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Connected Neighbors Are Better Prepared Neighbors


Madison WI - April 23, 2008 - This week is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin -- a time designated to highlight the need for being prepared for dangerous weather and other emergencies.

Public Health - Madison and Dane County recently received a national grant to help neighborhoods develop emergency plans for their specific communities. These efforts are part of a joint effort between Public Health and Dane County Emergency Management, the American Red Cross Badger Chapter, and the City of Madison Fire Department.

"The focus of our work is to help people and neighborhoods prepare to be self-sufficient during an emergency until first responders can get to them," said Jenny Lujan, Public Health Nurse and one of the project coordinators. "To do this, social ties within the community are important. Our project is designed to help link and involve neighbors in the process of developing the kind of emergency plans that make the neighborhood better prepared for disaster." Currently the work is being done in three Madison neighborhoods-The Triangle, Allied Drive and Meadowood.

Public Health and its partners are helping mobilize neighborhoods to address individual preparedness, make connections within neighborhoods, and help neighborhoods link with emergency responders. The end result is a neighborhood plan to get residents organized so that they can help each other if a disaster strikes in the neighborhood.

Grant funds are also being used to purchase weather radios to help residents stay informed about dangerous weather and to provide incentives for residents to get involved in emergency planning. Other activities in the three participating Madison neighborhoods include developing emergency phone trees and safety policies, planning for fire drills, having young people participate in a photo mapping project to identify their perceptions of neighborhood safety and hosting neighborhood events in collaboration with community partners

Public Health and its partners are available to assist other neighborhoods and communities in Dane County. For more information call 242-6533.



  • Jenny Lujan, (608) 242-6533
  • Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302