Addressing Gaps in Community Sheltering and Relocation Assistance: A Mass Care Training Program for the Whole Community

Lead PI: Thomas Chandler

Unit Affiliation: National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP)

September 2021 - August 2024
North America
Project Type: Research Education

DESCRIPTION: The provision of community sheltering and relocation assistance during and after a catastrophic disaster supports one of the most important FEMA Community Lifelines. Millions of U.S. residents rely upon such services for survival during hurricanes, floods, wildfires and earthquakes, among many other disasters. In turn, communities depend on these capabilities to shelter and care for society's most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, and those with special needs. That said, for today's State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) leadership and community and private sector organizations involved with mass care, there is often little time or educational resources available to assist in such preparedness and training efforts. Furthermore, new mass care planning strategies and best practices initiated during the COVID-19 Pandemic have not been consistently implemented at the local level. There is currently a pressing need for standardized, high-quality, validated instruction that is understandable and easily retained about mass care coordination/integration, communication, and resources for capacity building.

To address these needs, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) proposes a program focused on reaching thousands of learners with up-to-date course content developed by leading subject matter experts regarding mass care solutions, along with the provision of associated wrap around services, such as human services and social case workers.

NCDP proposes to develop in-person and virtual trainings to increase the competency and capability of our nation's disaster planners and responders when dealing with community sheltering and relocation assistance issues. This includes developing 1 in-person instructor-led course (Management level, 7 hours, to be delivered 10 times), 1 synchronous, virtual instructor led course (Management level, 7 hours, to be delivered 10 times), and 1 asynchronous, virtual instructor-led course (Awareness level, 2 hours, available online for the duration of the project). All courses will include a scenario-based curriculum designed to apply knowledge, skills, and abilities on sheltering and relocation assistance, with a focus on the whole community.