Get to know your neighbors and the community.
Our society is moving faster and faster and we are becoming more detached from each other. Technology and busy schedules make it hard to feel like we are part of a community. We can easily become isolated in our homes which can lead to loneliness and a breakdown of our community. It is more important than ever that we turn the electronics off, get out of our houses and get to know the people and community around us.
Research has shown that people engaged with others or are active in community events are healthier. These people have a greater sense of belonging and tend to lead happier and healthier lives. In addition, the community becomes stronger, more connected and inviting.
Knowing who your neighbors are (and not just in the houses on either side of you) has a number of benefits:
- Can help alleviate crime through starting a Neighborhood Watch program.
- Help diffuse conflicts more easily.
- Organizing for initiatives to benefit your community and neighborhood.
- They could be of assistance if you ever need help or are in trouble.
- You and your neighbors can build a stronger support system and a stronger sense of place.
- And when you need that one cup of sugar, you will know who to turn to.
How to get to know your neighbors:
Getting to know your community can be as simple as turning off the TV and going for a walk as a family around the neighborhood, taking the time to chat with others. You can also volunteer for local events, talk with people at the grocery store, join a local club or organization, and attend community events.
Pick up your local newspaper and look for events, activities and other opportunities to get out in your community and participate.
Take the time to say “hello” and smile at those you see in your area. Greet new residents as they move in. Use these moments to create conversation.
During an emergency, it will be vital to know your neighbors, their contact information, their family and pets and any other special needs they might have. Please use the included sheet in this guide to gather this information and share with your neighbors. Be sure and know who the special needs and elderly are in your community as well.
Plan regular neighborhood events – BBQs, game nights, snow shoveling and other fun events to bring people out of their homes and together as a community.
Use the Neighborhood Emergency Contact Information Sheet to get important information from your neighbors in case of an emergency.