Executive Summary: A decade ago the Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) set out to build a stronger more resilient San Francisco by moving ownership of resilience back down to the community level.

Our Empowered Communities Program supports residents, and community stakeholder organizations, with the capacity and resources to make smart investments in both the built and social infrastructure, we have a real opportunity to advance our mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery goals.

The Strong Home program offers residents streamlined access to techniques and methods that allow them to strengthen their home’s ability to support their care and shelter needs during times of stress.

This investment needs to include their home’s structure as well as any adjacent open space.

The driver for this approach is that during times of stress, in some cases staying indoors (sheltering in place) is the safest strategy, however in some cases (a large earthquake with multiple aftershocks) moving outdoors is the choice most residents will seriously consider.  In many communities with a high density of single family homes, a lot of folks will chose to shelter in their backyard in order to maintain access to their home, remain in close proximity to their neighbors and afford them some relief from falling debris and other hazards.


UPDATE:  NEN Hosts First Strong Home Charrette: The Resilient Backyard

On Saturday, October 11th The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) partnered with a group of great organizations such as The Stanford D School and the Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco to convene a cohort of design professionals from across all sectors to create a “toolkit” for residents that gives them a roadmap to configure their backyard so they can shelter in place for up to two weeks after a major event.  It was an amazing day of ideation and solution design and we are deeply appreciative to all that attended.