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A framework for disaster resilience education with homeless communities

Danielle Every (Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia)
John Richardson (University of Melbourne Institute, Melbourne, Australia)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 23 February 2018

Issue publication date: 23 March 2018




The purpose of this paper is to propose a practice framework for disaster resilience education (DRE) with homeless communities.


A survey with 163 homeless service providers together with 45 interviews with people with a lived experience of homelessness, homeless service providers and emergency services.


Key principles for DRE with the homeless community were: safe relationships, collaboration, strengths-based, empowerment, providing essential resources, and inclusivity. Recommendations for the design of DRE foregrounded partnerships and knowledge sharing between the homeless community and emergency services. Locally relevant risk information and material supports, together with sharing stories and eliciting values were important considerations for developing DRE content. Preferred delivery methods were outreach to build on trusted relationships and existing services, together with written material in large font emphasising images for distribution through drop in centres, food vans and new tenancy packages.

Practical implications

The key principles, together with the detailed suggestions outlining ways to translate the principles into actions, can be used by emergency and homeless services to develop effective DRE materials and programmes.

Social implications

The proposed DRE framework aims to not only enhance disaster risk knowledge, but also address the exclusion, isolation and disempowerment experienced by people who are homeless. By building on an effective intervention models within homeless services (Trauma-Informed Care) DRE can enhance the social connection, self-confidence and well-being goals of homeless services and clients.


The DRE framework is based on the first comprehensive Australian research with homeless services, clients and emergency managers on best practice for improving extreme weather preparedness in the homeless community.



Every, D. and Richardson, J. (2018), "A framework for disaster resilience education with homeless communities", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 146-158.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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