With natural and man-made disasters on the rise, Rebuilding Together helps neighbors in time of crisis to rebuild their homes and lives.
Rebuilding Together’s Disaster Readiness and Recovery program provides disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and long-term recovery support to help families and communities affected by natural disasters to rebuild their homes and lives. With natural and man-made disasters on the rise, our affiliate network focuses on community preparedness before the storm hits and the repair and rehabilitation of damaged housing stock in the aftermath. With a four-focus area approach of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery, Rebuilding Together not only responds to disaster, but builds and strengthens community in the process.
According to FEMA, the long-term recovery phase of disaster places the most severe financial strain on local and state governments. Many recovery organizations conclude their relief efforts once first-response needs are met. Rebuilding Together is often one of the very few options for our neighbors still seeking assistance with long term recovery. Rebuilding Together’s expertise in owner-occupied home rehabilitation is a critical resource for recovering communities impacted by natural or man-made disasters. Through our expertise in health and housing and established relationships in affected communities, we are well positioned as a long-term provider of disaster recovery support.
Disaster Readiness and Recovery program services:
- Mitigation: weatherproofing to reduce risk of property damage related to a disaster that cannot be prevented.
- Preparedness: cultivating community relationships and developing policies, protocols, incident command systems, training, and planning to prepare community for possibility of a disaster.
- Response: assessing the needs of the community after the disaster strikes in conjunction with government, private, non-profit agencies, and community members; participating in cleanup including removing debris, cleaning, and drying out homes.
- Recovery: supporting long term recovery by providing critical repairs to damaged homes and community spaces.
Disaster Readiness and Recovery in Action—Tampa, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach Broward County, and Gainesville, FL
Affiliates in Florida are committed to rebuilding 200 homes affected by Hurricane Irma in 5 years. Hurricane Irma is unique in that it severely affected the entire state, including mainland cities. Six Rebuilding Together affiliates are responding to the needs of homeowners in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, Broward County and Gainesville. Repairs include debris removal, roof repairs, replacing damaged sheet rock, weather-proofing and, at times, total home reconstruction. Rebuilding Together Broward County is providing hurricane preparedness for vulnerable homeowners through its pilot program, Broward Cares. Through the program, they will be installing accordion style hurricane shutters to help protect homes from high winds during a future hurricane.
Disaster Readiness and Recovery in Action—Baton Rouge, LA
Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge began working in the Glenn Oaks neighborhood in late 2016 after a weather system passed through Baton Rouge and much of South Louisiana, dumping large amounts of rain into the area. The resulting flood destroyed thousands of homes and businesses over an area 13 miles wide and 26 miles long. With support of the American Red Cross and AARP, Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge worked on three streets in the Glenn Oaks neighborhood utilizing hundreds of volunteers who came to the community in response to the flood. They restored 25 homes and were able to bring residents back home within a year of the flood. Neighborhood activity was enhanced as the repair work was happening because neighbors got out of their homes, met one another and developed relationships. There were three street cookouts arranged by neighbors for block parties during rebuilds and the affiliate received notes of thanks and expressions of appreciation for their work. Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge has continued to work in the neighborhood and recently begun a roof restoration program on houses worked on following the flood. To date, they have replaced five roofs in the neighborhood.
Disaster Readiness and Recovery in Action—Houston and San Antonio, TX
Hurricane Harvey, a category five hurricane cost the state of Texas $125 billion in damage. Through Home After Harvey, a program established to rebuild homes impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Rebuilding Together Houston has a goal to complete work on 500 homes in five years, focusing on the Independence Heights and Kashmere Gardens neighborhoods.
While Houston garnered significant media attention, Harvey’s destruction spanned the entire state including smaller cities outside San Antonio and along the Gulf Coast. Rebuilding Together San Antonio is focused on the needs of homeowners in Rockport, Aransas Pass and Port Aransas, areas that lacked the resources of larger metropolitan cities and tend to fall out of favor with the media rapidly after a disaster. They have completed work on 27 homes since the beginning of the year and are in it for the long haul. Because rebuilding after a disaster is a collaborative effort, Rebuilding Together San Antonio is working closely with several long-term recovery partners, including the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group, a nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen long term recovery by addressing unmet, disaster-related needs of individuals and communities.
Disaster Readiness and Recovery in Action—Petaluma, CA
In response to the 2017 California wildfires, Rebuilding Together Petaluma partnered with Homes for Sonoma to build tiny homes to provide semi-permanent housing to individuals affected. Damage from the wildfires topped $10 billion and nearly 95,000 residents were forced to evacuate. By building tiny homes, Rebuilding Together Petaluma and Homes for Sonoma will give evacuees the opportunity to return to their communities while permanent housing is rebuilt.
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