RD1 - 2017 Annual Report on the Commonwealth’s Emergency Shelter Capabilities and Readiness – October 2017

Executive Summary:

Virginia is vulnerable to a variety of hazards and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) works diligently to ensure localities and the Commonwealth have adequate plans to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. This report outlines the state, local, and regional efforts to improve sheltering capacity, overall sheltering, and mass care capabilities within the Commonwealth. Since the 2016 report, VDEM has continued to facilitate the Virginia Mass Care Task Force and has developed a Statewide Sheltering Plan Strategic Framework. This framework was reviewed and approved by numerous state, regional, and local agencies, as well as community partners, and lays the foundational groundwork for development of the new statewide sheltering plan.

This report discusses the status of the State-Managed Shelter Plan and identifies critical gaps. The most critical gaps in sheltering in the Commonwealth are a lack of sheltering data to identify capacity issues in the state, a lack of staffing, and too few available commodities to support large scale, immediate sheltering needs. The report concludes with recommendations for closing those gaps.