People first – property second.
Our disaster preparedness begins and ends with ensuring the safety of residents. It starts before new communities are constructed. Design professionals not only address the livability of our residential projects but focus on their sustainability in the face of risks of Florida’s perennial hurricane season. New construction projects incorporate impact doors and glass and all older properties integrate storm shutters to protect residents against windborne debris. Rural Neighborhoods’ portfolio utilizes strict building code standards for building structures and roof systems. In some communities, we have invested in large stand-by electric generators to keep our offices and community centers powered post-storm — ready-to-serve our residents and communities.
In 1992 as Category 5 Hurricane Andrew approached Miami-Dade in the dark of night, our staff helped evacuate 154 households who resided at the Everglades Labor Camp. It was life-saving. In preparing for every storm since, Rural Neighborhoods takes pride in communicating early and often with residents – many of whom are unsure of the dangers, speak little English and have no evacuation plan. In the event of a natural disaster, we put the families we serve in touch with FEMA and relief agencies.
Effective preparedness starts with experienced leadership.
Board members Tom David, Diana Gonzalez and Steven Mainster unmatched disaster experience. David served as Executive Director of Miami-Dade’s We Will Rebuild Foundation in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and as the initial Director of FIU’s International Hurricane Center. Then Director of Miami-Dade’s Development and Facilities Management, Ms. Gonzales led rapid emergency housing projects post-Andrew. Community activist Steven Mainster set up a disaster relief center immediately following the disaster. Thousands of meals a day were served and a tent city housed hundreds of displaced individuals and families. Few community-based charitable groups enjoy such tried and tested practitioners.