Written by Marla LeFevre, Health Services Director
During our planning for this year’s drill, questions were asked about the difference between the Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) program and the Storm Support Team (SST). Both groups are under the umbrella of the Resident Council and both are resident organizations responding to disasters, but that’s where their similarities end:
Map Your Neighborhood is a first response protocol which outlines a series of steps everyone should take during a major event (not just earthquakes, but any kind of disaster). MYN directs all residents to first make sure they’re ok, and then go to their designated neighborhood gathering place. Once at the gathering place, residents are divided into teams to perform a series of tasks, which include checking on neighbors who haven’t arrived, communicating with staff about neighborhood needs, and gathering information about the scope of the event. This all takes place in the first hours after an event.
Storm Support Team is activated well beyond the initial stages of a disaster. Even though the name has “storm” in it, the SST may be activated in other kinds of events that exceed Panorama staff resources, such as an earthquake. Assistance from SST members would be requested only if an event is lasting for several days – it will never be activated in the initial stages of a disaster, as this is when MYN protocols are in place. The SST provides support by performing tasks such as hosting at Warming Centers, sharing information with residents about campus resources (by phone or home visit), hosting at Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro, and delivering messages if other communications are out (if phones aren’t working, etc.). None of these tasks are part of MYN.
Both organizations are VITAL during a campus-wide emergency of any kind. MYN is needed for initial response and includes ALL residents, while SST consists of trained resident volunteers who provide on-going support over several succeeding days. Resident volunteers (Map Your Neighborhood Captains, Storm Support Team members) can have roles in both organizations without any conflict in their responsibilities.
Staff members are trained in Panorama’s disaster response protocols as well as their roles in supporting Map Your Neighborhood and Storm Support Team activities. This teamwork between staff and independent-living residents enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of our disaster responses.
Thank you to these outstanding Resident Council organizations for their dedication to the welfare of Panorama’s residents during a disaster.