RED HOOK — A new public communication system is working to keep Red Hook primed on happenings in the neighborhood — whether it’s for community events or in times of crisis.
The Red Hook Hub, which will officially launch next week, features both a physical and an online presence to share information on everything from events and meetings to sales at local businesses and hunts for apartments or roommates.
The Hub — which includes a website and social media feeds, as well as local bulletin boards and a news ticker — will also serve as a warning bell during emergency situations in the neighborhood, said Dabriah Alston, the Hub’s coordinator.
Alston, who lives in Red Hook, used to find that she repeatedly missed important community meetings because she wasn’t aware of them.
“I wish there was one place where we could go and find information about what’s happening in Red Hook,” Alston recalled thinking at the time.
The Hub will also operate as a resource center in a crisis situation — a crucial aspect of the system, Alston said.
During Hurricane Sandy, many local residents were facing severe flooding in Red Hook and did not know where to go for food, shelter or services that were being offered in the neighborhood.
“People really didn’t know where to go to get basic stuff,” Alston said. “We cannot allow this to happen again.”
If a possibly dangerous situation is imminent, bright red emergency warning signs will appear online and at the Hub's locations. Coordinators will also send out alerts through social media and email.
The Hub consists of a website and physical bulletin boards at the Red Hook public library and the Miccio Center — spots with a high rate of foot traffic — where locals can post fliers and notices, she said.
Since the bulletin board at the library is locked, fliers can be sent to Alston or given to the library’s staff to be posted.
There is also an electronic news ticker at Realty Collective, located at 351 Van Brunt St., which features a constant stream of community information.
The system will be operated by local groups, including the Red Hook Initiative, Good Shepherd Services, the Red Hook Coalition, Red Hook Communications Working Group and Brooklyn Public Library’s Red Hook branch.
While Alston curated most of the site’s current content, she’s hoping more people will start to participate soon.
People can anonymously post listings, which have to be approved by a coordinator, or fliers can be published directly onto the website if locals sign up for a free account.
“It’s just like a one-stop shop for Red Hook,” she said.
The Hub’s official launch is open to the public and is scheduled for Dec. 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Red Hook branch, located at 7 Wolcott St. Coordinators will be on hand to demonstrate how to use the website.