After receiving an undergraduate degree in Biosystems Engineering, Heather spent time in Africa with the Peace Corps. Upon returning to the United States, she worked as an Environmental Consultant and then went on to get a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Colorado. Heather has worked as an Architect for over 10 years in both the private and public sector, with a focus on design, construction, project management and disaster mitigation. Her projects have ranged from small residential remodels to large scale neighborhood master planning.
Heather has always had an interest in the impact that disasters have on the built environment, and started getting more involved in disaster work in 2012. She is a member of Habitat for Humanity’s Disaster Corps and also volunteers with Red Cross in multiple capacities. As well, she was employed by FEMA as a Reservist in their Hazard Mitigation Cadre. With FEMA, Heather worked with local municipalities to help them identify what failed in their buildings and infrastructure, and determine how to build back better.
The impact that disasters have on homes and buildings is significant, but it can also be mitigated. The impact that disasters have on people’s lives – financially, emotionally, and socially – is far greater and often impossible for which to prepare. From single-family house fires that affect a few people, to wildfires and flooding that affect thousands, the long term effects on people’s lives is too immense to ignore.
The partnership with Maggie has allowed Our Front Porch to be an expert, not only in the physical design and construction of temporary housing, but also an expert in the social and emotional side. Each component has a direct impact on the other. Incorporating both of these into long-term disaster recovery is the only sustainable solution.