Friday, April 15, 2011

Why I Love My Neighborhood

I move a lot. No one writes down my address in pen, and that's how it's always been. Some people find consistency and routine comforting. To me, they feel like a paralyzing trap--even when I've found the coolest neighborhood to live in. EVER.

It'll be kind of a bummer to move. And to those of you who are saying, "Well, then don't move!" all I can say is that based on the tightness in my chest and the progressively intense grinding of my teeth at night, the time has come.

The good news is that on some levels ANY neighborhood could be my neighborhood--especially when it comes to emergency preparedness. In that department my neighborhood lands in the "Rock Star" category...which I just made up, so don't try googling the term.

And let me immediately make it clear that I do not live around survivalists who are waiting for doomsday while clinging to shotguns. They're just families and grandparents who like to have BBQs and be neighborly while realizing that they live in an earthquake zone that is more than a century overdue for some serious shaking. And should disaster strike?

There is one leader for every 7 houses in my neighborhood, and that leader has 2 sub-captains. Every house knows who their leader is and that should report to them in case of emergency. The leaders have shortwave radios to communicate with and are CERT certified. They make sure their 7 houses have the emergency flags and are instructed on when/how to use them. They also encourage all families have secondary meeting locations in case they are separated in the event of an emergency.

If this isn't enough, one man in the neighborhood has a backhoe, just in case, and certain teens who are highly athletic are designated as "runners" should car travel not be possible. 72-hour kits are standard for each household member, and in addition to the leaders, nearly 50 of the adults living along the 8 streets in our area are CERT certified. Parents of children have certified so that they will be able to get their children in the case that they are separated at the time of an earthquake. Most parents don't know that if an area's roped off, emergency workers aren't going to let them in just because their child is on the other side. Only trained personnel can pass, which includes CERT.

(Overt hint to ALL parents: Get CERT certified. There's absolutely no down side and many of city areas in Utah provide the training for free.)

Be surrounded by this level of preparation will be one of the things I lose when I move. I know, because I've lived in a LOT of areas, and none of them touch the quiet, unassuming neighborhood I reside in now.


It's been nice, though. And hopefully I'll take some of the good along with me to the next place. We all should. Waiting for FEMA in the event of an emergency should be non one's game plan. If it is, see above for some excellent ways to revise it :)


  1. Holy Cow - it's like you live in a neighborhood filled with MacGuyver's extended family! That's fantastic - lots of great ideas to take with you...

  2. Finally, I understand the tightness of the chest and grinding of teeth--as I grew up in a similar moving-around-a-lot mode, and have stayed put for much longer than I ever imagined. Huh. Go figure.

    But yeah, that is an awesome neighborhood.

  3. What an awesome neighborhood! I want to print this out and pass it around my neighborhood ... except I'm not so sure the frat house retirement home across the road will care ...

  4. What an awesome neighborhood! I want to print this out and pass it around my neighborhood ... except I'm not so sure the frat house retirement home across the road will care ...

  5. @Windy- Frat house retirement home? That sounds intriguing.
    @Nichole- You're saying I'm not the only one? Nice to have someone who can relate.
    @ E- Picture MacGyver's parents. That's my neighborhood.


    Just sayin'