Emergency Preparedness

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is responsible for Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response activities within the Department of Health and Human Services.  Before, during, and after disasters, ACF Region VI works with federal, state, local, tribal and non-governmental organization partners, including grantees and contractors.  Our goal is to ensure that human service needs are met through a coordinated system of federal and state assistance.

The Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) provides national leadership in human services preparedness and response while promoting self-sufficiency of individuals, families and special needs populations prior to, during and after disasters.

Our Role in Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Emergency Support Function 6 (ESF-6) Annex in the National Response Framework defines human services as:

  • Including the implementation of disaster assistance programs to help disaster victims recover their non-housing losses,
  • including programs to replace destroyed personal property,
  • help to obtain disaster loans, food stamps, crisis counseling, disaster unemployment, disaster legal services, support and services for special needs populations,
  • other federal and state benefits

HHS supports ESF-6 activities and is responsible for ESF-8, public health and medical services. Activities include:

  • Technical Assistance on Federal Rules: Provide technical assistance to states, tribes, and local governments on federal human services programs and potential waivers or flexibilities that HHS can provide during a disaster to expedite benefits.
  • Continuity of Benefits for Clients: Work with states, tribes, and other entities to ensure continuity of services to current human services clients.
  • Assist States with New Enrollees: Work with states, tribes, and other entities who are hosting relocated populations or evacuees with human services needs.
  • Special Needs Populations: Work with states, tribes, FEMA, the American Red Cross and other voluntary agencies and entities to address special needs populations in shelters or other displaced persons. This may include Shelter Assessment Teams who visit shelters and assist with immediate needs of residents.
  • Subject Matter Expert Teams: Provide human services subject matter expert and technical assistance teams who can be deployed to support states, tribes, and other entities.
  • Human Services Partnerships: Build relationships with states, tribes, grantees, local governments, Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (VOADS, and Voluntary Agency Groups (VOLAGs) to address human services preparedness and response.
  • Assistance in Planning & Preparedness: Our regional staff can provide technical assistance and support to tribal, state, and local governments and other organizations in their preparedness planning efforts.

Resources


Region 6 State Emergency Management Agencies

ACF Emergency Preparedness Information

Federal Health and Human Services Agencies Emergency Preparedness Information

Resources for Families

Resources for Children and Disasters

Resources for Older Americans

Resources for Disabled Individuals

Resources for the Hearing Impaired

Resources for the Visually Impaired

Contact
Amy Grissom, LMSW, ACF Regional Emergency Management Specialist