Homeland Security Through Neighborhood Watch
As our country wages the fight against terrorism both domestically and abroad, Neighborhood Watch is the best way for all Americans to get involved-to contribute their talents to the security and safety of our homeland-because a secure and alert neighborhood is a secure and alert nation.
Remember disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond.
Meet your neighbors. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors' skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can't get home.
A Family Plan
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations.
It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an
out-of-state contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated
Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient. Emergency Information: Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door. Call the closest chapter of the American Red Cross for emergency information that applies to your community.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency.
You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.
Develop an evacuation plan and practice it with your family and neighbors. Know what to do if you are instructed to evacuate your home or community. Please remember the following when creating your home evacuation plan.
Every member of the family should know how to get out of their home
in case of an emergency.
Find at least two ways out of each room in the home if possible.
If you live in an apartment building, know the evacuation plan.
Agree on a meeting place after all have exited the home.
Plan on how to take care of pets. With the exception of guide dogs,
shelters usually do not allow pets.
Learn how to shut off utilities such as gas, electricity, and water in
the event of a gas leak.
Identify neighbors who have special needs or will require special assistance.
Develop self-help networks between families and neighborhoods through a skills and resource bank which lists tools, equipment, materials and
members who have special skills and resources to share
Any real threat or risk that puts lives in immediate danger is an emergency that should be reported by calling 9-1-1.
You can save lives by calling 9-1-1 when:
- You see or hear someone carrying
a weapon in an unlawful manner, use
verbal threats, or suspiciously exiting a secured non-public area near an
area of transportation, government building, or tourist attraction.
- You witness someone use or
threaten to use a gun or other weapon, place
a bomb, or release poisonous substance into the air, water, or food supply.
- You see fire, smell smoke
or gas, or hear an explosion.
- You see someone forcibly taken
or being held by someone with a weapon or threatening violence.
- You see a suspicious package abandoned in a public place like an office building, airport, school, or shopping center.