Faring After the Storm

Posted on: September 22, 2017

TOP LEFT: Jessica White, walking her dog, Stella, on a patch of grass placed inside a conference room at the Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate where they evacuated. TOP RIGHT: LIR’s Carla Olivares volunteers in post-Irma clean up in Homestead. BOTTOM LEFT: Little Hands-On! LIR’s JJ Snow Hansen’s daughters along with their cousins in Wisconsin set up a bake sale and raised $141 for hurricane Irma victims. BOTTOM RIGHT: Similarly, LIR’s Beatriz Cardona’s children put on a lemonade stand in Boston for hurricane Irma relief – they were able to raise $100.75 which were donated to help Key West evacuees at the FIU shelter.

With Irma behind us and as normalcy is restored, we’d like to pause to reflect upon this adventure we experienced together. When the winds settled and our beaches glistened once again we witnessed firsthand the strength and resilience of our beautiful city. We’d also like relay to you, our friends, family and clients our gratitude for your safety and well-being and equally for your concern for ours. Our hearts were warmed to see in a time of distress and subsequent recovery that our bond with you, our extended family has grown and strengthened.

As we know, Miami didn’t emerge entirely unscathed. The scattered debris, loss of foliage and storm surge in Downtown and Coconut Grove left us visuals of a storm packed with power. Enough power to take out electricity for days, and as frustrating as that can be, fortunately power has been just about entirely restored. On various excursions post-storm to explore the city we were pleasantly surprised by how little structural damage residential and commercial buildings seemed to sustain. We believe this to be, at least in part, a testament to the one good thing the infamous Hurricane Andrew left us with-stronger building codes. In 1996 the Florida Building Code Study Commission was established and in 1998 the Commission’s findings gave way to the current Florida Building Code. In Miami any new structure must be able to withstand at least 130 mph winds. The code also requires impact glass, stronger roofs and reinforced concrete pillars. Miami is built to last, and on September 10, we saw proof of that!


TOP LEFT: Groups of volunteers cleaning up after hurricane Irma have been a common sight in our city. BOTTOM LEFT: Walls Ice Cream generously gave away ice cream to thirsty citizens. RIGHT: Some of our youngest Miamians did their part by fundraising for hurricane Irma victims while they were away from Miami due to evacuations.

With our families safe and homes intact, an emerging common sentiment among us here at LIR is how proud we are of our city. We saw and experienced so many acts of kindness, compassion and selflessness in a time when people could have chosen just the opposite. Two of our own clients generously offered to share their office space with us when they knew we were out of power.

Longtime LIR client Catalina Perez Cohn tells us that when she was isolated with no cell service our own Suzanne Santos of the Foote and Santos Team stopped in to make sure she was okay and surprised her with a full cooler of ice!

Lani Drody made numerous outings to client homes to assess for damage and send pictures to those that had evacuated. She also reports that several of her clients reached out to check on her as well.

Blair Sonville shared a picture of her client Jessica White who evacuated north to the Omni Orlando Resort walking her dog on a patch of grass laid inside a conference room just for pets!

Our photographer Lauren Uzarek witnessed a man in the grocery store give half his water supply to an elderly woman when he realized the shelves were just emptied.

Around town we noticed Wall’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream gave out free ice cream to first responders and even to people waiting in line for gas before the storm.

Water bottle distribution (donated by Sedano’s and Home Depot) has been ongoing in Coconut Grove by volunteers.

Strangers were encouraging each other to “stay safe”, neighbors are helping neighbors with cleanup, regular citizens cleared debris on roads before recovery crews could get in and volunteers are even helping clear and salvage affected historical treasures like The Barnacle Historic State Park in Coconut Grove. #MiamiStrong is trending on social media and we know why!


At Lowell International Realty, we have been more than happy to help our clients with recommendations after the storm for handymen, roofers, tree trimmers and more.

Below we’ve included several helpful links that provide current updates regarding recovery and relief information and other important messages from around town. Also included are several links for opportunities to get involved in hurricane relief efforts. We realize many were not as fortunate as those of us in Miami and encourage you to join us in showing support to those that need it most.

NOTE: If you still don’t have power, Coconut Grove Commissioners are encouraging you to email them at krussell@miamigov.com so they can assist.

Community Information:

Emergency Management Miami Dade County

City of South Miami

City of Miami Beach

Village of Key Biscayne

City of Coral Gables

Hurricane Irma Relief Charities:

Red Cross – Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief

The Miami Foundation – Hurricane Irma Non-Profits

Global Giving – Hurricane Irma Relief Fund
Best Friends Animal Society – Hurricane Irma Animal Help

Hurricane Irma Relief Drive for Upper Keys Humane Society

Direct Relief – Hurricane Irma Relief for Florida and the Caribbean


1537 San Remo Avenue

Coral Gables FL 33146


Phone: 305.520.5420

Fax: 305.539.3713