Public Resource
Resilience Before Disaster: The Need to Build Equitable, Community-Driven Social Infrastructure
Zach Lou, Amee Raval, Marguerite Young & Sam Appel for Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), SEIU California, SEIU 2015 & BlueGreen Alliance

California and the US are increasingly beset by climate-fueled disasters like wildfires, extreme heat, and power blackouts. These events put additional stress on frayed hard and social infrastructure systems, and disproportionately impact working-class communities of color. To adapt to these changes, society must update our notion of disaster response to increase resilience in these systems before disasters strike. This report offers two models for this response: 1) building and normalizing resilience hubs where community members gather and organize both in good times and bad, and 2) increasing in-home resilience by recognizing homecare workers as effective agents for assisting vulnerable populations and bridging authorities and the frontlines. The report goes on to recommend specific ways to set up resilience hubs, train care workers, and develop forward-thinking emergency response plans to avert human disasters after natural disasters.

Key findings include:

1. Communities need additional resources to address the disparate impacts of climate change.

2. Networks of Resilience Hubs can comprehensively deliver local programs and public services to meet community-identified resilience needs.

3. Home care workers are the frontline of In-Home Resilience.

4. A robust public sector is key to building social cohesion.

5. COVID-19 highlights the need for comprehensive community resilience.

Key recommendations include:

1. Fund Resilience Hub Development

2. Establish Resilience Hub Networks

3. Invest in the Care Workforce

4. Rebuild the Public Sector Workforce

5. Improve Emergency Response Coordination to Protect Vulnerable Communities

See their accompanying factsheet here.