Today’s guest article entitled “Recovery Process: How Communities Can Deal With Homelessness After a Disaster”. Was kindly submitted by H Davis who loves exploring the outdoors and being active. Continue reading to find out more about How Communities Can Deal With Homelessness After a Disaster.
Recovery Process: How Communities Can Deal With
Homelessness After A Disaster
Generally speaking, individuals and families who experience homelessness or live in shelters are usually affected the most after a natural disaster. That’s because when community members and government officials develop a recovery plan. They hardly ever think about the vulnerable population.
This means that without an inclusive preparedness plan in place. Individuals and families who are homeless will easily be overlooked. As a result, homeless individuals and families will not only have limited resources. They’ll also experience minimal effort when it comes to rescuing them. That’s why creating a recovery plan is important.
Making A Recovery Plan
A recovery plan is not only designed to help residents seek shelter after a major disaster. It’s also designed to help identify the needs of residents (including the homeless population) and make sure they’re safe. Additionally, the recovery plan should address ways for community members to:
- Address the needs of vulnerable people.
- Involve other members of the community, and
- Improve your community’s existing disaster plan response to ensure everyone is accounted for.
By doing this, you should be able to change the mindset of your community members. So that people in less fortunate situations can rely on more support after a catastrophic event. In order to this successfully, however, you must be willing to develop recovery plans that address the following:
Long-Term Community Plans:
The purpose of creating a long-term recovery plan is to help improve housing, infrastructures, and services available to residents before it’s too late. By developing a long-term plan, you are in control of the information exposed to residents. In other words, you control what resources you want your community to know about. The only problem is, however, with so many things to take into consideration. How do you know what information will be useful and which ones won’t?
Health services today, for example, might not be the same in the next five years. That said, although the effects of the disaster are usually severe for most residents. People experiencing homelessness should not be overshadowed by homeowners, landlords, and business organizations.
A healthy long-term recovery plan, for instance, requires an investment for low-income individuals and families. On the other hand, for individuals who experience homelessness, it’s important to get community members and business owners involved early on. In return, this will improve the quality of life, and reduce long-term cost. Nevertheless, you should address things like population-based health services in your long-term plan and give a full description of different shelters and food banks available to residents.
Food, health services, transportation, and shelters are perhaps the most important things you’ll want to discuss in your plan. That’s because food, along with water is typically the hardest thing for community members to find after a major disaster.
Food & Water
Depending on the event, the food and water available to the community can even be contaminated. This can cause a lot more problems amongst residents. Health services are also important and for good reason.
That said when it comes to getting patients the care they need after a catastrophic event. You’ll want to provide a full list of nearby clinics and hospitals that are there to help. As far as transportation goes, be sure to reach out to local organizations and city transportation companies to see if they’ll still be available.
The same rules apply to nearby shelters. With shelters, however, you’ll want to find out if they have medically trained staff members or just regular volunteers. This is important to document because there will always be a chance of a homeless individual coming into the shelter with a condition or illness that needs proper treatment when they’re not at the hospital.
For this reason, you should also put a list of other nearby professionals located in your area if you can. This might include certified nurses (who can work outside the traditional hospital environment) and therapists. Social workers also serve on the front line when it comes to helping communities and individuals after a disaster. So don’t forget to add their contact information as well.
Take Immediate Action:
As your neighborhood moves from the response stage into the recovery one, implementing possible solutions in close proximities is key. This can help improve resident’s chances of widespread recovery and prevent homeless families from being left out.
But what if you react slowly or can’t find any of your coordinated plans?
If you or your jurisdiction team reacts slowly to the recovery plans in place. You could risk putting the vulnerable population in more danger. You could also risk putting the community in more danger as well.
Taking action immediately is crucial, and could save more lives in the long run once the disaster has passed. For example, improvements at the community level can be to reduce the suffering experienced by homeless individuals and families.
Why is this important?
Well, this is important because individuals who are homeless prior to the event taking place are often seen as individuals who couldn’t have possibly lost much considering their situation. However, loss of personal items, loss of income, and loss of available services such as food banks and shelters can add to the existing crisis of homelessness. Therefore, taking steps towards addressing these problems and finding solutions can not only save lives. But it can also reduce the amount of damage done to an individual’s life.
When it comes to emergency preparedness, the first thing you’ll want to do is begin with a plan to make sure time isn’t being wasted. While you’re preparing, be sure to include things like training, outreach, and education. You’ll also want to be sure to assign and clarify roles to further assist those in need. Remember, the information exposed to community members will change over time. So, be sure to keep your preparedness plans up-to-date.
Perhaps the biggest issue you might face in this case involves communication. In other words, ongoing communication throughout different communities can be a lot more difficult after a disaster has hit. Fortunately, by creating an online agenda, community leaders can stay in contact with residents. And have knowledge of what’s going on around them by speaking with homeless individuals and families.
As a final point, if the agenda becomes too much for you to bear. Then appoint someone else to be responsible for updating it. This will create room for more community involvement, and allow you to focus on other things that can improve your community’s preparedness plan.
How Communities Can Deal With Homelessness After A Disaster – Conclusion
Thanks for the read! Did I miss anything important?
What are some other ways community members can prepare the homeless population for natural disasters?
Feel free to leave a comment below.
H.Davis loves exploring the outdoors and being active and If you can’t catch him online reading. You might be able to catch him out playing football with friends or cheering on the Boise State Broncos.
Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241