'It's a very simple concept based on the friendship ring ideas of Tom Atlee (of the Berkeley, Cal.-based Co-Intelligence Institute),' said Halim Dunsky, a community Y2K organizer and executive editor of Y2K Community Project. 'Its purpose is to allow neighborhoods to weave themselves together through better communication,' he said.
The purpose of the friendship ring is to pass vital information efficiently around the neighborhood, such as meeting announcements, news, warnings, and calls for help. In the case of a Y2K problem, such as a power outage, information can be relayed by phone, an alternative radio plan using such resources as Family Radio Service-FRS, Citizen's Band-CB, or Amateur Radio-HAM, or face-to-face contact. 'The neighborhood web plan is oriented to be used in a small neighborhood context,' Dunsky said.
The technique works by several 'ringleaders' initiating the Neighbor Web. These ringleaders list a number of friends in the neighborhood (3 to 8 households) and add one or two next-door neighbors not already listed. They make a list of names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses and then ask each person on the list to participate in the ring to help relay vital information in case of an emergency. Ringleaders then make a plan for contacting everybody in the ring -- divvying up the calls or using a call-tree system.
The technique, which can be used for Y2K or other mutual aid purposes, makes it easier to connect with other neighborhoods and professional emergency services, Dunsky said, as well as to plan ahead for other emergency services such as road clearing and sharing resources, and to promote preparedness and emergency response training.
Contact: Halim Dunsky, executive editor, Y2K Community Project; web site: www.y2kcommunity.org.
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