Last year, the East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) hosted a ‘release’ party at the East Boston Social Centers where NOAH staff released the East Boston Flood Prevention Design Workshop Report. The report followed two workshop events hosted by NOAH in 2018 to begin addressing the concerns, ideas and solutions to protect the neighborhood from Climate Change.
NOAH’s Executive Director Phil Giffee said on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 9:30 am to 12 pm NOAH will host anm “East Boston Resilience Assembly” via ZOOM (link will be released soon according to Giffee).
“NOAH began this exercise after many people at climate events we have held over the past number of years have asked, “What do I do in an emergency? Where do I go? What happens to my family? How do I get to work? Who will help us? What if I am sick or injured? What will the schools do? Etc.,” said Giffee.
Over the summer, NOAH began collecting data via a community survey on resiliency.
“We started this effort on building resiliency because we believe that building a climate resilient East Boston is predicated on a strong network of civic and governmental organizations – comfortable with working together,” said Giffee. “The survey, developed by an experienced team at NYU, uses their standard method of gathering data in order to describe the strength of relationships among organizations in East Boston. We are particularly interested in the extent to which organizations routinely share information and resources or coordinate activities with one another. It is not foolproof but we think that this will help illuminate the primary channels of mutual activity and what the web of responding East Boston relationships looks like, and reveal the types of organizations that might benefit from being more strongly connected to those more centrally networked institutions. We can then tailor and work with various folks to deliver communications about how to shape an effective multi-lingual response. At the assembly we (NOAH) hope residents, agencies and professionals will dialogue about what we all need to do in the event of a climate emergency – or even another disaster event, which could be COVID or racial justice concerns.”
NOAH began to collect data in late summer and got 45 responses from 34 organizations, which Giffee said is not enough for NOAH to validate the outcomes presented thus far.
“We would dearly like to receive additional surveys from non-profits, government entities, LatinX, neighborhood associations, schools and commercial interests,” said Giffee “We realize no one loves filling out surveys, but the goal here is to map communications in the neighborhood so that in the event of an emergency, we can coordinate activities and get the word out about relief to more people, faster. This will help save lives and the economy while enabling people and the community to bounce back quickly after a flood or other disaster, whose likelihood increases year after year because of sea-level rise and storm surge effects.”
The link to the survey can be found at https://bit.ly/33zv1Dx.
The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, the City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) will all be presenting at the Nov. 14 assembly followed by an open, participatory session on how we might respond to a climate driven disaster as a community.