Find answers to frequently asked questions about how BNN operates, how you can participate in our citywide disaster response drill, and contribute to our success.

What is Burlingame Neighborhood Network (BNN)?

BNN promotes community resiliency and is open to all Burlingame residents and others interested in resiliency. Founded in 2006 by volunteers, BNN is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, governed by a board of directors.

Our Mission: Encourage neighbors to connect with one another to build a sense of community, become informed about disaster preparedness, and support resiliency during emergencies.

Our annual Disaster Response Drill brings neighborhoods together so residents can learn how to protect their families and help one another. BNN also hosts quarterly events on topics related to community resiliency.

How does BNN help me prepare for, and respond to, an earthquake or other disaster?

An excellent way you and your family can prepare for an earthquake or disaster is by participating in our annual Disaster Response Drill. Participants learn how to work together during a simulated disaster to identify, prioritize and escalate incidents such as downed power lines, unsafe structures and residents in need of medical or other assistance.

Visit our website Resources section to find useful information about emergency preparation, response and recovery.

For more information about active block groups near your home, please contact us at [email protected]

What are the benefits of participating in the annual Disaster Response Drill?

The Drill offers an opportunity to team up with your neighbors, building connections while you learn and practice the recommended first steps to protect your block immediately following a disaster.

Studies show that personal connections among neighbors dramatically improves both the chances of survival during a disaster and faster recovery in its aftermath, as well as aid in crime prevention.

I have very little free time to devote to this kind of thing. How long is the drill, and why should I participate?

We understand you’re busy. The Drill only takes 90-minutes – just sign up and show up, no preparation needed!

For more information about active block groups near your home, please contact us at [email protected]

Do I need to have any special skills or background to participate?

No special skills are needed. Though if you have skills, that would be great to share with your neighbors! Skills helpful during a disaster include: medical, first-aid, construction, radio communications skills, or CERT or safety training.

Can kids participate in BNN activities?

Yes, teens and children are welcome to all our events!

The drill is a great opportunity to build awareness about how to respond to a disaster. Please have a parent or guardian accompany children under 8-years during the drill.

I would like to find out more about how to form a block group in my neighborhood. Who should I contact?

Please send an email to [email protected] and a member of our board will reach out to you about forming a block in your neighborhood.

What is a block group and what is a block lead?

BNN is happy to help interested residents across Burlingame organize neighborhoods, usually on a block-by-block basis, for social events and drill participation.

A block group is usually your immediate block and adjacent corner neighbors, consisting of anywhere from 15-80 houses. Apartment and condo buildings also make great block groups!

A block lead is the person(s) who volunteers to organize their block and is key to enabling neighbors to help each other during a disaster. BNN can partner with block leads to share materials and ideas to begin connecting neighbors. An initial invitation might be to a casual gathering to make introductions, or a block party to build relationships. Because of block leads, neighbors are prepared, informed and willing to help each other when needed.

Ideally, a block group will choose to run a drill on their block! This can be coordinated by the block lead, or another neighbor can take the role of leading the drill.

What is a communications lead?

A communications lead is a person who uses a two-way radio during the drill, or a real disaster, to communicate with local Ham radio operators to escalate critical incidents to emergency responders. BNN provides radio training and equipment to communications leads so they can use the radios effectively.

Are donations to BNN tax-deductible?

Yes! BNN is a 501(c)(3) corporation and all donations are tax-deductible. You can donate to BNN by clicking on the Donate button at the top of this page.

Funds from donations are greatly appreciated and applied to purchase materials and equipment used during the drill, for quarterly events, and to improve our ongoing operations.

Is BNN funded by the City of Burlingame?

BNN is an all-volunteer non-profit funded primarily by donations from Burlingame residents. The City of Burlingame generously funds our Burlingame Emergency Cache program. These caches, valued at more than $700 each, contain emergency supplies such as first aid materials, a folding stretcher, and tools for immediate access and use in the event of a disaster. Nearly 30 caches distributed to qualifying block groups throughout the city.

How can my block get an Emergency Cache?

BNN awards Emergency Caches to active block groups who have participated in at least two drills, so they are practiced in how to employ the cache contents.

Block qualifications include: participated in two drills, have held at least one social gathering in the past two years, and agree to inventory the cache annually.

Visit the BNN Resource Library for more info