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Yolo County District Attorney Forum

What should Davis's "Resilience Hub" be?

The City Council approved spending of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds at its most recent meeting, including $400,000 for "climate resilience hub/climate action needs." This being the only money they allocated related to climate change, it seems especially important to think about what such a hub might look like. Below are relevant documents from the City's Utility Commission.


From: Resilience Subcommi1ee
To: Utilities Commission
Re: More definitive vision of Resilience Hub Date: October 20, 2021

The Resilience Subcommittee offers the following ideas and questions to the Utilities Commission to help formulate a vision of how a Resilience Hub could be beneficial to Davis and the specific qualities we would like to have in a Davis Resilience Hub.


Resilience is the ability of people and communities to anticipate, accommodate and positively adapt to and thrive amidst changing climate conditions and emergency events.

Resilience Hub is a local facility to enhance community resilience by providing reliable essential services when emergency events occur and other community benefits under normal conditions. A resilience hub typically:

  • Provides essential services when normal services, either at the municipal level or at individual residences, are disrupted;

  • Includes equipment to generate electricity when utility service is out, because almost all other essential services require energy;

  • Provides community benefits during normal conditions;

  • Leverages approaches such as renewable energy solutions that minimize harmful environmental impacts;

  • Makes use of existing community managed facilities.

    In many instances they target at risk or otherwise vulnerable populations in a community. Resilience hubs also:

    tend to be a significant part of a community!s emergency response plan; • can improve access to health improvement initiatives;
    • can support community centered institutions and programs;
    • are unique to the specific needs of the community.

    Typical scenario: Let's look at a typical scenario that has actually happened in Davis. There is an extreme wind event, and the power is out for several days. People with electrically powered medical devices or who need refrigeration for medications are at significant risk. Citizens are in the dark literally as well as figuratively speaking, because there is no light in the evening or at night and no internet access. Individuals don't know what they should do, where they should go, because they are not receiving emergency alerts because cell towers are down. Some folks are ill prepared, because they don't have enough food in the house. Grocery stores are not open because cash registers don't work nor do refrigeration units that keep meats and other items (milk, cheese, yogurt) cold. Pharmacies are closed for the same reason.

    In such a situation, what services would you want from the resilience hub, whom do you want it to serve, and for how long? Some questions to ask are as follows:

  • What are the risks Davis faces that might be addressed by a resilience hub? (flooding, extreme heat, other extreme weather events, chemical spills, planned and unplanned power outages, other)

  • Are there underserved populations in Davis that a resilience hub might target and/or should a Davis hub serve as a more general emergency response asset?

  • How should a Davis resilience hub be scaled? In an emergency how many people should it serve? For what duration?

  • Should a Davis resilience center be able to address the potential needs of surrounding communities, e.g. evacuees from a wildfire in Winters or Guinda?

  • What services should be provided in an emergency situation? (electricity, water, food, internet access, other)

  • What are potential existing locations in Davis that could serve as a resilience hub? (Senior Center, Veterans Memorial Theater, a school, other)

  • Should the investment in a resilience hub be phased? For instance initially should it be an "energy island” and longer term part of a neighborhood mini grid?

  • What role should the resilience hub play during normal times, e.g. community center, youth center, health center, church, employment office, information center?

  • Do we need to reaffirm a resilience hub project is within the scope of the Utility Commission!s charter?

  • At what point do we bring the resilience hub concept to City Council to gauge their interest?

    Here are a couple of possible days in the life of a Davis resilience hub.....

    Example 1: It is a beautiful sunny day in Davis and the resilience hub's storage batteries are fully charged

    by rooftop solar panels. The city!s electric vehicles are being charged at the site!s vehicle charging stations. Power produced in excess of need is sold back to VCE. A number of community members, including students, are taking advantage of the free internet access on site. There is a class going on demonstrating sustainable approaches to landscaping and water recapture that takes advantage of the

    hub!s demonstration installations. Site emergency response volunteers are a]ending review sessions as to their roles during an emergency. City staff is reinforcing messaging to the community as to when and how they can take advantage of the hub during both normal and emergency operations.

    Example 2: Weather can change fast in Davis. Extreme heat and wind are causing a wildfire hazard. PG&E decides on implementing a public safety power shutoff, and it estimates it will be 72 hours before power can be restored. While it is 107 degrees outside it is a comfortable 76 degrees in the resilience hub. The resilience hub goes into emergency mode when PG&E’s power shutoff begins and is able to keep electricity flowing from its solar panels during the day and ba]eries at night. Affected citizens find their way or are transported to the hub. A number of people have medical equipment that needs power. Most everyone has needs that are met for charging stations and internet access. Basic food and water are available. Requirements to support an overnight stay in the hub are achieved. Refrigeration for food and medicines is accessible. Health professionals are periodically on site during the emergency to serve those who want medical attention.


February 3, 2022

To: Mayor Partida and City Council Members
From: Utilities Commission, Resilience Subcommittee

The Utilities Commission requests the City Council to agendize the topic of resilience hubs, to include a brief presentation by the Utilities Commission, with the goal of initiating an effort to explore the creation of a resilience hub in Davis.

Resilience hubs are community-serving facilities augmented to support residents and coordinate resource distribution and services before, during, or after a natural hazard event. At a minimum, a resilience hub should be able to provide emergency services during extreme events — including offering the community a place to gather to obtain information, receive emergency supplies, store and refrigerate medical supplies, receive basic medical care, charge electronic and medical devices, and access the internet. In addition, resilience hubs are designed to deliver other "steady-state” services based upon community input and needs.

Current emergency plan locations within the city appear to be dependent on the macro energy grid for electricity, or are, as in the case of the senior center, dependent on diesel fuel for emergency power generation. Diesel fuel can be in short supply, is more volatile from the safety standpoint, and adds to GHG emissions. Diesel generation provides no community benefits outside of emergency uses. Adding solar power generation and battery energy storage to an existing location creates a resilience hub that will have fossil-free electricity during macro grid outages, a critical adaptation for a more volatile and extreme climate. During the rest of the year the solar + storage can minimize the facility’s electricity bills. Cities such as Baltimore MD,1 Asheville NC2 and Hollister CA3 have taken leadership roles in the creation of resilience hubs, setting themselves on the path to creating more local ownership and equity with respect to power supply within their communities.

The resilience hub concept is consistent with recommendations coming from CAAP and can serve to meet the needs of those in the community most at risk during an emergency. Significant funds to build resilience hubs are becoming available from both federal and state sources, but the city needs to be prepared with a shovel-ready project to take advantage of that money.

Our request is to place on the City Council agenda consideration of a staff effort in conjunction with the Utilities Commission Resilience Subcommittee to explore the creation of a resilience hub within Davis, addressing questions that include: desired services and capacities, potential locations, energy requirements, costs, funding sources, community involvement, etc.

The Utilities Commission’s Resilience Subcommittee is available to address any questions you might have on resilience hubs and / or to work with staff or other commissions whose charters intersect with the scope of this request.

Resilience Subcommittee: Steve Gellen, Elaine Roberts-Musser, Lorenzo Kristov
Members of the Utilities Commission
Stan Gryczko, Adrienne Heinig



February 10, 2022
Utilities Commission
Resilience Subcommittee
Resilience Hub Recommendation to City Council

On February 3, pursuant to the Commission’s January 19 motion, the Resilience Subcommittee submitted the attached letter to the City Council requesting the Council to agendize the subject of a Resilience Hub for Davis at a future Council meeting and invite this Commission to make a brief presentation.

As of this writing the Subcommittee has had no indication of when the Council might schedule the subject, though we were contacted by Council Members Carson and Frerichs to indicate their receipt of our request and their interest in the subject.

In anticipation of a City Council discussion in the near future, the Subcommittee prepared the following outline for a possible UC slide presentation, which we submit for discussion and input with the full Commission at our February 16 meeting.


Proposal to Create a Resilience Hub for Davis

  1. Definition of Resilience; local preparedness for near-term climate impacts

  2. Energy Resilience; having continuous electric power during utility grid outages

    • For emergency preparedness

    • As local adaptation to climate disruption

  3. Resilience Hub concept

    • A community center to provide essential services during major disruptions

    • Providing community benefits during normal conditions

  4. Resilience Hub implementation

    • Retrofit an existing building with solar panels + battery storage for independent power supply under emergency conditions

    • Provides fossil-free energy year round

    • Avoids disadvantages of diesel or other fossil-fuel backup: GHG emissions and other

      pollutants; safety concerns (explosions); ongoing maintenance; fuel scarcity

  5. Resilience Hub examples

    • San Benito Health Center in Hollister: 26/healthcare

    • Capay Valley Health Center in Esparto:

      This work was composed on the ancestral land of the Patwin people. Today there are three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

  1. Timing: State and possibly Federal funding will be available this year

    • Be prepared with a “shovel-readyproject to submit application when state or federal funding is announced

    • Transformative Climate Communities” — Strategic Growth Council program will release Notice of Funding Availability in March 2022, total $106 M:

  2. Request of City Council: Direct staff to initiate development of a “shovel-ready” plan for a Resilience Hub in Davis

a. Convene public engagement to educate and get input for designing Resilience Hub for Davis

o Types of threats to be concerned aboutlook to CAAP threat assessment and OES threat assessment

o Identify vulnerable groups
o Identify priority services the Resilience Hub should provide
o Technical featuresservice capacity;needed duration of powersupply

o Consider possible locations, focusing on existing facilities ;accessibility

o Consider relationships with other emergency services

    1. Collaborate with UC Resilience Subcommittee and other commissions o NRC

      o Senior Citizens Commission

      o Social Services Commission

    2. Target date for initial staff report on key activities


greg rowe

This is really good information. Given past history of PH&E power interruptions, this type of facility could literally be a life saver.

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