This month, HUD released its Public Housing Agency Disaster Readiness, Response, and Recovery Guidebook. The guidebook includes a collection of information, best practices, and resources for PHAs related to preparation for, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters. The first section of the guidebook discusses PHA readiness and covers risk assessment, internal policies and resources, training and communication, coordination and partnerships, and hazard mitigation and resilience. The second portion focuses on response and covers activation and deployment, portfolio assessment, and informing HUD of a diesters. And the last section covers recovery, and includes recovery support strategies, restoring business operations, rehousing displaced residents, repairing and rebuilding the public housing portfolio, and transitioning back to normalization.
Agencies should look to the guidebook before they are impacted by a natural disaster. Although agencies impacted by presidentially declared natural disasters are eligible for assistance from FEMA, they should prepare beforehand to ensure that PHAs can expedite disaster recovery by thinking about risk beforehand and knowing what to expect when and after a disaster strikes.
The guidebook can be found here.