Resilient Diamond Heights
Join Us: The Resilient Diamond Heights Workgroup meets the 4th Wednesday of the month from 3:30 to 5:00 pm at St. Aidan’s Church. For information, contact Jeanette Oliver at the Diamond Heights Shopping Center Management Office at 415-282-4647 or email Betsy Eddy, Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background: The Resilient Diamond Heights (RDH) began as an effort by St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church to bring community representatives together to prepare the neighborhood as well as possible for that big quake in our future or for local emergencies. In 2008, representatives from the Shopping Center, community agencies, housing developments and St. Aidan’s began meeting monthly. Our first group name, the Diamond Heights Emergency Preparedness Committee changed to Disaster Ready Diamond Heights in 2011and has now become Resilient Diamond Heights in order to be in accord with other Resilient neighborhoods in San Francisco under the leadership of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network.
RDH Accomplishments 2008 – 2013.
- DisasterReadyDHSF.com, a disaster tips website, with text created by the committee and website design by Chuck Stegman, Jensen’s Mail and Copy, was provided on the Internet in February 2011.
- Along with SF CARD and the Red Cross, RDH sponsored the Diamond Heights Disaster Readiness Conference attended by 35 people representing 10 organizations in March 2012.
- San Francisco State initiated the Community Network Mapping Project in November 2013 with the final report published in July 2014.
- RDH received recognition and a grant via SFCARD as a best practice organization from FEMA and CDC in December 2012.
- The initial Diamond Heights Response Action Plan was completed by January 2013 providing the framework for community response following a disaster or neighborhood emergency.
- RDH presented a Spring Community Celebration in Walter Haas Park in March 2013.
- RDH purchased supplies in April 2013 with SFCARD grant funds. The supplies are designated for use for opening St. Aidan’s as a Neighborhood Service Center.
- RDH sponsored a Holiday Party for the Neighborhood in December 2013.
- Diamond Heights Health and Safety Fair: RDH, the Shopping Center, St. Aidan’s, and the SF Police Academy sponsored the Fair at the Police Academy on September 13. Over 300 people enjoyed live music, meals from food trucks and visited a wide range of agency tables representing Diamond Heights’ organizations, disaster preparedness agencies, health agencies and agencies serving older people and people with disabilities. Children enjoyed the bouncy houses, face painting, free popcorn and the planting and coloring projects. SF Cares provided free eye exams and free eye glasses for 24 grateful people. Smokey Bear attended to promote fire prevention.
- RDH Disaster Response Plan Heat Wave Component: Due to a heat wave in May, RDH developed a plan to open St. Aidan’s when the temperature reaches 85 degrees or higher for several days in order to provide water, light meals and a check on wellness. The plan was partially activated in September when tip sheets on what to do in a heat wave were passed out at the Shopping Center in three languages and misting stations were set-up provided by Jeanette Oliver, Shopping Center Manager.
- Diamond Heights Holiday Party. On December 20 an estimated 125 people enjoyed food provided by All Season Restaurant, Safeway, the Shopping Center and homemade cookies baked by St. Aidan’s parishioners. Peter Fairfield and Linnea Sweet provided holiday cheer as Santa and Mrs. Claus. Those present enjoyed caroling and holiday music. Eleanor Elliott headed up craft activities and helped participants of all ages make holiday wreathes. Children were delighted by toys donated by Walgreens.
- San Francisco Foundation Grant: St. Aidan’s received a $3,500 grant to help the four affordable housing developments in the neighborhood plan for checking on and supporting seniors and residents with disabilities in a disaster or neighborhood emergency.
- Japanese University Students Visit RDH: Students who wanted to learn about our community disaster planning met with Jeanette Olivier, Daniel Homsey and Betsy Eddy in August 2014. A segment of our meeting was shown on public television in Japan.
Resilient Diamond Heights (RDH) Accomplishments 2015
During 2015, RDH continued to increase the resilience and disaster preparedness of our neighborhood. RDH accomplishments included the following projects and events that occurred at St. Aidan’s Church unless otherwise noted.
NERT Disaster Resilience Training February 10: Erica Arteseros, NERT Coordinator, lead her program’s 3-hour training on Neighborhood Emergency Response Training basics.
San Francisco Foundation Grant: RDH completed the $3,500 grant by convening a building managers’ meeting on February 24 with housing developments in the neighborhood and by working with the four affordable housing complexes in Diamond Heights to improve their disaster plans particularly for assisting seniors and residents with disabilities.
RDH Volunteer Management Plan: Workgroup members completed the plan in March for training and supervising volunteers for activating a Neighborhood Support Center at St. Aidan’s in the event of a neighborhood emergency or regional disaster.
Family, Individual and Business Disaster Preparedness Workshop April 18: Brian Whitlow, Executive Director SFCARD (Community Agencies Responding to Disaster), lead participants in question and answer exercises to promote disaster resilience and preparedness.
RDH Booth at Glen Park Festival on April 26: RDH volunteers staffed a booth with the Diamond Heights Blvd. Median Project and the Diamond Heights Community Association to share the news and projects of Diamond Heights’ organizations.
St. Nicholas Church Approved as Red Cross Disaster Shelter May 2015: Due to the advocacy of the RDH, the Church and the American Red Cross Bay Area completed a shelter agreement to be activated in times of disaster.
Patrick Otellini, SF Chief Resilience Officer, Presentation June 24: RDH members learned about Patrick’s work role and plan for San Francisco and received answers to questions on neighborhood preparedness.
Building a Stronger Future in Diamond Heights Workshop Oct. 8: 40 people representing Diamond Heights organizations met for lunch and a workshop on disaster resilience. Presentations lead by Daniel Homsey, Neighborhood Empowerment Network Director, and Brian Whitlow, SFCARD, raised awareness of challenges and possible solutions for a variety of emergencies.
2015 Disaster Resilience Summit December 1: RDH members participated in this gathering of over 400 people at City Hall. Daniel Homsey coordinated the workshop with presentations by San Francisco leaders including Mayor Ed Lee.
Diamond Heights Holiday Party December 12: Approximately 60 people enjoyed food provided by All Season Restaurant and Safeway along with caroling and holiday music lead by Scrumbly Koldewyn. Greg Carey gave a presentation on RDH, NERT and disaster preparedness planning. Castro on Patrol and RDH materials were distributed including safety whistles. Door prizes included a Red Cross Emergency Kit and gift certificates donated by All Season Restaurant. Holiday craft activities and toys donated by Walgreens added to the holiday cheer. RDH, St. Aidan’s Church and the Diamond Heights Shopping Center sponsored the party.
Diamond Heights NERT Meetings: RDH initiated planning for people interested in joining our community Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT).
City Resilience Summit March 4: Workgroup members participated in this citywide event to share RDH accomplishments and plans for 2016.
RDH Community Ministries Grant March 2016: RDH received a grant for $1500 to purchase disaster supplies and pay for training and event expenses. The supplies will be stored in the Parish Hall with already acquired supplies designated for activating St. Aidan’s as a Neighborhood Service Center in a local emergency or regional disaster.
RDH Featured in The Good Steward Newsletter May 2016: The article Disaster Volunteersdescribed the RDH plan to use church and community volunteers to open St. Aidan’s as a Neighborhood Service Center for needs assessment and assistance in times of emergency.
RDH Volunteer Training October 1: RDH trained 18 people to serve as volunteers at St. Aidan’s Church after a disaster to help individuals with needs, provide resources for stabilizing their lives and for offering spiritual and emotional support. Neighborhood Service Centers are planned throughout San Francisco to help residents in emergency situations.
Retirement Party for Jim Stelly November 22: RDH hosted the party at Casa De Vida, a residence for people with mobility challenges. Jim served as the residence Administrator and as a member of RDH for seven years. Jim’s work with his residents to increase resiliency for emergencies will continue as a model for other housing developments in Diamond Heights.
Diamond Heights Holiday Party December 17: RDH organized the party enjoyed by 95 people. Volunteers from RDH and St. Aidan’s enjoyed providing and assisting with holiday crafts, caroling, homemade cookies, a festive buffet and a presentation on RDH and NERT. Santa and Mrs. Claus distributed gifts to children.
RDH Workgroup Meetings: The RDH Workgroup meets the fourth Wednesday of each month from 3:30 to 5:00 pm at St. Aidan’s. Some evening meetings are planned in 2017 in order to outreach to neighborhood residents who cannot attend during the weekday.