Jeff Masters Hurricane Blog

D.C. community center plans to serve neighbors during disasters » Yale Climate Connections

The FH Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center in Washington, D.C., provides after-school activities, job training workshops, dance classes, and community celebrations. It’s a trusted neighborhood resource.

So executive director Estelle-Marie Montgomery says it’s well positioned to help people during extreme weather events, which are growing more common as the climate warms.

“When there is a disaster, and in the process of recovery … really depending on that trust that has been built between community members becomes very important,” she says.

The Faunteroy Center has received more than $1 million in federal and local funding to turn the center into what’s called a resilience hub.

The plan is to install solar panels and batteries, so the center will have power, even when the grid goes down.

Designs include a commercial kitchen for preparing and distributing food, a broadcasting studio to share emergency updates, and more space for classes and events that build community and support among neighbors.

“It’s basically a seamless connection to what the center has always stood for but now in a more expansive way,” Montgomery says.

So the center is prepared to help people before, during, and after a climate disaster.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media

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