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Planning for Emergency Sheltering in Florida 1  Karen Hagan  Disaster Officer Florida and Georgia  FNSS Summit: FEPA.

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Presentation on theme: "Planning for Emergency Sheltering in Florida 1  Karen Hagan  Disaster Officer Florida and Georgia  FNSS Summit: FEPA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planning for Emergency Sheltering in Florida 1  Karen Hagan  Disaster Officer Florida and Georgia  FNSS Summit: FEPA

2 Sheltering Objectives: our responsibilities include:  Risk and Host planning for sheltering a displaced population based on current studies, historical and behavioral data;  Having sound working knowledge of the accessibility and nondiscrimination requirements applicable under Federal disability rights laws;  Being familiar with the demographics of the population of people with disabilities who live in our community;  Involving people with different types of disabilities in identifying the communication and transportation needs, accommodations, support systems, equipment, services, and supplies that residents and visitors with disabilities will need during an emergency; and  Identifying existing and developing new resources within the community that meet the needs of residents and visitors with disabilities during emergencies.

3 Sheltering Sheltering disaster victims is one of the core services provided by the American Red Cross in most disasters. People count on the Red Cross to provide a safe place for those impacted by disasters and emergencies. 3

4 Sheltering Philosophy Shelters must be, first and foremost, places of comfort and safety Shelters must be readily accessible to those affected Shelter workers and managers must be strong advocates for their clients Clients must remain proactive participants in recovery Shelters must provide a safe and secure environment that accommodates the broadest range of needs in our communities

5 Environment  Community expectations  Evacuation planning  Resource constraints  Physical and mental health needs of clients  Increased demand  Shelters open longer 5

6 Activities of Daily Living  Eating  Bathing/toileting  Grooming  Dressing  Communicating  Sleeping  Taking medications on time

7 Oxygen in Shelters  The Red Cross works to accommodate people who bring oxygen or oxygen concentrators with them to shelters;  We assist people in contacting their providers when necessary and possible;  We evaluate the shelter for power outlets that will function on generators to recharge batteries;  We need to work with local health care providers and ESF 8 partners to ensure that oxygen and electricity is available in shelters;  Red Cross workers do not have prescriptive authority, and so it is important that we work with the local health infrastructure to assure people have access to oxygen and other needs.

8 Intake Process  All persons entering a shelter go through general registration  The Intake Form should be completed for each family, preferably in a private area  People’s needs may change during the shelter stay


10 Suggestions  Initial Intake and Assessment Tool takes time - plan for additional registrars  Plan for prioritization, waiting areas, or perhaps a need for appointments to avoid gridlock and long lines  Consider having DHS and/or DMH in a secondary area away from registration desk— and do the form there  Some clients will self-present to HS or MH once settled into the shelter

11 More Suggestions Keep DHS & DMH close to each other; many of the clients are in need of both services  Plan for “crowd control” at DHS & DMH  Consider creating a request log to track requests, who you spoke with, outcomes; use this to expand resource lists

12 More Suggestions  Educate all volunteers about how they can help individuals with functional needs within the shelter;  DMH skills will be tested, all staff should have the Psychological First Aid “tool kit” in hand.

13 Inter-Agency Coordination  Agencies have different systems and models of service delivery  Determine / understand who is in “charge”….  Transition from/to the agency in charge needs to be defined  Make sure recordkeeping and tracking is clearly understood by all parties  Systems should not take priority over persons being served

14 Next Steps  Planning (every level)  Training  Capacity Building

15 Ideas for Going Forward  Get to know your community partners and develop relationships with agencies providing services to those with access and functional needs  Recruit volunteers for Mass Care shelter, Health Services and Disaster Mental Health roles with special skills or experience  Obtain “universal” cots via purchase or partnership  Create local resource lists for various supplies  Teamwork is critical, nourished with communication

16 What Makes for Quality FNSS Planning?  Develop a charter or mission statement for the FNSS committee (helps keep the group focused)  Identify key areas of focus such as preparedness, evacuation, communication strategies etc…  These areas generally surface after evaluating community resources or conducting a gap analysis  Understand your community - obtain demographics about the population in your county - how many people within the community have a sensory disability (Hearing or vision), how many people have mobility issues, etc…?  Include a wide variety of organizations to participate in planning sessions

17 What Makes for Quality FNSS Planning? Cont.  Develop resource lists - who has what and include their contact information  Develop a playbook which outlines key responsibilities for all of the players  Integrate the community into disaster preparedness planning and exercises

18 Shelter Planning  The Shelter Facility Survey (6564) will assist in determining what physical access modifications will be needed for each facility  For the Red Cross (or any Sheltering Agent) to open a shelter with inaccessible features, a community plan must be in place to make the shelter accessible before use

19 Training Shelter Management Training: Spring 2012  Shelter Management is an instructor-led, basic level course that introduces the roles, responsibilities and tasks of the shelter manager.  Case study that takes them through four of the six phases of the Sheltering Cycle: Opening, Organizing, Operating and Closing.  The Sheltering Handbook provides the guidance for Red Cross shelter operations and serves as the main resource for the course.  Purpose of this course is to prepare participants to effectively operate a shelter facility that provides disaster services in a safe environment for its residents and workers.

20 Training cont. Serving People with Functional and Access Needs in Shelters (FANS): Spring 2012  Basic level, web-based course  Provides an overview of functional and access needs, techniques for assisting people with functional and access needs and introduce related laws and guidelines.  Purpose is to prepare employees and volunteers of the Red Cross and other agencies to serve people with functional and access needs in a sensitive and effective manner in a sheltering environment.

21 Capacity Building: 2012 and Beyond  We need to dramatically increase our capacity to shelter  A challenge to the overall community: how do we work together to meet the needs of those with access and functional needs?  This will require a broader definition of the workforce and resources necessary to operate a shelter, as well as expanded view of the role of various community and government organizations in sheltering operations

22 Questions? Karen Hagan State Disaster Officer – Florida and Georgia 850- 528-8153

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