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Block Action Team

What is a Block Action Team (BAT)?

Think of the neighbors around you. You probably know a lot of them already and maybe there’s a few who you keep promising yourself that you will visit someday soon.

Now envision that group of neighbors gathering to work on a common task – putting on a neighborhood party, organizing to get the city to re-paint the crosswalks or checking on each other after an earthquake or big storm.

That is a Block Action Team, or what we call a BAT.

A BAT is a group of neighbors who

  • Know each other.
  • Collectively watch out for those around them.
  • Work together to make your personal community – your neighborhood (your BAT) – a better, safer place to be.

Los Altos PREPARE formed the concept of BATs to support this vision and it has been merged with other stakeholders under Resilient Los Altos.

BATs can do lots of things:

  • Block parties for holidays such as the 4th of July.
  • Participate in the City’s Neighborhood Watch program to keep the neighborhood safe.
  • Most importantly, prepare for that “just around the corner” earthquake that we’re all expecting but hoping will never come.

How to Find Your BAT

Your household may or may not be in a BAT already – but it’s easy to find out.  Check this Google map (opens in a new tab) which shows the BATs that are currently formed and operational.  This will show you a BAT Number within a defined area or neighborhood. If your location is in a BAT but you don’t know who is heading up the local effort, send an e-mail to resilientlosaltos@gmail.com and we will forward it on to the BAT Leader in your area.  (We’d love to give you their direct e-mail address, but for privacy reasons, we don’t publish e-mail addresses of our BAT Leaders.)

How to Start a New BAT

If your location isn’t in a BAT, it is easy to start one.

We are looking for people who can organize and get things rolling – you! Now before you say “not me”, please ask the question “If not me, who?”

This isn’t hard and it doesn’t take someone who can stand up in front of a crowd and deliver the best motivational speech ever. It just needs someone who knows that their neighborhood can be better if it were organized.

We will help you get the ball rolling, but we need help connecting the neighborhood and getting everyone interested.

To get your BAT going and learn more about Leader training sign up for one or more of the classes:

  • BAT Leader Basics
  • How to Complete a PSA Form
  • Preparedness and Initial Response for BATs, CERTs, and Hams
  • Radio Communication for BATs and CERTs

All these Zoom classes are open for anyone whether you know you want to be a BAT leader or just help or want to find out more. Sessions are 1-2 hours long and will provide you with enough information to get started forming your BAT and understanding what’s involved along with giving you valuable skills.

What is a BAT Leader?

A BAT Leader is someone who volunteers to be the centralized information point for your neighborhood. The position of Leader can be shared – we definitely encourage co-leaders.

The information that a BAT Leader needs to collect is fairly simple – not much more than contact information for the households in the BAT with emergency contact numbers.

There’s some additional information to collect for use during an emergency but that’s about it.  And the information collected stays with the BAT – the information is not stored on our servers.

A BAT Leader treats the collected information as personal and confidential and does not share it with anybody else without permission from the members of the BAT.

A BAT Leader is also someone who will take the initiative to keep the BAT organized and act as the focal point if that earthquake ever does hit.

But none of these activities are time sinks. This isn’t a full-time job. It is meant to be a position that is fun with a purpose.

So if you like to organize parties, like to keep your neighborhood informed as to what’s going on, and if you want to be prepared for “the big one”, then maybe the position of BAT Leader is for you.

Tools and Resources for Block Leaders

For anyone interested in starting a BAT or in joining an existing BAT, the members of Resilient Los Altos have volunteers and supplies that available to assist in all phases of helping in making your neighborhood be prepared and successful. This includes experienced BAT leaders from other BATs, CERTs, and hams to assist in planning, advising, and helping with activities and emergency drills. We can provide equipment and supplies in running drills and in some cases providing supplies such as GMRSn radios, emergency items, OK Help signs, and the like. Just contact us at resilientlosaltos@gmail.com at any time.