Climate resilience isn’t a responsibility limited to government. Understanding this, one AdaptNY resilience workshop team proposed “Buddy Up.” The project shifts the emphasis to community residents to help each other become climate resilient, pairing citizens with elderly or disabled neighbors to keep each other safe from the next storm. Here’s how the project came together, with a team summary below. Plus, watch the video above with a team member describing the idea. (Video by Nesh Pillay)
— Matt Surrusco (@mattsurrusco) February 22, 2014
— Kirsti Itämeri (@KirstiItameri) February 22, 2014
“Our concept is called Buddy Up. The main component is a truck, modeled on a food truck, that will park by the ballfields in Red Hook where the community gathers on the weekends. The primary target is residents of the nearby NYCHA complex. The truck will offer free food as an enticement and will be staffed by trained community members.
“The goals are to engage people in conversation about what issues they’re still facing post-Sandy, give them information, resources and emergency kits, and, most importantly, convince them to volunteer as a buddy.
“The buddies will be paired up with less able residents who may need assistance in an emergency situation, such as elderly people who live on high floors and may not be able to get down to get water, medication etc. if there is no electricity to power the elevator.
“Those who agree to be buddies will also be asked to share their Sandy stories/motivation for volunteering as a buddy on camera to create an archive that will be curated and publicly displayed as a way to publicize the program.
“If funded, the first steps to implementing the program would be:
– buy a truck
– recruit and train a few community members
– locate a social service organization to partner with to locate those in need of buddies
– set up database to match buddies
– research and create informational material
– build companion website”
Does the responsibility for protecting vulnerable populations rest primarily with government or with fellow community members? Do you like the idea of a mobile project using the food truck model? What do you think of this project? Share your thoughts in the comments below!