Anytime in the month of January is a good time for a New Year’s event to help you and your neighbors get to know one another. You may have an Open House coffee, an outdoor Play Streets Day, or a driveway barbecue. Networking with neighbors has been shown to be the best strategy for fighting crime. Neighbors can organize a Block Watch, exchange phone numbers, check in with one another and be alert to anything unusual. One of the best examples occurred in Wedgwood in December 2014 when alert neighbors interrupted a home burglary in-progress.
Another good reason for networking with neighbors is for emergency preparedness. In the case of an emergency such as an earthquake or severe snowstorm, neighbors can be prepared to assist one another. Ways to help include having phone numbers of neighbors at their workplace, and the sharing of skills and supplies such as knowing who has a chain saw or snow shovels and who has First Aid training. For example, the Montlake neighborhood has a Snow Brigade of forty people who will help with snow shoveling, urgent errands and dog-walking in case of a weather emergency.