Palo Alto Neighborhood and Block Preparedness Coordinator Program

The Palo Alto Neighborhoods (PAN) has partnered with the City of Palo Alto to form the Block Preparedness Coordinator Program (BPC) to ensure that residents, businesses, and other groups can participate in disaster preparation, response, and recovery. The BPC Program trains volunteers to staff positions for each block, and Neighborhood Preparedness Coordinators (NPC) for each neighborhood including businesses, districts, and other groups.

When disaster strikes and phones, electricity, and other infrastructure are impaired, the BPC Program enhances community resilience by:

  1. Preparing the community prior to disaster.
  2. Establishing emergency radio communications links.
  3. Empowering residents to assist emergency response by serving as “eyes and ears”.

Our goal is to have at least one NPC per neighborhood, as many BPCs for each block as practical, and alternate BPCs. A “block” may be 10-50 residences, a building complex, a business, or other locales.

The Role Of The Block Preparedness Coordinator


Interact With Your Neighbors

Build Social Bonds.  Arrange informal block parties or similar social events.  


  • Collect and maintain current information from each residence including names, age(s) of children, pets, phone numbers, email addresses, special skills, and any special situations or needs.
  • Consider sending your neighbors a letter in advance informing them that any information provided is used only in case of emergency and is voluntary and confidential.
  • Lead or coordinate Neighborhood Watch efforts.  A neighborhood watch program is a group of people living in the same area who want to make their neighborhood safer by working together and in conjunction with local law enforcement to reduce crime and improve their quality of life.  OES can assist with these efforts.  Learn more about Neighborhood Watch.

Serve As A Communication Node

  • Set up a phone and email distribution list so you can quickly disseminate information and alerts from the neighborhood or the City of Palo Alto.
  • If phone and internet services fail, radios and runners will be used to establish a communications link from BPCs to NPCs and the City of Palo Alto.

Report Conditions Of Your Block During An Emergency

  • Assess the condition of your block and provide reports by using radios or runners.
  • When first responders arrive, provide details of the situation including conditions of residents with special needs.

Become a Block Preparedness Coordinator

BPC / NPC Online Resources

BPC FOG 3.0(PDF, 951KB)Block Preparedness Coordinator Field Operations Guide.


Damage Assessment Form(PDF, 216KB): The form used by ESV members to collect and report incident related information after a disaster.  


Palo Alto NeighborhoodsAn independent umbrella group that supports Palo Alto neighborhoods.


Help / OK Sign(PDF, 301KB)Every member of the neighborhood can post this sign in a street facing window after a disaster. 

Block Preparedness Coordinator Flyer(PDF, 4MB): Recruitment flyer you can use to generate interest in this important program.

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