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Surviving Severe Weather: Tools to Promote Emergency Preparedness for People Experiencing Homelessness

Personal preparedness is a critical component of emergency planning. Yet, mainstream efforts to promote preparedness typically focus on people who are housed and have the resources to stockpile food and supplies, and shelter in place. Few communities have adequately prepared people with limited resources, such as people experiencing homelessness, for emergencies.

Informational flyers coupled with personal trainings can be effective in helping homeless people prepare for disasters. In addition to information about local weather threats and emergency notification systems, training for people experiencing homelessness might focus on self-preservation when caught in severe weather and how to get to safety.

Trainings that invite people from the homeless community to share their disaster/extreme weather experiences with staff from public health and emergency management sectors can be particularly empowering.

To facilitate discussions about emergency preparedness, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council has developed a series of weather-specific informational flyers specifically for people who lack housing. These resources were created with input from people who are formerly and currently homeless and may be of interest to public health educators, emergency management officials, homeless service providers, and homeless community leaders.

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