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Thread: Emergency shelters

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Emergency shelters

    Anyone out there have good zoning language related to siting emergency shelters? We recently expanded the zones where they are allowed and have been asked by the Council to look at expanding them further, into lower-density residential zones. I don't mind the use in those zones but am concerned about the scale - modern shelters tend to be larger buildings and can be out of scale in a single-family zone. On the other hand, I get the equity goal and want to strike the right balance. My initial thought is to limit the number of beds in shelters in single-family zones, but that's just the first step.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    My experience & knowledge -

    Emergency Shelter are usually placed in existing & willing to participate churches & schools.
    Designation might depend upon code - seismic, floodplain/storm surge, wind (Hurricane/tornado) and available occupant load, support facilities - kitchen/showers

    Emergency shelters is a private contract between the American Red Cross (they have specific requirements & provide volunteer training & staffing) and the individual church, school district.

    By the way the American Red Cross training for Sheltering is worthwhile so you have some ideas what all goes into it.

    National Shelter System: Introduction to NSS Support
    Basic Level – Virtual Classroom (WebEx)
    Prerequisites: None
    This course is designed to introduce the user to the basic functions of the National Shelter System (NSS). The course provides an overview of the NSS and an opportunity for participants to complete several hands-on exercises to gain experience in using the NSS.


    Partner Agency Shelter Operations Workshop
    Basic Level – Classroom
    Prerequisites: None
    This course is designed to share information with partner agency shelter workers that will result in providing quality service to clients at Red Cross disaster shelters. This workshop provides pre-incident training and orientation materials to partner agency shelter teams. It also provides shelter identification and operational materials to facilities prior to opening as a “Red Cross partner” or as a “Red Cross supported” disaster relief shelter during actual time of operation

    Shelter Operations
    Basic Level – Classroom
    Prerequisites: Disaster Services: An Overview
    This course is designed to give participants an overview of the American Red Cross policies and procedures for setting up, running and closing a shelter during a disaster.


    Shelter Simulation
    Basic Level – Classroom
    Prerequisites: Shelter Operations
    This course builds on the information presented in the Shelter Operations course and provides participants an opportunity to practice working with procedures for setting up, running and closing a shelter during a disaster.
    Last edited by JNA; 06 Jul 2017 at 12:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Thx. To clarify, I mean Homeless Shelters, we just call them Emergency Shelters.
    Don't read the comments section. You want to, but don't do it.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I generally try to treat any sort of shelter, group home, or other communal living situation the same as a dwelling of a similar size. E.g. your single-unit residential zone would allow communal living for maybe 6 people while your 4-unit residential zone might allow 24 people in a communal living arrangement (numbers to be reasonably aligned with the population characteristics of dwellings in your area). How you regulate the number of people would need to be determined for your regulatory context (gross floor area? beds?). No discrimination, but no issue with things being out of scale with the neighbourhood.

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