Schilderswijk Well Prepared for Extreme Weather

On 12 december 2019, the first risk communication table took place during the weekly breakfast meetings in community centre the Mussen in the Schilderswijk (one of The Hague’s neighbourhoods).

Over 80 neighborhood residents came together to talk about extreme weather. What does extreme heat actually mean for Schilderswijk? How do you prepare for a heatwave? What can you do during extreme weather and how can you help others?

The risk communication tables are a collaboration between Resilient The Hague and The Red Cross. The initiative contributes to one of the five opportunities of The Hague’s Resilience Strategy to strengthen the city’s resilience, which is “to increase risk awareness and to improve emergency preparation”. The organisational approach for the risk communication tables was tailored to the specifics of the neighbourhood. Risks are not equally distributed over the city, which means that every neighbourhood experiences different risks to a different extent. Additionally, social and demographic factors also influence how information about risks is shared and applied. To incorporate these area-specific factors into the rsiktable in the Schilderswijk, collaboration was sought with community centre De Mussen. Moska Mosqaoodi is a neighbourhood expert who added her knowledge on the area and its residents tot he information about extreme weather risks.

Bringing the expertise from Resilient The Hague, The Red Cross and De Mussen together proved tob e a good formula to organise a succesful meeting, with a lot of space for neighbourhood residents tob ring in and share their ideas on how to best prepare for extreme weather. De participants thought it was a great edition of the breakfast meetings, especially because climate related subjects are not often brought up. Also, through the interactions new ideas and initiatives rose to support vulnerable residents during hot days. One participant proposed to create additional shadow by setting up[ partytents, to which another participant responded “she would join to hand out ice cream”. Even though the risk tablet ook place in december, everyone was very enthousiastic to start with their preparation for the summer season.

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