meet the owner
Laura Clemons founded Collaborative Communities in 2009 with the desire to improve people's lives one neighborhood at a time through bringing together complex partnerships that allow the hard work of existing community groups and civic organizations to have greater impact.
After the catastrophic 2011 tornado outbreak in Alabama she began using her grass-roots organizing capabilities to help communities recovery from disasters in a more resilient way. From 2012 - 2013 she worked for New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services after Superstorm Sandy where she was tasked with ensuring that New York's small communities and private non-profits were treated fairly through their interactions with FEMA.
Laura advised the The New York City Housing Authority on resilience strategies from 2014 - 2015 before moving to Texas to focus on helping small, rural communities that are least resourced to navigate the FEMA process.
She continues to advise FEMA Public Assistance Applicants on best practices for how to rebuild more resiliently after a federally declared disaster and how to more effectively plan how to respond to disasters to avoid costly de-obligations and leverage the full extend of innovation that can be achieved through the FEMA Public Assistance process.
Her in-depth knowledge of FEMA Public Assistance policy, combined with strategic Placemaking strategies allow her clients to make the most out of their recovery funds to not only rebuild safer, but rebuild better places for people that expand economic opportunities and future smart growth.
Laura's primary focus is helping the least resourced FEMA Public Assistance Applicants understand the connections between climate change, adaptation, disaster preparedness, disaster recovery, sustainable community planning, systems design, infrastructure upgrades and community driven initiatives.
Laura's federal policy expertise includes the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, the Code of Federal Regulation, Title 2, Part 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and Title 44 - Emergency Management and Assistance, Part 9 Floodplain Management and Protection Of Wetlands. Connect with us to learn about post-disaster declaration Public Assistance programs as well as 406 and 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs.
Her goal is to help FEMA Public Assistance recipients navigate the complicated systems of disaster recovery and hazard mitigation in a way that allows her clients to simultaneously maximize their federally eligible reimbursements while aligning their recovery with existing pre-disaster comprehensive planning efforts to drive co-benefits through fiscally responsible project alignment.
Laura's unique ability to move comfortably between the worlds of engineered infrastructure and grassroots initiatives helps her clients see the big picture, with an eye on the granular detail necessary to make their recovery efforts more successful.
Look for her first book "The Doers Guide to Resiliency" - coming soon.