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Community Groups Begin Work On Hurricane Plans For Low-Income Neighborhoods In Miami-Dade, Broward

Nadege Green
Volunteers with Koncious Contractors remove tree branches from a Little Havana home. After Hurricane Irma, many South Florida community groups deployed volunteers to low-income and disabled people with recovery.

Several South Florida nonprofits are launching five meetings to ensure equality in hurricane recovery efforts, continuing work that began after Hurricane Irma.

After the storm, some elderly people went days without ice or water. Some students who rely on free school lunches didn't have a way to eat. Volunteers and community groups stepped up to host barbecues, deliver supplies and help with tree removal.

Now the groups want to create preparedness plans that specifically meet the needs of low-income neighborhoods. They also want to push for more accountability from elected officials.

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

Participating organizations in South Florida include New Florida Majority, Catalyst Miami, Make the Homeless Smile, the Miami Climate Alliance (MCA), WeCount, FANM, Community Justice Project, Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), the Miami Workers Center (MWC), MH Action, PowerU, Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center and SEIU Florida.

"We actually were the first responders in communities like Liberty City, Little Haiti, Alapattah, Goulds, Perrine and Florida City and Opa-locka, certain parts of Miami Gardens," said Valencia Gunder, who works for the New Florida Majority and founded the nonprofit Make The Homeless Smile. "We're so excited to have taken that experience and actually learned from it so we can be better-prepared as a community for this hurricane season."

The first step, she said, is the meetings this week and next where people can participate in creating disaster resilience plans for their neighborhoods. Here are the locations and times for the meetings: 

South Broward Meeting
Date: Monday, April 23
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Address: C.W. Thomas Park (800 NW Second St, Dania Beach, FL 33004)

North Miami-Dade Meeting
Date: Tuesday, April 24
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Address: Sant La Neighborhood Center (13390 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami, FL 33161)

Central Broward Meeting
Date: Sunday, April 30
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Address: Willie L. Webb Senior Park (3601 NW 21st St, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33311)

Central Miami-Dade Meeting
Date: Tuesday, May 1
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Address: Circle of Brotherhood School (5120 NW 24th Ave. Miami, FL 33147)

South Miami-Dade Meeting
Date: Thursday, May 3
Time: 6-8:30 p.m.
Address: WeCount (201 N. Krome Ave. #230, Homestead, FL 33030)