Mass Sheltering and Disasters Tool Index

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  • Theme 1: Roles and Responsibilities for Shelter Operations

    A guide that provides a basic overview of shelter operations to organizations without previous disaster experience that describes how to open and manage an emergency shelter during a disaster.
    A supplement for jurisdictional emergency operations plans or mass care annexes that provides guidance and suggested procedures to be considered when developing a sheltering plan. This template places an emphasis on jurisdictional roles in managing and supporting sheltering activities.
    This document was created to assist local personnel in developing an evacuation and sheltering plan for animals. It contains tools for planning; forms for field rescue and transportation; and guidelines for public communications, among other essential considerations for mass shelters.

    Facility/Shelter Opening & Closing Inspection

    WHAT IS IT?
    A checklist for shelter operators to ensure safety, cleanliness, and accessibility.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This tool provides an in-depth checklist of tasks to accomplish while opening and closing a shelter. The tool ensures that all necessities are met and items to be tracked are in their appropriate areas.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    The team that puts the shelter together, shelter staff, and emergency responders.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    This easy-to-use generalized checklist can apply to a variety of shelters and ensure that the basic best shelter practices are established.

    The Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Emergencies toolkit provides streamlined guidance to support organizations and agencies seeking to rapidly integrate MHM into existing humanitarian response. This is designed to address the needs of women and girls living in emergency contexts who are directly affected by this issue.
    This manual describes standard operating procedures for the companion animal section of a shelter allowing people to bring their pets. Information regarding setup and teardown of the shelter; care requirements for cats and dogs; and administrative procedures complement descriptions of Wake County’s Pet PODs system, including necessary supplies and photos of the PODs in action.

    Cohabitated Human/Household Pet Sheltering Toolkit

    WHAT IS IT?
    A collection of guidance documents, checklists, forms, and other templates to assist in offering cohabitated shelter for pets and owners.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This toolkit provides guidelines for establishing, operating, and maintaining cohabitated human/household pet shelters, or those that jointly house people and their companion animals.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Government agencies, NGOs, and other organizations tasked with creating and maintaining shelters for housing people and their companion animals.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    Localities can use these resources to ensure human/companion animal shelters are fully equipped, health and safety needs are met, and individuals can care for their pets during disaster.

    This form details expectations of companion animal owners in shelter settings, including daily care, veterinary treatment, pet abandonment, and bite policies. The form additionally releases the shelter operator from liability and collects owner contact information.
    The Animal Information Sheet collects information about companion animals at shelter intake and discharge to ensure pets are identifiable and matched with their owners.
    This guide provides resources and practices for prevention of, and response to, sexual victimization in times of disaster. Its worksheets highlight considerations and best practices for practitioners before, during, and after disaster.
  • Theme 2: Leveraging Community Groups for Coordination of Mass Care

    A form that can be used by shelter managers and staff to plan the opening of an emergency shelter.
    A manual that helps bridge the gap when shelter residents and workers cannot communicate adequately via a common language.

    Show Me Booklet – A Communication Tool for Emergency Shelters

    WHAT IS IT?
    A booklet to assist individuals with access and functional needs in an emergency shelter setting

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This tool provides guidance for proper communication to help people feel safe and calm during emergencies and ensure vulnerable populations receive proper support in shelters.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Organizations, mental healthcare workers, and public safety personnel who assist in shelter settings.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    This tool can facilitate communication, determine allocation of jobs and resources, and assist in meeting the needs of individuals with access and functional needs.

    The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training manual helps train and organize teams of volunteers to assist their communities during emergencies. The manual focuses on, among other important topics, the provision of mass care and distribution of information is emergency shelters.
    A toolkit designed to improve the engagement of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)—specifically, voluntary associations, philanthropic organizations, advocacy groups, community groups, and businesses—in disaster response and recovery. The toolkit provides suggestions on the different goods and services that NGOs can provide to community members who are sheltering during a disaster.

    Assessment for Disaster Engagement with Partners Tool

    WHAT IS IT?
    An assessment tool that helps local health departments evaluate their partnership activities with community and faith-based organizations and provides recommendations to enhance local collaboration efforts.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This toolkit increases the community’s disaster resilience through building community partnerships. This toolkit will guide local health departments towards building effective and mutually beneficial partnerships with faith-based and community-based organizations during mass sheltering in disasters.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Local health departments, individuals who operate the shelter, leaders of organizations within shelters, and different faith-based community leaders.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    This tool is effective in building strong relationships between many organizational partners and their shelter operators and volunteers to ensure that they provide the best care and resources for habitants.

    This guidebook helps librarians to develop a resilience plan for personal and library readiness.
  • Theme 3: Mass Care Delivery and Capability Assessments

    Psychological First Aid is an evidence-informed modular approach to help Medical Reserve Corps in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism. This field operations guide shows how Psychological First Aid is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping.

    Aggregate Morbidity Form

    WHAT IS IT?
    A form for medical staff to conduct active surveillance in shelters and hospitals during a disaster.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    To collect information on the complaints, specific infectious diseases, mental health conditions, injuries, and chronic ailments of those seeking medical treatment in shelters.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Medical staff working in shelters.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    Early identification of medical needs can ensure that individuals continue to receive appropriate care. Early awareness of communicable conditions in a shelter can also help avert widespread infection.

    These cards include questions to assist shelter workers in making assessments of clients’ immediate needs at reception and as needed throughout the shelter setting.
    E-learning module that discusses why disaster surveillance is important, explains the purpose of morbidity and mortality surveillance, and describes tools to assist in conducting both. The goal is to provide an overview of disaster surveillance and ensure a baseline understanding of surveillance activities conducted throughout a disaster response.

    Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide

    WHAT IS IT?
    A handbook detailing the tenets of delivering psychological first aid, along with resources for provider care, worksheets, and handouts for disaster survivors. This guide can be used in mass care settings such as emergency shelters.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This guide describes an evidence-based approach for providers to manage psychological symptoms directly related to disasters and terrorism.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Medical and other professionals working with individuals needing mental health care.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    Implementing the techniques associated with Psychological First Aid can help to alleviate immediate distress among evacuees in a shelter setting, as well as provide survivors with strategies for long-term functioning and coping.

    This website provides various forms to capture ad-hoc surveillance in shelters with acute care facilities, such as those with medical and nursing staff.

    This manual provides information on the basic tenets of disaster epidemiology. It includes information on forming surveillance objectives, collecting data, analyzing data, and monitoring health status.
    This fact sheet reports on the needs of people with serious mental illness (SMI) after disasters and how their needs differ from those of people without SMI. It also discusses the ways disasters disrupt mental health services and how to help those with SMI.

    Initial Intake and Assessment Tool

    WHAT IS IT?
    A shelter intake form for quickly assessing an individual’s functional, health, and psychosocial needs.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This tool can help shelter staff determine the most appropriate shelter setting for an individual, quickly identify any needs, and refer the person to other services as necessary. If assistance is indicated, the form provides follow-up questions to ensure delivery of needed services.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Shelter staff tasked with intake of survivors.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    This form streamlines shelter intake interviews and ensures that staff are aware of all relevant needs so that services can be provided as appropriate.

    This document provides planning guidance for State emergency managers and shelter planners that can be incorporated into existing shelter plans to meet access and functional needs in general population shelters.
    A rapid assessment form of shelter conditions to identify immediate public health threats and their sources during a disaster.

    Infection Prevention and Control for Shelters During Disasters

    WHAT IS IT?
    It is designed to be used as a planning and reference document for disaster planners setting up and/or running a shelter.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This document consists of planning recommendations/guidance that can be used for preparedness and response to potential emergencies involving infection control issues in shelters.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Organizations and staffers, health care professionals, and various public safety personnel in shelters.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    This document has many recommendations for reducing the transmission of communicable diseases and has infographics that all ages can use to maintain good health while in the emergency shelter.

    A psychological first aid system designed for families and communities to help each other during disasters.
    This tool outlines a triage-enhanced children’s disaster mental health incident response strategy for preparedness, response, and recovery operations. It outlines PsySTART, a rapid mental health triage technology used to identify and refer children at general risk for psychopathology.

    CDC Environmental Health Assessment Form for Shelters

    WHAT IS IT?
    A rapid assessment form of shelter conditions to identify immediate public health threats and their sources during a disaster.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This form allows the user to track a variety of shelter conditions to ensure that habitants’ basic needs are met and to rapidly identify emergent public health issues.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Healthcare professionals, children, people with disabilities/chronic conditions, and people with pets because the assessment form has questions related to these specific groups.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    This form allows rapid assessment and quick response to potentially harmful public health problems.

    A set of guidelines to consider when selecting trauma screening or assessment tools to implement in a given system.
    A list of general mental health and child trauma screening tools.
    This document provides interim guidance to reduce the risk of introducing and transmitting COVID-19 in general population disaster shelters before, during, or after a disaster.
  • Theme 4: Mass Sheltering for At-Risk Populations

    The ADA Compliance Tip Sheet is a resource that helps shelter managers assess common accessibility barriers and find solutions.
    This toolkit is for local officials and offers resources to plan and provide reasonable accommodations for all shelter residents, including those with access and functional needs, during disaster incidents.
    This document provides planning guidance that can be incorporated into existing shelter plans to State emergency managers and shelter planners to meet access and functional needs in general population shelters.
    An emergency shelter audit tool to assess the needs of vulnerable populations.
    A guide for mass care workers to identify signals of dementia, depression, and delirium so that they can respond to keep the shelter clients safe.
    This guide is intended to help close many of the gaps in emergency planning and preparedness for vulnerable older adults. It aims to give essential partners from a range of sectors and at all jurisdictional levels critical information, strategies, and resources they need to improve the planning for and protection of vulnerable community-dwelling older adults.

    State of Texas Functional Needs Support Services Tool Kit

    WHAT IS IT?
    A comprehensive toolkit containing guidance, checklists, decision aids, and templates to assist individuals with disabilities and/or other access and functional needs.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This toolkit provides planning guidance for accessible and practical shelter services for children and adults who have disabilities and/or other access and functional needs.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Emergency management and shelter planners.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    This toolkit can help to ensure that individuals with access and functional needs are able to equitably utilize and have their needs met at general population shelters.

    This tool assists shelter workers in inspecting each shelter facility to identify barriers to people with disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs or scooters or who have difficulty walking, people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and people who are blind or who have low vision.
    A toolkit offering communities research-driven resources and guidance to ensure that the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness are included in disaster planning, response, and recovery activities.
    A guide to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness during disaster recovery. It provides recommendations for immediate actions and long-term recovery.
    This U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report provides recommendations on how to improve communication between local homeless services providers, disaster preparedness planners, and homeless residents themselves. It draws on the experience of two communities that have experienced frequent hurricanes and served homeless families and individuals during a disaster.
    This toolkit addresses long-term post-disaster recovery needs for individuals with disabilities or with access and functional needs. It is designed for disaster case managers, volunteers, emergency managers, and others involved in addressing the recovery needs of people with disabilities.
    This tip sheet provides information on general durable medical equipment (DME) categories and focuses on electricity-dependent DME that may be affected by disasters and emergencies. It also includes information to assist healthcare system preparedness stakeholders plan for medically vulnerable populations who rely on DME.
    FEMA video about assisting aid applicants with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in American Sign Language.

    TIPS Guide for First Responders

    WHAT IS IT?
    A PDF file containing quickly accessible tips for assisting older adults and individuals with a wide variety of disabilities.

    WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
    This quick reference guide is separated into sections containing practical, easily implemented tips for assisting people with sensory disorders, mental health conditions, and mobility limitations, among others.

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    First responders and other professionals responding to the needs of people with disabilities.

    WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
    These tips can help first responders and others feel confident in attending to the unique needs of individuals with disabilities in a disaster situation, and help these individuals maintain their autonomy and dignity.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Civil Rights in Emergencies and Disasters website provides recommendations to state, local, territorial, and tribal emergency managers to improve the delivery of disaster assistance to disaster survivors with disabilities.
    Guidelines for safe infant feeding practices after a disaster.
    Comprehensive manual on infant feeding in disasters and emergencies.
    Collection of articles related to pregnant women’s health in disasters.
    Patient-specific emergency information form for children with special healthcare needs, offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Emergency Physicians.
    Checklist of items to include in an emergency kit for families with children and youth with special healthcare needs.
    A field guide companion for emergency managers and their public and behavioral health partners to understand how faith communities and emergency management intersect and to develop religious literacy and competency.
    Guidelines to inform cultural competency and reasonable religious accommodation mandates for U.S. mass care providers, and to assist shelter staff and volunteers in competently meeting the needs of religious minorities during disaster response or recovery operations.

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