"What would you do as emergency manager if an American Red Cross shelter manager called seeking an alternative shelter for eight developmentally disabled adults who were left at the shelter after their group home in your jurisdiction was flooded?"
That was the question raised in a Spring 2001 Issue of "Networks Disaster Preparedness News" (a Journal of Emergency Management Practices in California by the Coastal Region of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services - a publication designed to help promote comprehensive, coordinated planning by showcasing best mitigation and preparedness practices in the public and private sector.) The article continues:
"Community-based organizations (CBOs) might be able to help since they provide services that the traditional emergency service providers do not, or are not permitted to provide. CBOs provide day-to-day service for people with special health and medical concerns, language and cultural barriers, and other life circumstances. The services of these organizations during a disaster will complement traditional disaster response and help limit the amount of unmet needs. CBOs should therefore be involved in local governments' planning for disaster response and recovery.
The Governor's Office of Emergency Services recommends that its local jurisdictions link community-based organizations to their existing response and recovery systems. Within California's Standardized Emergency Management System, the most logical place to link CBOs within the Incident Command System structure is under the Operations Section in the Care and Shelter branch.
This arrangement supports coordination of human services needs among city or county social services, the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other service providers who might report to an emergency operations center to provide response and recovery assistance. Having this group of organizations together will help foster communication in the Operations Section to ensure necessary support for activities related to meeting human needs."