Lisa Loving photo

Neighbors help neighbors. Across the country and around the world neighbors have helped neighbors in all kinds of situations and disasters, from pandemics to earthquakes. It’s what people do. The Sabin Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) is made up of Sabin residents who have been trained by Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Management to help other neighbors in times of disaster or crisis.  Now, Sabin NET is creating a program so that other nearby neighbors can help each other directly.

The first step is easy. Neighbors within a couple blocks of each other share contact information with one or two of their neighbors who volunteer to be the neighbor coordinators, and the neighbor coordinators share their contact information in exchange. The contact information might include the names of the people who live in a home, their phone numbers, and their email addresses. The contact information allows the neighbor coordinators to facilitate communications between neighbors. The information makes it easy for one neighbor to ask the coordinator to check if another neighbor is OK if he or she has not been seen for a while. Or a neighbor who is feeling unwell can ask the neighbor coordinator if someone could go to the store for them. 

Sabin NET is developing materials to help neighbor coordinators work with their neighbors to exchange contact information safely during COVID-19. Also, Sabin NET will remain in contact with the neighbor coordinators to help them continue to help their neighbors. Over time Sabin NET will provide additional information about neighborhood resilience. Once COVID-19 is under control, Sabin NET will offer presentations on resilience and disaster preparedness so neighbors can be ready to help each other during other disasters, including an earthquake.Do you have questions, or would you be willing to volunteer as a coordinator for your neighbors? Contact Sabin NET at

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