a basic level of personal preparedness. Take the first steps by completing the PreparedBC: Household Preparedness Guide (PDF), filling in the blanks of the PreparedBC: Household Emergency Plan (PDF) and building an emergency kit.
Step 2: Meet your neighbours
Use the In it Together: Neighbourhood Preparedness Guide (PDF) as an icebreaker and organize a get-together, like a BBQ or potluck. If you already have a neighbourhood network in place - a Block Watch group, residents association or strata council - start there.
Suggested topics to discuss:
- Local hazards and risks
- Household preparedness
- Neighbours with unique needs (who may need extra help)
- Skills and resources (who has first-aid skills, construction skills, a generator or chainsaw)
Step 3: Identify a safe meeting place
In an emergency, you, your family and neighbours should gather at a predetermined safe meeting point to evaluate the situation and what needs to be done.
Step 4: Assign responsibilities
It can be difficult to think clearly during and immediately after a disaster. Assigning responsibilities in advance will enable a quicker and more coordinated response.
Step 5: Map your street
Use the grid at the centre of the In it Together: Neighbourhood Preparedness Guide (PDF) to map out:
- Participating homes
- Your safe meeting point
- Households that may require extra help
- Water, gas and electricity mains, and where they can be turned off
- Other key resources or vulnerabilities identified in your planning
Step 6: Store your guide
Remove the map and contact details from the centre of the In it Together: Neighbourhood Preparedness Guide (PDF) and store it with your household plan in an easy to access location. Ensure everyone in your group has a copy of the same information.
Step 7: Keep in touch
Maintain the momentum by staying in contact with your neighbours:
- Organize an annual street BBQ or potluck
- Offer support during times of need or life changes, such as a new baby, a recent death or home renovations
- Welcome new neighbours
Step 8: Review and update
Identify someone to organize a get-together to review and update your neighbourhood plan each year.