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The importance of meeting basic human needs post disaster

Very few people understand the importance of the emergency social services (ESS) function in disaster response.

When an emergency or disaster affects a community, emergency social service volunteers help provide essential services (like evacuee registration, emergency housing, clothing etc.) necessary to sustain people until the community can return to pre-disaster conditions. Some communities have this organized in advance, while others seem to organize it when it happens. The importance of thinking about this function in advance can help mitigate health and social service issues when they happen. It is a key part of disaster preparedness and community recovery.

Arlene Baxendale is an expert when it comes to ESS. She has been in the social work profession for over three decades, and has worked on a number of disasters. She trains ESS, understands best practices, and is a leader in the ESS field. This episode highlights specific areas that need to be considered as part of the ESS function in advance.

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