AUSTIN, Texas - Austin is planning a network of resilience hubs in preparation for the next disaster.
"The city of Austin, post Winter Storm Uri and even before Winter Storm Uri, had identified the need for locations that could provide these types of services during a disruption," Laura Patino, chief resilience officer with the city of Austin, said.
A resilience hub can offer shelter, food and water, information, bathrooms, and cell phone charging, and more.
"The idea of a resilience hub is that it is a facility where folks can come to get information and to get basic services and basic needs that they can't get in their home," Patino said.
During non-emergencies, they can offer other resources like childcare or job training.
"It is a network of facilities rather than a single standing facility that provides them all," Patino said.
The city is working on the first six hubs this year, and they hope to have 30 hubs by 2025.
"We're in the process of determining what specific sites and what specific facilities could serve the community in different ways," Patino said.
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The city says they picked these focus areas based on climate and social risk factors and locations are being scouted for possible generators, solar power, and battery storage.
Hubs are supposed to work alongside regular emergency response.
While the program started by looking at city-owned properties, they're also looking at bringing in community spaces like churches or businesses.
"We just want to make sure that we're connected as a network so that when disaster does strike, we have the capability to work together to bring the resources to our neighbors," Patino said.
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