What you learn from listening.

We had 18 folks at the first meeting of Phinney Hub, February 9.  Great turnout!  Everyone had more than rudimentary knowledge about emergency preparedness, so the discussion was substantive and useful.

I made a conscious decision to “Listen First,” to understand where people are in their “preparedness journey.”  The big lesson for me was:  People start at home.  Most of the folks at the meeting (say 85%) were interested in boosting their own capability to respond to an earthquake.  They are seeking practical knowledge they can use.

The other 15% are disaster nerds like me, who are interested in systems and plans on a larger scale.  We had a couple of folks who are already engaged in organizing their block of neighbors.  One woman has been involved with previous efforts to create a Hub in our neighborhood, and sent me fully elaborated plans via e-mail!

I now have two goals, based on what I heard:

1) Make it possible for the 85% of folks who are working on their household to gain the capabilities they want to learn.

2) Collect the energy and devotion of the other 15% into efforts that will support the entire community.

In pursuit of goal #1, our next public meeting will be: “Training Session – Level 1: Household Preparedness,” with an emphasis on learning specific capabilities.  Monday, March 9, 7:30 pm, Phinney Center.

Goal #2 is harder to manage.  We have some ideas, but they need thinking about!  Please stay tuned…

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