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Utilizing Strategic and Operational Methods for Whole-Community Disaster Planning

  • Stevee Franks (a1) and Ellen Seaton (a2)

Analysis of response and recovery efforts to disasters over the past 2 decades has identified a consistent gap that plagues the nation in regard to persons with access and functional needs. This gap can be highlighted by Hurricane Katrina, where the majority of those killed were a part of the access and functional needs population. After a disaster, many individuals with access and functional needs require assistance recovering but often have difficulty accessing services and resources. These difficulties are due to a combination of issues, such as health problems and the disruption of community support services. We sought to help bridge this gap by focusing on strategic and operational methods used while planning for the whole community. This article highlights the many partnerships that must be fostered for successful whole-community planning. These partnerships include, but are not limited to, local government departments, health agencies, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, and other volunteer organizations. We showcase these methods by using a developmental Post-Disaster Canvassing Plan to highlight planning methods that may aid jurisdictions across the United States in disaster planning for the whole community. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:741–746)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to Ellen Seaton, LMSW-IPR, Harris County Community Services Department, 9418 Jensen Drive, Houston, TX 77093 (e-mail:
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Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
  • ISSN: 1935-7893
  • EISSN: 1938-744X
  • URL: /core/journals/disaster-medicine-and-public-health-preparedness
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