Neighbors-It’s Critical We Get To Know Them

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My post today is explaining why you need to meet and get to know your neighbors. Of course, if you have lived in the same house for 30 years you probably know most everyone on the street. Where I live it’s mostly renters, so the people move in and out all the time.

It’s a bit more difficult to get to know the ones that rent only 60 days, or even six months. I do have about 30% of the people on my street that actually owns their homes. I live in a neighborhood where about 50% of the people are under 60 years old and about 50% are over the age of 60. It’s quite common to hear at least one or two ambulances every other month in my subdivision.

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This is the reason why I feel very strongly about writing this post today.  A few years ago it was spring break and Easter weekend and Mark and I had company here and we heard the sirens very close to our home. Mark walked down the street to see if he could help in any way. He saw an ambulance drive away from a friend’s home.

Privacy Issues

I’m sure because of “privacy issues” the fireman standing next to the firetruck would not confirm Mark’s question as to who was in the ambulance. The front door was open at the home and Mark rang the doorbell to see if the owner’s adult daughter was still there.

The daughter is older and has some very critical medical issues of her own, so Mark asked her “was that your mom in the ambulance?” She nodded and said, “just call her.” Well, our friend in the ambulance did not answer her phone. Mark started trying to call people in the neighborhood who knew her extended family members’ phone numbers.

Keep in mind it’s the day before Easter and most people were out of town. All we needed was a phone number to contact her relatives to help with her daughter and let them know the ambulance left with our friend. It took Mark about an hour to get a relative’s phone number.

Mark called a few people who then headed to the main hospital we have here in town. Luckily, she was going to be okay, but she was experiencing some bad pain and the emergency room took very good care of her. The people who went to the hospital were able to bring her home after she was treated.

Meet Your Neighbors

Here’s the deal, you need to meet your neighbors, we need contact information. Now, some people are very private and would never give you any information. I remember one day I looked in my mailbox and there was an envelope with a different address, and the envelope obviously had some credit cards enclosed.

I walked down about four houses and knocked on the door. Well, I’ve never met these people and they must not want to meet anyone on the street. They had a huge sign on the door that says something like “We have our own religion, We don’t need anything, We don’t want to buy anything, and We love Jesus.” Well, I was hoping to give the credit cards to them personally, but I put them in their mailbox. I get it. I won’t be asking them to come to my “Contact Information” party, complete with bagels and cream cheese.

I am going to go knock on a few front doors and see if I can get some neighbors to come to my party to share names and phone numbers in case of an emergency. Mark has two great friends, Craig and Craig in the neighborhood and I’m filling out a form for them to have in case of an emergency.

I’m filling out a form for our friends, Brent and Kathleen to have in case they need to get in touch with our family members for any reason, emergency or whatever. I hope I can get a few people to come to my “Contact Information” party and this way we can all help each other when needed.

The picture below is a partial copy of the document I plan to hand out and request be filled out, and here is the PRINTABLE: FSM Emergency Contact Info

meet your neighbors

I also have a shortened version I call my Emergency Contact Information PRINTABLE: Emergency Contact Information

Emergency Contact Information

Name:

  1. Email:
  2. Home phone number:
  3. Cell phone number:
  4. People to contact with the information indicated above

Name:

  1. Email:
  2. Home phone number:
  3. Cell phone number:
  4. People to contact with the information indicated above

How To Meet Neighbors

  1. Have a barbecue and invite neighbors over
  2. Walk your dog and stop and talk to others walking their dogs
  3. Have a firepit in your front yard and invite neighbors over and roast marshmallows
  4. Start a potluck meal with your neighbors
  5. Invite neighbors over for a brunch
  6. Have a card game night with the people on your street
  7. Have a cookie exchange every December
  8. Have a block party on Halloween night

Final Word

Just think how much easier it would be for everyone if we could contact family members or friends of our neighbors after a disaster, or an unforeseen emergency if we had emails, phone numbers, etc.

Of course, I’m hoping we have electricity or the internet in order to do this. I understand we may not at some time or another. Block parties would be awesome as well. This is why you need to meet your neighbors. I need to meet all of my neighbors. May God bless you and your neighbors to get together and share emergency contact information. Linda

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12 thoughts on “Neighbors-It’s Critical We Get To Know Them

  • March 12, 2019 at 7:40 am
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    Great idea, also take an empty pill bottle and place it in the refrigerator with a list of medications that are taken, and the name of the primary care physician. My Mom lived in a senior facility and we were told to do this. The paramedics often need the medications a patient is taking. I keep a list on my cell phone, if I was awake after an accident I could give that information to the E.M.T.

    Reply
  • March 12, 2019 at 8:03 am
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    I live in a small rural development with an HOA. Most people don’t even show up for our yearly meeting. Most do not want to share a phone number or email address. People are very private and do not want you in their business. Oh, they call you when there is a problem and I capture phone numbers then. No one volunteers to be on the board of directors or to be an officer. They want enforcement of the rules, but they don’t want to be involved in that enforcement.
    75% are over 65 with just a couple of young families. Some of them are only here for the summers. The only one I have an emergency contact for is my closest neighbor. I am an officer and people don’t make it easy.

    Reply
    • March 12, 2019 at 9:11 am
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      Hi Liz, oh my gosh, it sounds like we live in the same neighborhood!! LOL! No one will serve in our HOA either. Yes, they want enforcement but nothing else. I hear you, great comment. We may be on our own after a disaster, I’m okay with that. Linda

      Reply
    • March 12, 2019 at 11:41 am
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      Liz, i get where you are coming from, i don`t have any close neighbors, but a few down the road a ways. I have tried to talk to them about getting together and talking about safety and helping each other and being prepared for an emergency . When the hurricane hit, i went out to offer help after i tarp`d part of my roof. i was going to offer water, food, and they could shower at my house, the generator i have will operate the well pump as well as the entire house. Some of them would not even open the door, said later they thought someone was wanting something. As you said, they don`t want to get involved. No one came to my house for showers, after a couple of weeks i was kind of glad because our power in Highlands County was out for 3-5 weeks.. Well i have had a discussion with what few neighbors i have, my point was clear, you don`t want any help, you don`t want to prepare for an emergency, OK, but don`t come knocking on my door when SHTF it`s too late then……..

      Reply
  • March 12, 2019 at 11:27 am
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    Linda ~
    I live in a Senior (62+) apartment complex. I know a great many of my neighbors and have phone# and email for most of those. Unfortunately, not many want to give out relative’s contact info. I do have information on a few for emergencies but not many. I have also given a few the contact info for my daughter and son-in-law.

    One of the things that I find most disheartening, living where I do is that many of the Seniors have little or no contact with their families. It is so heartbreaking. Our management, of course, has contact info for all of the residents so that is a plus. But if something happens at night when management is not present, that is out the door!

    What you said about ambulance presence in your neighborhood – well, my neighborhood has at least weekly ambulance calls!

    Also, if you live alone, contact your fire department to see if they have FILE OF LIFE packets. You fill these out with emergency contact information, medical issues, medicines you take and put it on the refrigerator (comes with a magnetic pouch) and post a sticker on the outside of you home (by the doorbell). If an ambulance is called, the EMTs know to look for this information and take it with them to the hospital. There is also a smaller print pack to carry in your wallet. If anyone wants to search this out online – search for File of Life. There may be a small cost involved if the Fire Department doesn’t have these. I found a completely free website for Vial of Life which is very similar – one just prints the form to fill out and place in a baggy; print out the decals to plan the baggy and on the front door.

    Everyone should have ICE programmed into their cell phones. Most phones also have a place in all contacts for notes. Put the medical/Rx information in the notes. This is also something EMTs are trained to look for. I have my phone locked so that if I lose it or it gets stolen, no one can look at or call any of my contacts. In this case, I have an Emergency “button” that EMTs can access to get my emergency contact info as well as the medical/Rx info.

    I think that getting to know your neighbors is great. Here at “The Home” (as many of us call this apartment complex) we have tried many times to get something going so that if there is an emergency, we know what we as friends/neighbors can do to help out. It is difficult in this time of scams, stalking, etc. to be comfortable sharing private information. It is only when something happens that we wish we had done something earlier. I have told many of the Seniors who walk (dogs or just exercise) to ALWAYS carry their cell phones and have the emergency info programmed in. I offer to help them set that up if needed. I do a good bit of walking myself and advise that if I find them unconscious on the trail and call 911, the EMTs will need this information.

    Anyway, Linda, as you have already figured out (I’m sure), I am opinionated and speak my mind when it comes to being prepared). Perhaps you shouldn’t write so many blog posts that are so near and dear to my heart! LOL! Love your blog.

    FILE OF LIFE – may be available through the Fire Department or Ambulance service
    (may or may not have a charge)
    On-line (there is a charge for the kit but is is very minimal)
    VIAL OF LIFE – Print the form and decals on your home computer – completely free (except the ink
    on your printer!!)

    Reply
    • March 12, 2019 at 3:26 pm
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      HI Leanne, oh my gosh, I love your comment as usual! I’m opinionated so we could be next door neighbors!!! It’s too bad people do not want to share information, I get it. Until we have an emergency. I love this Vial of Life. I’m going to get on that one! I asked our HOA for some names and addresses and they refused because of privacy issues. I was going to mail out some invitations to an emergency prep meeting. Oh well, I can’t. Sometimes I feel somewhat like a recluse because no one comes outside ever on my street. Well, except to get the mail. Life is sure different where I live. Stay well and keep prepping. Linda

      Reply
  • March 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm
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    HOA!?! Lol I don’t want or need anyone telling me how to live.
    I lived in a semi rural area once and an edition went in to the wheat field behind me. They came down and tried telling me to mow the cow pasture lol.
    It got real ugly real quick. I knew everything I needed to know bout them neighbors that I needed to come any bad times. They all had to go.
    I’ll never understand y’all wanting more government and micro management.

    Reply
    • March 13, 2019 at 6:12 pm
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      Hi Matt, I love your comment as always! I wish I could afford to move but I’m stuck in this HOA! Linda

      Reply

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