WE Prepare: Empowering Resilient Women and Girls

On Tuesday, August 21st, we met at Williams Park for our second in a series of 4 workshops for the Overtown Empowering Resilient Women and Girls program. The first workshop, We Learn, explored how climate change impacts us individually and collectively as a community. 

Olivia and Natalia kicked off the evening with a recap from the first climate change presentation which looked not only at the causes, and impacts, but also addressed concrete, immediate solutions that can be implemented rather easily. 

We had also 4 featured speakers: 

Alicia Horner from the Miami Dade County Office of Emergency Management. She discussed preparedness and the importance of understanding the role of the county and the role of communities in preparing, planning, surviving and recovering from extreme weather events. She emphasized the the Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program, for anyone that needs special help during an evacuation as well as planning ahead with the family and having a kit and plan in place. 

The second speaker, Alba Jofre, from Consolidated Credit Solutions. She discussed in detail the why and how to prepared financially for unexpected events such as extreme weather events. She offered tips on how to create and maintain a budget; what items can be prioritized in order to free up money for savings; and why it is so important to have a small safety net for the unexpected. She showed participants that it is possible to create a financial plan that makes sense for all budgets. 

Bereatha Howard, one of CLEO's program coordinators, and an active community emergency preparedness volunteer, gave personal tips on what to include in an emergency kit and where to purchase these items on a budget. 

Francoise Cham, a local community partner, talked about her experience and lessons learned during Hurricane Irma, with her mother who has specials needs, and the importance of understanding those responsibilities in a time of emergency. 

Marisol Zenteno, from the League of Women Voters, expressed how imperative the upcoming election is, and how our vote is truly one of the best ways to ensure our individual and collective voices are heard. She also discussed the importance of holding our elected officials responsible and accountable for the decisions they make on our behalf. 

Overall attendees demonstrated not only that they understand climate change, but that they can connect the dots on issues like health, displacement and the economy. They also demonstrated their knowledge on issues like recycling and the importance of reducing one's consumption. They also asked a lot of questions regarding preparedness and the roles of different players in the community.