Where is your MONS? To prepare for calamities of all types, Montclarions have been organizing into hyper-local groups called “Montclair Organized Neighborhoods” or MONS for short. These are groups of roughly 30 households that get organized to look out for each other.
According to Doug Mosher, there are already 50 groups and new groups are joining up. He has even mapped many of their detailed locations. Since this is a Google map, you can find out whether you’re specifically included in a group or organize one yourself.
If there’s mud, quakes, fires, crimes, plagues or pestilence, your neighborhood group would be the best place to turn. By organizing beforehand, you also have a built-in excuse to meet nearby neighbors – something we all did in earlier eras but need a push these days.
Each neighborhood organizes for slightly different reasons, and generally aims to “beef up their ability to prepare and respond to natural disasters and emergencies, deter crime, clean up and beautify the neighborhood, and socialize.” For more MONS info, check out these guides and links.
MONS are also part of Oakland’s CORE or “Citizens of Oakland Respond to Emergencies” groups. After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the Oakland Fire Department knew it would be impossible to respond directly to everyone’s needs – and created this organization to teach Oaklanders what to do.
While admittedly a “manana person,” I found the MONS and CORE materials to be very practical. For example, they advise you to share rosters/names of neighbors, including utility shut-off locations. They also encourage you to share tools and resources.