Wednesday, July 30, 2008

National Night Out

Tuesday, August 5th, is National Night Out which is a community event to promote crime prevention and enhance community spirit. Started over 25 years ago, the first Tuesday in August has been nationally designated for community-organized celebrations which include street fairs, neighborhood BBQ's and time for neighbors to spend time together.

Here in Clark County, several local celebrations will also be underway. The cities of
Battle Ground and Ridgefield will be hosting parties in the evening.

Columbian also lists the following neighborhoods as having National Night Out events:

Fircrest Neighborhood Association, 6:30 p.m. social time, 7 p.m. open forum, 7:30 p.m. meeting, Firstenburg Community Center, 700 N.E. 136th Ave

Northfield Neighborhood Picnic, 5:30 p.m. to dusk, Northfield Park

Rose Village Neighborhood Party, 7 to 9 p.m., Washington Elementary School Park, 2908 S St

Now, you may ask yourself why an emergency manager is encouraging you to get out to a community event in your neighborhood? Well, the answer is simple.

The best thing that you can do to prepare yourself for an emergency event is to know your neighbors! The famous slogan for emergency managers is "Disasters are ALWAYS local" and the reality is, if the big disaster strikes, we don't have enough police officers, fire fighters and ambulances to reach everyone in need.

This is where you come in as neighbors. Being able to check on your neighbors and their well-being is one of the first things you can do to be helpful in your community. Washington State launched a program last year called
Map Your Neighborhood which offers an easy guide to assist you in preparing for an emergency event.

Here in Clark County and
Vancouver, many folks have already taken advantage of training and resources to be able to conduct informal get-togethers with their neighbors and strengthen our community-wide preparedness.

So, if you choose to do one thing this next week to get yourself prepared, I'd personally encourage you to have fun, get out on a Tuesday night and enjoy National Night Out.

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