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Former model Petra Nemcova in Florida with All Hands and Hearts

Model-turned-activist Petra Nemcova in Florida with All Hands and Hearts
Model-turned-activist Petra Nemcova in Florida with All Hands and Hearts 02:55

MIAMI – Former model and philantropist Petra Nemcova knows firsthand about natural disasters.

"I survived a tsunami in Thailand. My partner unfortunately passed away. My pelvis was broken in four places and that day over 250,000 people lost their lives," Nemcova said.

Since then Nemcova and her partners effectively and efficiently address the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters in their organization called All Hands and Hearts. 

They have volunteers from all over the world.

"63,000 of them from 144 countries from around the world giving their heart and time, their sweat and making a humongous difference around the world," she said.

Just days after hurricane Ian devastated southwest Florida, volunteers for all hands and hearts came into action.

The first few weeks are all about the clearing the areas of debris so people can be reached.

"Our teams are helping especially the elderly who are not getting help with not having proper support in those communities which are really really underserved," she explained.

"It's really beautiful to see neighbors helping neighbors. And different organizations are coming to help. And it's really beautiful. That's the best in humanity."

That being said, Nemcova says the money coming in to help now in southwest Florida is less than any other natural disaster she has seen.

"What you see on the news is boats hitting houses. But there are so many communities which are underserved and they don't own boats. They don't have insurance. Eighty percent of Floridians don't have flood insurance."

Nemcova says All Hands and Hearts has committed to a year in the affected areas of Florida to help re-build communities impacted by Hurricane Ian.

CBS4's Lisa Petrillo asked Nemcova what this organization means to her.

"I experienced the power of mother nature. I also experienced how communities can come together in the most beautiful way even when things seem impossible," she said.

"When you get caring people together, the impossible becomes possible."

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