Many lessons in preparation have been learned since the floods of 2008 and 2016, last summer's derecho, and other weather disasters in Cedar Rapids including a brutal winter that has put a strain on resources in the city in its own right.

Supplying the residents of Cedar Rapids with needed resources in a pinch after those types of emergencies take place is where the Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department is going to put money from a new grant to use.

The "Rollin' Recmobile" started last summer, before the August 10 storm bringing games and activities to local parks for kids and families to enjoy. Makeshift neighborhood resource centers had to quickly spring up to serve the needs of those in the community. Now, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the program has been granted $10,000 from the National League of Cities' 2021 "Leadership in Community Resilience Program." Eric Holthaus is the Cedar Rapids city sustainability coordinator and said:

Neighborhood Resource Centers became an integral component of the city’s response to the derecho in August. Enhancing the Recmobile with these new tools will provide another avenue to connect residents with City resources in locations convenient to them.

With these funds, they will be able to provide needed supplies like water bottles, insulated grocery bags, and flashlights on its stops. The money will also be used to boost community engagement with city services with signage, digital survey stations, chairs, and outdoor misters.

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Dubuque was the only other city in Iowa to receive this grant, with others across the country including Alton, Texas; Arlington, Massachusetts; Flagstaff, Arizona; Raleigh, N.C.; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Spokane, Washington.

Future stops and engagement opportunities will be announced at a later time.

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