City Urges Residents to Follow Protocol for Clearing Debris
Adopting a “Whole Community” approach, the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), in conjunction with the Office of Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce (Chamber), has developed a program to address community needs following the impacts of Hurricane Irma. This program addresses immediate needs, short-term and long-term recovery and resilience. These three entities are collaborating with community and mental health professionals and other resources through a Disaster Recovery Group (DRG).
Impacts from the disaster can exacerbate additional community health and resiliency issues that may have been brewing under the surface. The multi-faceted program incorporates existing services and programs, enhanced by newly-implemented Community Recovery Centers (CRCs), specialized staff and ongoing interface with FEMA. This program is being implemented as the City recovers from Hurricane Irma, but the benefits are to be felt through long-term recovery and components will be incorporated into the City’s Resiliency Strategy as part of our 1OORC efforts.
There are three main mission areas under our Community Recovery Program:
- Business and Industry
With support from the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, the City of Miami Beach will be partnering with local businesses to share resources, provide assistance and maintain economic stability in our community . By engaging the business community, the City of Miami Beach can address needs for materials and services through existing supply chains and connections . Moving forward, this partnership enhances our overall ability to bounce back after crisis.
- Community Outreach and Public Education
DEM is collaborating efforts with the City’s Office of Housing and Community Services to identify, assess and prioritize needs for assistance, starting with our most vulnerable populations. Assessment and community response teams are led by community health, mental health and community outreach professionals. In the short term, we are also including State and Federal partners who bring resources to provide assistance where appropriate. For the general public not contacted by the outreach teams, walk-in assistance is available at the two Community Recovery Centers mentioned below
Additionally, information will be posted to the DEM web page on the City’s website, updating the public on the status of debris removal, links to FEMA resources and other assistance, and providing relevant recovery information.
- Volunteers and Donations
For the most part, the need for donations and volunteer assistance has been relatively minimal. The outpouring of generosity, however, has been significant. As teams identify local needs, we are routing the donations to where they are most needed. Additional donations of materials are being sent to other areas that were hit hard by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and to the identified agencies that can best appropriate the items.
Through generous donations of space by the property owners, the City was able to quickly set up two Community Recovery Centers as locations for donation drop-off, disaster recovery assistance, some insurance clarification, information on available resources and any volunteer sign-up efforts. The South neighborhoods in the City are being served by the location at 1627 Euclid Avenue, just south of Lincoln Road. The North Beach location is being established at 7430 Collins Avenue. Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The Community Recovery Centers will be open at least through the first week in October, and may stay open longer, as need dictates. Please note that the items being collected are limited to the following:
- Canned goods
- Insect Repellents
- Baby Wipes
- Hygiene Items
- First Aid Items
Clothing, shoes or perishable food will not be accepted. This approach to community recovery management will mitigate negative mental health, health and financial impacts of Hurricane Irma. The Whole-Community effort will keep Miami Beach resources in Miami Beach, build a more cohesive recovery response capability for the city and return our community to a “new normal” that is more resilient.
Clearing Debris Off The Streets
Hurricane Irma has created significant amounts of debris in the city’s roadways, parks, and facilities. The city began clearing debris from the roadways immediately following the storm’s departure on Monday, September 11, 2017.
It has been estimated that between 250,000 and 300,000 cubic yards of storm related material will need to be collected and disposed. As a point of reference, in Hurricane Katrina only 42,000 cubic yards of debris was collected and Hurricane Wilma generated 135,000 cubic yards of debris. To date, approximately 35,000 cubic yards have been collected. There are monitors both at the Temporary Debris Staging and Reduction and accompanying the debris collection crews to verify the origin of the debris and the amount of debris that is arriving at the site.
City of Miami Beach Residents are also being instructed to separate debris into two piles curbside or in the swale area: one pile should be designated for heavy vegetation and the second for all other debris. Debris should not block roadways, sidewalks, fire hydrants, utilities or storm drains. Plastic bags containing small vegetative debris should not be mixed in with the loose piles of green waste. Residents with landscape service should take debris material with them and not leave it in the debris piles meant for pickup. This will help expedite the city’s cleanup process.
Residents with additional questions regarding the process or immediate concerns can call the debris hotline at 305.604.2444. Residents can also take vegetative material to the Green Waste Facility located at 2800 Meridian Avenue, Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Businesses and commercial properties need to make arrangements for the removal and disposal of all debris.