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 Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing and Human Services 



NIMS Category:       LOGISTICS
Primary Agency:     SRU Residence Life
Support Agencies:  SRU Food Services Office
                                SRU Student Health Services
                                SRU Counseling Center

A. Purpose
Emergency Support Function (ESF) # 6 - Mass Care coordinates the effort to meet the basic needs of surviving victims following a disaster, as well as to collect, assemble and report information about victims and assist their families.
B. Scope
1.     Mass Care and Sheltering support includes providing temporary shelter, basic medical care and food to victims and their families, as well as assisting families in their efforts to reunite.
2.     Potential Operations include
   • Providing food to responders and emergency workers.
   • Administering basic medical care.
   • Providing vouchers for books, clothes and certain other expenses.
   • Offering psychological first aid/counseling to surviving victims and
   • Managing temporary shelters and keeping shelter records.
   • Serving meals to displaced students.
   • Collecting damage assessment information.

Situations & Assumptions
A.     A disaster event may deny student residents access to food and water, may spoil food and ruin clothing, and may displace students from their residence halls or apartments and create a widespread need for shelter, food, drink and other basic human needs.
B.     The extent of the damage to the University and the availability of shelter space in the area will influence the strategy for assistance.
C.     Shelter sites may consist of existing, pre-identified facilities, temporary, built-to-demand structures or tent cities.
D.     Some individuals with special needs may require transportation assistance to enable them to reach a shelter facility.
E.     Shelter and feeding activities will continue as long as the need persists.
F.     ESF #8 team is responsible for emergency medical assistance.
G.     A family assistance center (FAC) may need to be set up to provide support for victim’s families.

Concept of Operations
A.     In the event of a disaster that affects the surrounding region, the University may be called upon to act as evacuation center and temporary shelter/mass care facility for the area populace. Furthermore during a Governor’s state of emergency, PASSHE facilities must be made available as evacuation centers to house non-SRU victims displaced from their homes due to emergency conditions.
B.     In the event the University is called upon to act in such a capacity, the EAD will authorize the use of specified buildings for mass care and shelter.
C.     A key aspect of an FAC is the ability to scale it to meet the needs of the incident. While a large-scale emergency/disaster may utilize all of the functional units shown in Figure 2-1, a smaller emergency may only need to activate a few functions or units. The essential functions of the FAC include providing the victims’ families with basic physical and support needs, appropriate settings for emotional needs, and accurate information. Remember the key points of operating an FAC:

1.     Maintain a single focus – supporting the families. Convey this focus in all communications and actions, both internally and externally.
2.     Deliver only unequivocal, accurate information to families with honesty and empathy; although painful, the truth is always most supportive.
3.     Guide family member expectations from the beginning of the operation.
4.     Accommodate families’ requests – group or individual situations – to the maximum extent possible and recognize that some requests cannot be met.
5.     Remain flexible, allowing room to adapt and evolve to meet new requirements and family needs.
6.     Provide every opportunity for family members to make decisions to regain control of their lives.
7.     Plan from the perspective of the injured/bereaved. It is important to realize that the families seeking assistance may remember how they were dealt with after the disaster for years to come.