State Disaster Housing Efforts
States should prepare for potential disaster housing events and tap the expertise of stakeholders to support State disaster housing planning. States are encouraged to continue to build proactive housing efforts that identify risk, develop capabilities, and identify potential gaps. Effective State efforts are typically led by emergency managers and bring together other State and local officials, disaster housing experts, representatives of advocacy groups, disability support organizations, and others with a stake in disaster housing to identify and address potential disaster housing needs within their State emergency operations plans. Since States have different capabilities and resources, their disaster housing preparedness efforts may range from building capabilities among State, local, and nongovernmental organizations to developing mutual aid agreements with nearby States or fostering a better understanding Federal disaster housing support.
When the impact of a disaster requires disaster housing, the affected State should establish a State-Led Disaster Housing Task Force. To ensure a collaborative and comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of disaster victims, States will be encouraged to establish and lead a Disaster Housing Task Force at the State emergency operations center or the Joint Field Office that will be responsible for bringing together Federal, tribal, State, and local governments and nongovernmental and private-sector expertise. If the State has a standing group of disaster housing experts, that group may become the core for the Disaster Housing Task Force. The Task Force will evaluate housing requirements, discuss potential solutions, and develop recommendations. Representatives from FEMA's Task Force may provide technical assistance to the State-Led group. For multi-State events, each State should establish its own Disaster Housing Task Force. The State-Led Disaster Housing Task Force concept builds on the successful housing task forces that have been established in response to several major disasters during 2007 and 2008, and in prior years.
Key responsibilities will include:
- Identifying the need for and coordinating the availability of interim housing community site locations.
- Organizing intrastate housing authorities to collaborate in the development of a joint, comprehensive State housing plan that maximizes the availability and use of all housing options.
States should involve disability organizations and other advocacy groups on the Task Force to provide advice on housing requirements for special needs populations, including persons living with HIV/AIDS, or those with limited English proficiency.