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…