SAN FRANCISCO, (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced the 2021 recipients of its new Resilience Hubs grants , a program that provides support for local, safe gathering places and access to critical services during extreme weather events and other emergency situations.
The Resilience Hubs grant program is in its first of five years and aims to help communities create a physical space or set of resources that supports community resilience—such as access to power, shelter, and information—to climate-driven disruptions as well as Public Safety Power Shutoff events. Once developed, these resilience hubs can also be accessed year-round as a community resource.
The program awarded $25,000 each to four Feasibility Projects to fund an assessment of resilience hub needs and/or conceptual ideas for a resilience hub. Grant recipients are the following organizations:
Additionally, the program awarded $100,000 each to three Design and Build Projects toward the design and/or creation of a resilience hub to the following grant recipients. Through these projects, the organizations will either plan and design new physical spaces or mobile resources, or retrofit existing buildings or structures to support community resilience.
“Communities across California need safe gathering places during extreme climate-driven weather events or other local emergencies,” said Carla Peterman, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for PG&E Corporation. “Through these grants, PG&E is seeing and meeting an emerging need in California, helping our hometowns develop resilience hubs in a sustainable manner to support their residents for years to come.”
Feasibility Projects: Profiles of Grant Recipients
Albany CERT Inc. is an all-volunteer organization focused on the safety of City of Albany residents, especially during emergency situations. The organization will conduct outreach to collect community input on locations for resilience hubs, components and resources for hubs, and opportunities for training citizens on disaster preparation.
“Albany CERT Inc will apply this grant toward establishing Emergency Communication Hubs in all regions of our city,” said Blake Yeaman, President of the organization. “These funds will allow us to do a comprehensive feasibility study, including outreach to our underserved and low-income community members and will help ensure they will be equally served during emergency situations. We will share the results of this study and our prototypes with PG&E, other CERT organizations and on our website so that other communities will benefit from the findings, as well.”
Blue Lake Rancheria will conduct a feasibility study of a Food-Anchored Resilience Hub at the site’s Tribal Convenience Store and identify strategies to ensure access to food and other emergency items for identified vulnerable populations.
“The Blue Lake Rancheria is excited about exploring and developing regional resilience in all its dimensions, including food resilience and addressing regional inequities in food distribution and access,” said Jason Ramos, the Rancheria’s Tribal Administrator. “We are looking forward to assessing the opportunities for a resilient food hub at the Rancheria and are grateful to PG&E for the grant assistance.”
Working directly with community members, Cooperation Humboldt will conduct analyses to determine the site for a resilience hub and what functions it will provide to serve highest priority needs.
“With support from the City of Arcata, a team of community members from Comunidad Unida del Norte de Arcata and Cooperation Humboldt's Disaster Response through Community Resilience program will be conducting research on the need for a resilience hub and community center in the Valley West community of North Arcata,” said Sabrina Miller, Program Coordinator for Cooperation Humboldt. “This project will center the voices of a vulnerable population within Arcata in an effort to address climate hazards and build resilience within the surrounding community.”
The County of Santa Barbara will use community input and data to identify a site and conceptual design for a pilot resilience hub to serve indigenous migrant communities and develop a design toolkit to further the practice throughout the county.
“We look forward to establishing a resilience hub for our most vulnerable communities,” said Ashley Watkins, Sustainability Division Chief with the county. “The support from PG&E will ensure we create meaningful relationships with community members as we embark on this process.”
Design and Build Projects: Profiles of Grant Recipients
The City of Richmond will install portable solar panels at two existing community centers to create “power hubs” for residents to use electricity and WiFi during outages and emergencies. The clean electricity will be available for both outdoor and indoor use at the centers.
“The City of Richmond is grateful for the opportunity to strengthen our communities,” said LaShonda White, Interim Library and Community Services Director. “With the PG&E Resilience Hubs Grant, we will help residents respond to disruptions, such as power outages and extreme heat, caused by climate change.”
The Hopland Band of Pomo Indians’ Pomo Inter-Tribal Resiliency Hub will provide year-round workshops on climate adaptation, including demonstration projects on rainwater catchment systems, greywater systems, firesafe landscaping, aquaponics, and emergency response.
“The Hopland Band of Pomo Indians have been increasingly impacted by the changing climate, with catastrophic wildfires causing evacuations and unhealthy air quality, drought and extreme heat leading to food and water insecurity, and the loss of traditional foods, teas, fibers and medicines,” said Tribal Chairman Sonny J. Elliott. “Hopland Tribe is collaborating with PG&E in increasing inter-Tribal resiliency to climate change, and will be coordinating workshops and demonstration projects with the grant. Resilience hubs projects will provide Tribal members in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties the tools they need to increase food and water security, with aquaponics systems, rainwater catchment, and other adaptation methods.”
The LEAP Institute will build 16 Mobile Resilience Hubs in the Central Valley, using the grant funding complemented by additional funding, and will provide training to community members to build and operate resilience hubs.
“Designing resilience hubs to provide mobile climate and air quality control centers will have multiple benefits for our community and region,” said Ray Leon, Executive Director of The LEAP Institute. “LEAP has been advancing to become leaders in innovation for equity and PG&E’s support will enable us to train, hire and build locally mobile Resilience Hubs in the heart of the Central Valley.”
About the Resilience Hubs Grants
The Resilience Hubs grant program will award $400,000 annually over five years. Grants for the Resilience Hubs grant program were distributed through a competitive solicitation and bid process to eligible nonprofit or government organizations (including tribal governments) within PG&E’s service territory. Priority was given to proposals that addressed the needs of disadvantaged and/or vulnerable communities. Grants are funded by PG&E shareholders as part of the company’s investments in statewide wildfire resiliency and response, in accordance with a mandate from the California Public Utilities Commission. Please check the Resilience Hubs grant program website for more information.
PG&E, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation /zigman2/quotes/202583141/composite PCG -3.29% , is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news .
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SOURCE: Pacific Gas and Electric Company
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