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Hurricane Prep Needs To Be A Community Effort, Says Miami-Dade Commissioner In New Report

Al Diaz
Miami Herald
A man attempts to keep his balance in high winds on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami during Hurricane Irma.

Miami-Dade needs a community-wide "culture of resilience" before the next hurricane, a county commissioner argued in a new report.

"Every individual, every household needs to have an emergency plan. And that plan needs to be communicated with somebody who’s a lifeline," Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava wrote in the report on Hurricane Irma.

She said she'd like to see a hurricane preparedness course in schools and a smartphone app with real-time emergency information, including a list of open evacuation shelters.

Read more: Future Hurricane Prep Could Include Drones, Says Miami-Dade Transportation Director
Preparing for and recovering from Hurricane Irma posed particular challenges for people who were low-income, elderly, disabled or didn't have regular internet access that would allow them to read up on evacuation procedures.

Levine Cava said the county needs to improve its partnerships with community organizations and faith groups that help serve vulnerable populations.

"The county government, the city government cannot do it alone," she said.

Read more: After Hurricane Irma, Food Insecurity In Miami-Dade's Poorest Communities

Her other recommendations include burying power lines, communicating better about debris removal and shelter openings and making all shelters pet-friendly.

Read the full report here.