After extreme weather and other disasters hit, there is often a scramble to organize resources, activate volunteer bases, and mobilize coordinated responses and support. However, despite the best proactive planning, the reality of on-the-ground disaster relief is challenging. In this research note, we will pull together a range of support, through organizations working directly with and for communities to online resources to implement in your own communities moving forward.
- Recently, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Healthy Gulf launched an Ida Lookout, open-data project to help identify flooded oil and gas facilities and oil spills using community-driven inputs. This will be used to hold corporations accountable and inform strategy in organizing moving forward.
- Community planners recognize the need for long-term resilience planning to respond to extreme weather. Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the community of Edgemere in Queens, New York, launched an 18-month community engagement process for building flood resilience, resulting in the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan.
- CREW (Communities Responding to Extreme Weather) is a network of local leaders building grassroots climate resilience through inclusive & hands-on education, service, and planning. As climate change makes extreme weather worse and less predictable, emergency services are increasingly overstretched. Climate Resilience Hubs prepare residents before emergencies strike, so that residents are equipped and know what to do. Libraries are a prime example of these! CREW compiles open-sourced maps to identify resilience hubs across the US.
- Campuses around the country are struggling to respond to growing extreme weather, while also preparing actively for future threats. The Sustainability Director at CCC, Benjamin Newton, noted that, after 3 major extreme weather events in close proximity, how much of a need for climate resilience workshops were. A few years before the bomb cyclone, Newton had started climate resilience workshops at CCC on what to do in an extreme weather event. "In rural communities, we have a lack of first-responders that are trained, so preparing for natural disasters is crucial," said Newton. "For example, I live in Grand Island, a city of 53,000 people, and within our whole county, there are two people that work for emergency management. So, we rely a lot on volunteers that get trained." Yet Newton said it could have been much worse if CCC hadn't already been preparing not only its campus community but its neighbors.
What other examples of community-rooted organizing as response to climate threats and extreme weather have you seen?