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Brian Thomas, a Cedar Rapids resident and friend to Footprint Project, told our deployment team, "The impact is big...Two towers have collapsed at the radio station. Alliant energy has asked people not to drive their cars. There are downed power lines and trees all over."
Footprint Project's Solar Energy Rapid Response Team (SERRT) deployed from Minneapolis 24 hours after the power went out in Iowa. They towed a Rent.Solar (www.rent.solar) solar trailer filled with solar battery equipment, including two solar battery generators lent to Footprint Project by Nechama Jewish Response to Disaster (www.nechama.org).
Since arriving in Cedar Rapids, the SERRT has begun identifying hard hit neighborhoods with extended grid recovery timelines and setting up sustainable power sources. The team has set up two public clean energy access stations, one at Hiawatha City Hall (101 Emmons St, Hiawatha, IA 52233) and another near Garfield Elementary School. Residents immediately began plugging in.
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The SERRT is also reaching out to companies, universities, and other institutions that have mobile solar energy systems in the region to match additional priority sites with clean power. With equipment donations as well as support from Footprint Project's national network, the team will continue its work to provide communities with clean power access through the recovery.
Footprint Project's mission is to help #BuildBackGreener after disasters by providing cleaner energy to communities in crisis.
About Footprint Project:
Footprint Project's mission is to help #BuildBackGreener after disasters by deploying cleaner energy to communities in crisis. We dispatch mobile solar stations to support disaster first responders, meet emergency power needs, and improve long-term community resilience. We help relief groups integrate sustainable technologies into their missions through hands-on training, design, and deployment support. In 2020, Footprint Project has deployed mobile solar stations to the earthquakes in Puerto Rico, tornadoes in Tennessee, a COVID-19 clinic on the US/Mexico border, and the Minneapolis justice movement, providing direct access to emergency solar recharging for over 13,000 US citizens affected by disasters.
Our field partners for this response include: NECHAMA, Linn County EMA (https://www.linncounty.org/132/Emergency-Management), Kim Downs- the Hiawatha City administrator, and Mike Nesslage- the Hiawatha City Fire chief (https://www.hiawatha-iowa.com/departments/fire-ambulance/).
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If you are interested in helping Footprint Project #BuildBackGreener during these trying times, we are currently seeking:
1. Cash - The most effective, flexible, and sustainable way to support disaster-affected communities. Donations can be made at https://www.footprintproject.org/donate
2. Clean Energy Equipment - Batteries, inverters, solar panels, wiring, in priority order. More information here: https://www.footprintproject.org/donate
3. Attention - Share our work. Attention helps us fund the first two. Follow and share at https://twitter.com/footprintprjct/ and https://www.instagram.com/footprintprjct/
For more information about why and how cash is best in disaster relief, you can go to the Center for International Disaster Information -- https://www.cidi.org/
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