When a disaster strikes, individuals and families living on the street are among the most vulnerable populations. Persons experiencing homelessness have little or no resources to evacuate or shelter in place, stockpile food, and access medications. As Hurricane Joaquin builds and its effects – including heavy rains, high winds, and flooding – threaten some coastal areas in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States, Continuums of Care (CoCs) and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) recipients and subrecipients in these areas should be considering the best ways to ensure that homeless individuals and families will be able to weather the storm in safe and dry locations. However, disasters can strike unexpectedly almost anywhere in the country. Communities and individuals can - and should - plan in advance for emergencies, in order to better help homeless populations if and when a major disaster occurs.
As part of SNAPS Technical Assistance (TA), CoCs and grantees can request TA to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a major disaster. Questions and requests for Technical Assistance can be submitted on the HUD Exchange.
Steps to be Better Prepared for an Emergency:
- CoC and ESG recipients, subrecipients, contractors, and program participants should register with local emergency broadcast mechanisms listed below that will alert them to an impending disaster. These alerts can provide individuals and families, as well as service providers, the information they need to act when a disaster occurs.
- CoCs and service providers should ensure that they, and others in their CoC, understand the resources that will be available to program participants during a disaster. Evacuation, shelter-in-place, and other plans may differ based on the part of a city in which a unit is located. For example, service providers can help program participants become familiar with local emergency evacuation routes, particularly when helping someone move to a new neighborhood. Or, they could help program participants develop their own plan of action for family members during a disaster.
- Become familiar with state and local resources in addition to national and Federal resources. View state government websites and other resources.
- Download the FEMA mobile app designed for phones and tablets with disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list, storable emergency meeting locations, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs).
- For more detail on planning for disasters, review the Directory of Disaster Response and Recovery Resources, which provides an outline of the programs, projects and other resources available to a community around disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. View additional resources to help a community and individuals prepare for a disaster.
The following information sites are designed to alert communities to a potential or actual disaster:
View additional resources for communities and individuals that have been impacted by a disaster.