Public attention to "emergency planning" has increased dramatically since 9/11/2001. Out of concern that the population of homeless individuals and families may not have been considered adequately in planning thus far, the Center for Social Policy reviewed what has occurred, sought advice about what would be useful to add to existing material and resources, and proceeded to prepare this Manual. It seemed all too likely that under the already considerable pressure for cities and towns to prepare for threats caused by terrorism, including bioterrorism, that the special characteristics of homeless families and individuals, and of community organizations serving homeless people, might not be at the center of municipal disaster planning.
We wondered who would be planning for the possibilities that:
- Services organizations providing for homeless people might need to shelter guests at times other than their usual hours of operation (e.g. night facilities needing to provide shelter by day, or day services needing to do so overnight);
- Service organizations might need to protect clients and staff by evacuating everyone should the facility become contaminated or structurally unsound;
- Someone might need to contact homeless people on the street as those individuals could be unaware that a disaster had occurred—and thus be at even greater risk than usual.
Tobin, Kelly and Freeman, Phyllis, "Emergency Preparedness: A Manual for Homeless Service Providers" (2004). Center for Social Policy Publications. 30.