People experiencing homelessness are especially vulnerable during natural disasters, and are often subject to discrimination during recovery. Too often resources are prioritized for people who were displaced from their homes by natural disasters, even though nothing fundamentally differentiates those that were made homeless by extreme weather and those who otherwise lack stable housing. Review the resources below to prepare your clients and programs to respond to disasters effectively.
- Winter is Coming: Cold Weather & Disasters, 2020. The second installment in our webinar series on six winter crises, this facilitated discussion addresses how to prepare, plan, and respond to extreme cold weather and the corresponding health issues for those living outdoors, as well as natural disasters such as hurricanes and fires. Presenters share examples of how they are leveraging federal and local funds and working with community partners, and discuss the challenges and strategies to overcome barriers posed by decompressed shelters.
- Preparing and Responding to Natural Disasters: Health Care for the Homeless Perspectives, 2018. With recent natural disasters striking major metropolitan areas, the need for preparedness and response discussions has drastically increased. Preparing our health centers, our staff, and our consumers is vital for safety and recovery. Join us as we explore disaster preparedness and response for health centers treating people experiencing homelessness from multiple angles. We will share disaster preparedness plans from an administrative and operations perspective, challenges and success in planning and response, lessons learned following Hurricane Harvey, hear stories of involuntary evacuation for Hurricane Irma, and learn useful strategies to proactively engage and prepare consumers for natural disasters. View slides and video.
- Integrating Homeless Service Providers and Clients in Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery, 2014, This issue brief outlines strategies in place in two Florida counties to meet the disaster needs of people experiencing homelessness. Findings from focus groups were used to assess homeless individual and service provider knowledge base and perception of these strategies. Recommendations are offered for other communities working towards more inclusive planning.
- Surviving Severe Weather: Tools to Promote Emergency Preparedness for People Experiencing Homelessness, 2013, This series of weather-specific informational flyers was developed specifically for people experiencing homelessness using input from people who are formerly and currently homeless. Information for planning a severe weather dialogue and learning session is included.
- Disaster Planning For People Experiencing Homelessness, March 2009, Federal reports and lessons learned from a number of communities tell us that we are not prepared to meet the disaster-related needs of people who are homeless. This publication provides an overview of important issues to consider when planning for the needs of homeless people during disasters. Practical guidance for each issue area is offered for local officials, emergency planners, homeless service providers and others who are involved in the disaster planning process. The final part of the document offers guidance to help Health Care for the Homeless providers and others involved in homeless service provision facilitate conversations with emergency planners in their communities.
- Disaster Planning Requires Time, Resources, Collaboration | Healing Hands, 2004
- No One Left Behind: Disaster Planning for People Experiencing Homelessness, 2010, Workshop materials from the 2010 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference and Policy Symposium
- Pandemic Influenza Guidance for Homeless Shelters & Homeless Service Providers, 2009.
- Health Centers: Assistance Before, During, and After Emergencies and Disasters, 2013, prepared by the National Association of Community Health Centers
- Disaster Response for Homeless Individuals and Families: A Trauma-Informed Approach, prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
- Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health | The Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health is a portal that provides users access to a variety of reports, fact sheets, guidelines, tools, etc. regarding disaster medicine and public health.
- Medical Reserve Corps – The mission of the MRC is to engage volunteers to strengthen public health, emergency response and community resiliency.
- Emergency Management resources from Health Center Resource Clearinghouse
- Ready for Anything: A Disaster Planning Manual for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs, developed for the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While this manual was developed with children and youth in mind, the information and templates are useful for shelters serving single adults as well.
- Collaborating with community health centers for preparedness | Prepared by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, this report offers examples of various models of collaboration related to discrete aspects of emergency response.
- National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) | Members of National VOAD form a coalition of nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters as part of their overall mission.
- Ethical Issues in Disaster Response, 2007, This half-hour, online training module addresses ethical issues in disaster response such as cultural competence and ethical conflicts which arise when there is an inequality of power and/or control. Enrollment in the module is free of charge and provides continuing education credits.
- One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Emergency Management for Healthcare for the Homeless Programs, 2008, | Mollie Melbourne | National Association of Community Health Centers | during the National Health Care for the Homeless Conference and Policy Symposium, Phoenix, Arizona
- Alternative Marketing & Messaging to Prepare Vulnerable Populations, 2008 | Sponsored by Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), prepared by Collaborating Agencies Responding To Disaster (CARD) and SUNY Albany Center for Public Health. Continuing Education Units are available.
- Community Health Center Emergency Planning Guidelines Template | Made available by the Florida Association of Community Health Centers
- Health care at the crossroads: Strategies for creating and sustaining community-wide emergency preparedness systems, 2003. Prepared by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the purpose of this report is to frame the issues that must be addressed in developing community-wide preparedness and to delineate federal and state responsibilities for eliminating barriers and for facilitating and sustaining—through leadership, funding and other resource deployment—community-based emergency preparedness across the United States.
- Federal Disaster Assistance: FEMA Guidance for HRSA Community-Based Service Delivery Grantees – A compilation of essential information on HRSA grant programs from public websites for use by HRSA Bureaus and Offices as they assist their grantees following a disaster.
- Disaster Preparedness to Promote Community Resilience | A joint project of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Use this toolkit to identify and collaborate with partners to address homeless individuals’ disaster response & recovery needs.
- Direct Relief | Direct Relief can work with healthcare professionals and organizations on the ground and equip them with the essential medical supplies and equipment that they need to help people recover from a disaster.
- AmeriCares | AmeriCares delivers medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid to a trusted network of clinics, hospitals and health care providers.
- National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities | This site, produced jointly by Drexel University School of Public Health’s Center for Health Equality and The Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers a comprehensive library of information related to emergency preparedness for culturally diverse communities.
This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,967,147 with 20 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.
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