MWJN Conducted its 2nd Annual Preparedness Drill, this time testing the block-by-block “Map Your Neighborhood” 9-step program. The Drill involved about 70 people in 5 blocks, who responded to an “earthquake” at 9AM by following the steps in the MYN booklets: we checked ourselves and our households, gathered at the designated gathering site, formed teams and spread out to check on neighbors who might need help. Following this “golden 60 Minutes” drill, we gathered at “Five Points” for a group debriefing on how to continue and improve the program in our neighborhood.
The Drill was a success, with teams easily created to check on “special needs” neighbors and possible gas leaks. Each block had walkie-talkies to communicate with each other and the base camp at 5 Points. We had simulated gas leaks planted in each block, and “Help – This is only a Drill” signs in some houses. We even rescued a wooden cat!
Participating neighbors offered suggestions for more frequent drills, better familiarity with gas meters and streamlined communications. An observer from the LA Fire Department’s volunteer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) organization was impressed enough to propose our model as part of the Northeast LA CERT Plan.