On August 5, 2022, Dr. Lucy Jones – in partnership with the North Valley Community Foundation – will launch a program to support communities across California to increase their resilience in the face of the Golden State’s most pressing natural disaster: wildfires. Addressing the imminent threat of fire and the devastating losses to our cities, suburban areas, and natural environment, her “Recovery to Resilience” initiative provides tools and tactics to help local community and civic leaders prepare for these destructive events. These approaches will help make sure the communities that define California are not lost in the next wildfire. This program is a partnership between the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society and the North Valley Community Foundation, in collaboration with Wells Fargo.
As Dr. Jones says, “As the threat from wildfires increases with the changing climate, we know that someday, there will be a fire large enough to sweep through the flats of the San Gabriel Valley or the East [San Francisco] Bay – this work helps all Californians identify the next steps they can take to recover faster when disaster strikes.”
“North Valley Community Foundation unfortunately has extensive experience in providing philanthropic support to communities in Northern California that have been impacted by wildfires,” said Alexa Benson-Valavanis, NVCF president and CEO. “Our communities continue to learn how to build the resilience needed to adapt to these growing crises. We are excited to continue to learn from our leading scientists and how our joint efforts build more resilient communities across California.”
Research shows that resilience building starts with the tight connections among individuals, and this applies to the business community as well. Dr. Jones shared that “those that come back faster – recover faster – are those with the strongest bonds to each other and with a pride in place. Without those characteristics, it is a longer road to try to come back. And coming back better is the goal.”
Known for her work in earthquake science, Dr. Jones has spent the last 15 years working with other natural hazards, focusing on the use of science to help save lives and property. August 5th’s program launches with experts and leaders from around the State and across the country coming together to help define the specific actions communities need to take to support businesses districts and small business owners with research-based tactics that can be employed by the government to strengthen the sense of community around them. Dr. Jones founded the Dr. Lucy Jones Center to do this work.