Disaster Response & Resilience
Cooperation Humboldt’s Disaster Response & Resilience Team builds community power through disaster relief and creates long term resilience for communities. Our ultimate goal is to restructure our local economy to guarantee that everyone’s basic needs are met without exploiting anyone and without harming the environment, both during periods of disaster and non-disaster.
The work of this team can be broken down into a few phases, each of which is described in more detail below.
- Disaster Mitigation/Preparedness
- Disaster Response
- Immediate Recovery
- Long Term Resilience
Mitigation involves steps to reduce vulnerability to disaster impacts such as injuries and loss of life and property. Preparedness focuses on understanding how a disaster might impact the community and how education, outreach and training can build capacity to respond to and recover from a disaster.
Disaster Preparedness is crucial to developing a strong, secure community. We empower people to increase their preparedness through disaster and emergency training programs, partnering with qualified organizations like American Red Cross to ensure quality content. We also facilitate skill share workshops where individuals can come together and learn from one another. Much of our food related work is also critical for disaster preparedness, including our Little Free Pantries, community fruit trees, lawn conversions, and mini gardens.
A central component of our work in this area is collaboration. We build partnerships with organizations both locally and beyond to create a network that empowers individual organizations to more effectively implement their missions during all phases of a disaster. These relationships encourage communication and awareness of what services others are offering, which allows each organization to maintain autonomy while working to eliminate duplication of services and other inefficiencies that occur during times of disaster. Strong local partnerships like these set the stage for a more effective local disaster response and recovery after a disaster.
A partial list of the organizations we collaborate with includes:
- The American Red Cross
- Transition US
- Humboldt Area Foundation
- Food for People
- Centro del Pueblo
- North Coast People’s Alliance
- Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives
- The Humboldt-Del Norte Central Labor Council
- The Wiyot Tribe
- The Hoopa Tribe
- The Humboldt Food Policy Council
In times of disaster, we work to build collective strength by meeting the immediate needs of our community members. We activate and organize volunteers, provide resources, distribute supplies, and help connect people to services - always rooted in solidarity, love, equity, and mutual aid.
Some of the resources we have provided as immediate disaster response (COVID and 2020 wildfires) have included:
- Mask making
- Delivering sanitation supplies
- Grocery shopping
- Meal preparation and delivery
- Installing and stocking Little Free Pantries
Recovery after a disaster is another important component to the work that we do. As our current systems continue to fail us, we must ensure that what we create in their place does not replicate old patterns. We must build systems that increase our ability to meet our own needs through a Solidarity Economy lens.
Long Term Resilience
At all times, we work to transform Humboldt County into a regenerative community that can sustain life as we face ongoing climate crises and future disasters. Resilience must be cultivated on multiple levels, from individual households, to neighborhood, cities, and finally bio-regions.
Cooperation Humboldt has actively implemented community resilience projects since its inception. We help communities achieve food sovereignty by planting free gardens and fruit trees, and by installing Little Free Pantries to strengthen bonds of support within neighborhoods. We educate our neighbors to better understand the forces of imperialism, patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism - so that we can create systems to replace them. We advocate for public banking and teach people how to create worker owned cooperatives. Through these projects and more, we are working daily to create the world we so desperately need, and so richly deserve.
Here is a sampling of the types of solutions we envision contributing toward a society that meets everyone's needs in harmony with the natural world -
- Lawn conversions
- Fruit tree planting
- Mini gardens for low income folks
- Educational offerings around food cultivation
- Neighborhood microgrids
- Neighborhood circles
- Resilient Hubs
- An ever-expanding network of worker owned co-ops
- Home scale solar everywhere (ideally with storage)
- Rainwater catchment, filtration, and storage everywhere
- Greywater systems everywhere
- Tiny homes as accessory dwelling units
- Tiny home villages
- Shared garden space/community gardens