Rebuilding better: Planning for the road ahead | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more
Published on
Written by
Posted in Community
Published on
Written by
Posted in Community

There are many resources available for relief, recovery and rebuilding in the wake of natural disasters.

The global green building community was built on the mission of creating a more sustainable built environment. In the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the earthquake in Mexico and countless other natural disasters taking place all over the world, USGBC stands with our local communities as they begin the long, hard work of recovering from the effects of these natural disasters. Architects, builders, engineers, contractors, designers, students, innovators and many other types of leaders make up this movement, and we are ready to help in the recovery and rebuilding efforts.

It will take months, even years, to assess the damage and develop the right strategies for each of the affected regions, but we know that sustainable, resilient practices will ensure that we rebuild better. Over the next several months, at Greenbuild and beyond, USGBC will be working with our local leaders to develop action plans to help with the rebuilding efforts, and we will be sharing updates along the way.

Here are some resources immediately available to those affected or those looking to help. If you would like to add to this list, please respond in the comments section, and we will add resources as appropriate.

Cleanup resources

Community resilience

Rebuilding resources

HUD provides several rebuilding resources, including:

FEMA provides several rebuilding resources:

Other resources:

USGBC resources

Following Hurricane Katrina, USGBC led the creation of the New Orleans Principles, which were developed to help guide the planning and rebuilding efforts, with the intent of enhancing environmental, social and economic outcomes. This holistic, or “triple-bottom-line,” approach promotes environmental, economical and equitable solutions in addressing the rebuilding efforts, creating a stronger, more self-sufficient and more protected city.

Giving back

Several organizations are accepting donations in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria:

  • SEPA is organizing an internal pledge drive to raise money for Light and Hope for Puerto Rico.
  • Team Rubicon, which is made up of U.S. Army veterans, launched Operation Coquí Calling in response to Hurricane Maria. Volunteers are supporting the distribution of medical supplies and necessities in coordination with local and state authorities, conducting community needs assessments in coordination with FEMA and providing debris removal and chainsaw operations.
  • UNICEF is providing a portal to donate for the Hurricane Maria response.
  • Red Cross has a webpage for disaster relief donations.
  • The One America Appeal, launched by former U.S. presidents, is raising money for Texas, Florida and the Caribbean.