Neighborhood Planning

In a major emergency situation, West Seattle will need to be prepared on a neighborhood level, as well as at the individual household level. Following are our recommendations and some suggested resources.

Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) program: Each block or neighborhood should form a SNAP group; the SNAP program provides information, training, and useful materials such as HELP/OK signs that can be placed in windows to let others know if you need help or not. If your block does not have a Blockwatch program, you may want to establish one in addition to the SNAP group, as bothprograms share the goal of neighborhood safety. [As an aside, there is a group, West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network; you can also find the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network group on Facebook. The goal is to share information and best practices across West Seattle.]

Collect items for a neighborhood emergency kit: Neighborhood kits should include safety-related items (for securing utilities, putting out fires, addressing first aid needs, directing people away from hazards); they should also focus on other basic needs such as shelter, heat, light, food, water and sanitation.

Suggested tools include a wrench for shutting off gas meters and water meters, fire extinguishers, hammer, crowbar and saws. Include items that would be helpful for debris removal such as work boots, work gloves, dust masks, protective eye goggles and ear protection (in the event that heavy equipment is brought in). Other useful supplies include flares, duct tape, plastic sheeting and/or a cordless drill screwdriver, screws and, plywood (for boarding up windows). Bigger items such as ladders, garden hoses and shop vacs won’t fit in a “kit”, but should be kept handy. A generator would be extremely helpful, as it will allow the use of other corded tools and appliances. As well, it would be helpful if someone in your group has a battery-powered or crank-to-recharge AM/FM radio, 2-way radios, a small battery-powered television and a NOAA radio. You will find excellent lists of items to include in neighborhood kits on our Other Communities and Official Planning Resources pages.

Identify potential neighborhood resources: Familiarize yourself with your immediate local neighborhood. Include maps of the Emergency Communication Hubs, Blockwatch maps (if available), and other important information in your neighborhood resource kit. Don’t forget to check the West Seattle Media (News Sources) and our West Seattle Resources pages for helpful neighborhood information.

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