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This is a true story. We live in the Halecrest/Hall of Fame neighborhood. In January, one of our homes had a fire start in its garage at 1 o’clock in the morning. A neighbor couple saw the flames and since the neighbors com-municated with each other, they had the phone number of the homeowner whose house was burning. The wife called dispatch for the fire dept. and then called the homeowner of the burning house. The husband ran to pound on the front door and help the family get out. The wife’s phone call woke the homeowner and the family and their dogs were at the front door coming out by the time her husband got to the door to help. Because they had exchanged phone numbers, the family had extra moments to escape the fire safely.

Just imagine if every neighbor in the city exchanged phone numbers with all the homeowners whose homes they could see from their own home and kept those phone numbers by their phone or in their phone – we could save lives! Those numbers are useful in other emergency situations as well. If you would like help to communicate with your neighbor, give them this invitation to be a Watch Partner (see cmprepared.com) to start the conversation. 

Exchanging phone numbers doesn’t mean you have to be best friends. It does mean you know you will be safer if you both are watching.

If you know what to watch for, you will be even safer and the other side of the invitation tells about the United Neighbors Communication network – a volunteer clearing house of shared ideas by Costa Mesa neighbors with input, alerts and support from the CMPD and other city depts. It’s all about safety and preparedness and good of the city.  This makes the e-mail newsletters a valuable product for everyone and we encourage you to share them with your friends across the city as well as your neighbors.

One purpose of the United Neighbors newsletter is to support a telephone and e-mail communication network in every neighborhood with 1 or 2 Contacts on every street who receive the newsletters directly, e-mail them to the neighbors who have email and find communication buddy neighbors to take a copy of the newsletter to those who do not have emails. This buddy connection is the only way we can reach and stay in touch with our most vulnerable neighbors and help them be aware of current safety and security tips, like not opening your door to a solicitor.

Some blocks already have very close neighbors, but they are not always able to communicate with the next street over or two streets down. United Neighbors Contacts are listed on a report that goes to everyone in their neighborhood who reads the newsletters to encourage emergency communication across the whole neighborhood.

In addition the Contacts are listed in the CMPD 911 database to help first responders communicate alerts and special emergency information to a specific area quickly. This emergency information would also be available to Incident Command in a disaster.

If you would like to join this network, just provide your name, address, phone number and email address and email to unitedneighbors@cmprepared.com.