Energy Allies and Reverend Vernon K. Walker from Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) break down how his organization and community are building grassroots climate resilience through their work.
1. How would you describe CREW to someone who is just learning about your organization?
Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) is an organization that prepares people on how to respond to heat waves, floods, and other extreme weather. The UN report is clear that society will continue to experience more intensive heatwaves, stronger storms, more sea level rise, etc.
2. Why is it important to think about how communities respond to the climate crisis, not just individuals?
It is important to think about how communities respond to extreme weather because extreme weather impacts communities. CREW believes the best way to become climate resilient is to be socially resilient. What that means is CREW aims to encourage neighbors to be socially connected to each other and checking in on each other when extreme weather happens.
3. What is Climate Prep Week? How did it go this year?
During September 24–30th each year, we mark Climate Preparedness Week, dedicated to learning, service, and actions that better prepare our communities for extreme weather events. By coming together to host events, we provide the resources and space to think about the ways that climate change disadvantages some communities more than others. It went well this year; we had over seventy events this year and we look forward to building on the partnership we have developed during Climate Prep Week. See our website for the many different events we held.
4. What projects or programs are you most excited to tackle in the coming year?
CREW is excited to continue to grow the Climate Hub program. Climate Resilience Hubs are community institutions — libraries, churches, schools, nonprofits, local businesses and others — that help educate residents about extreme weather preparedness and other impacts of climate change. If they choose, hubs can also help residents respond to extreme weather events through material assistance. Click here to find out more about our Hub program. CREW is also looking forward to holding the Interfaith Summit in the Spring of 2022 and Climate Prep Week 2022.
5. What led you to choosing to partner with Solstice Initiative and join their Community Advisory Board?
CREW is interested in connecting communities of color to the work that is being done by Solstice Initiative. Solstice is doing important work and CREW is delighted to be a partner in this work.