Weather and Water-Related Emergency Preparedness Workshop

I think a lot about what if the Mississippi rises and floods North and Northeast Minneapolis and it becomes a crisis similar to that in New Orleans.
— Amoke Kubat

Amoke Kubat, YO MAMA and YO MAMA’S HOUSE Cooperative founder, is concerned that African-American Mothers are not at the table for conversations about access to safe water, climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters. We/they are not invited to the meetings for policymaking or strategic planning to address needs in emergencies. We/they lack access to information and resources for readiness and resiliency.

Mothers are by nature, first responders. As climate change continues to bring more and more powerful weather events, Kubat wants mothers to be prepared. In the event of natural disasters, toxic water, tornados, severe weather, etc. how do MAMAS prepare for the survival of self and loved ones? Mothers, and fathers, need information, resources, skills, and allies.

Amoke facilitated an event as part of FLOW on Plymouth where mothers (and some fathers) were invited into a conversation about disaster preparedness for their families and communities. The Ladder 9 crew of the Minneapolis Fire Department’s Station 11 came to entertain children and answer questions about disaster preparedness.

Community members were also able to put together what Amoke calls “bug-out bags”. In the case of extreme emergencies including water contamination — what supplies do you need on hand? Solar powered radios, first aid kits, thermal food bags and cans of sterno were just a few of the items available for the bags.

Amoke surveyed community members about where they can access clean drinking water. It was an exercise in thinking about where you get clean drinking water and how that might change in the case of emergencies.

Lauren Humpert