A faith-based Resilience Hub is a House of Worship designed to help congregants and their neighborhoods prepare for and recover from climate disaster by providing safe hospitality, clean energy through solar panels and battery storage, clean air through air filtration, and so many other critical resources needed when disaster strikes. Power outages, wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, and so many of the terrible effects of climate change are here: we need to prepare ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.
Many of our faith communities are not ready for these climate-driven disasters and the communities who will be most threatened by climate change are especially vulnerable. We all have a pivotal role in building resilience in our towns and cities. Whether a House of Worship has a large facility, land, social capital, or something else, those assets can be channeled into building climate resilience in preparation for the coming physical and spiritual storms of the climate crisis.
Why Resilience Hubs at Houses of Worship?
Houses of Worship are already locations where community members feel safe, welcomed, and familiar with the location. With climate change caused disasters we want our Houses of Worship to be equipped and prepared to utilize their facilities as a safe community center powered by clean solar energy. Depending on the size of the Resilience Hub and potential volunteer base, other critical resources like food, water, shelter, medicinal storage, and spiritual support, can be offered in the event of an emergency.
Long Term Resilience
In addition to providing immediate assistance during emergencies, faith-based Resilience Hubs also work to build long-term resilience by promoting community engagement, education, and spirituality. They may offer training and resources to help individuals and communities develop preparedness plans, as well as support networks and other resources to help people cope with the physical, spiritual, and emotional effects of disasters.
Every faith community is different, and climate impacts will vary at the hyper-local level. Some Houses of Worship may be devastated by flooding while others an earthquake. Adequate preparation and response for climate disasters must center the lived experiences and impacts of climate disasters on those most at risk.
As we here at California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL) build our own resources, specific for the interfaith community, here’s a collection of community partners offering brilliant resources for us to heal the world through Resilience Centers. Reach out to us directly if you would like to build resilient Beloved Community with your faith community.
Here are Some Guided Steps:
Gather data to inform assessment and planning
Prepare your family for extreme weather events
Assess your neighborhood’s climate vulnerability
Develop a strategy to build local resilience