Susceptible to the recurring threat of tropical storms, the City is expected to open emergency shelters for those residents exposed to surge flooding. Through decades of the same processes and the same challenges, it is time to re-evaluate how shelter operations – from registration to release – can be improved.
This particular strategy related to pre-registration was identified by Councilwoman McClellan during a Emergency Management Strategic Committee meeting. It was further evident during a full-scale sheltering exercise conducted in July 2018 as well as real-world incidents, Hurricane Florence (2018) and Hurricane Dorian (2019).
How might we improve emergency shelter pre-registration and processing so we are more successful based on increased health and safety of our citizens in need of emergency shelter, increased registration volume, decreased processing times, and overall improved resident preparedness before, during, and after an emergency event? Incidentally, this could be another way in which to convey shelter locations, accommodations, expectations and instructions as well as receive any special accommodations needs.
This solution will need to communicate with our current EWA Phoenix system. This would cut down the number of individuals in line and the time associated with processing each one on-site.
Several shelter openings in the past, and planning assumptions for larger-scale storms, show many individuals and families converging onto an emergency shelter site almost simultaneously which can easily overwhelm shelter staff – a hectic environment for both staff and guests.
- Ease of shelter registration.
- Less wait time.
- Less of an impact on staff.