HRC Blog

HRC Releases New Competency Guide for Emergency Responders

Post submitted by Paul Guequierre, HRC Staff

We are at our most vulnerable during an emergency or disaster situation.

Unfortunately this is particularly true for LGBT people as many of us fear discrimination during these trying times, whether it is in an emergency shelter or while seeking emergency services.  To help emergency responders understand our community’s needs, HRC released a guide for local, state, federal and community organizations on how to best work with LGBT people and families during disasters or forced evacuations. 

HRC’s guide will help emergency responders and volunteers understand the needs many in our community have and help them to be sympathetic to the fact that families come in all shapes and sizes. 

For years HRC has advocated for protections for LGBT people and their families in accessing disaster relief services.  For example, as part of the Blueprint for Positive Change – a list of LGBT-specific non-legislative policy recommendations made to then President-elect Obama during his transition to the White House – HRC urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to take steps to ensure that same-sex couples and their families are eligible for, and do not face discrimination in obtaining, federal disaster assistance.  HRC continues to urge FEMA and other federal agencies involved in disaster relief to make their programs as welcoming and inclusive of LGBT people as possible. 

View the guide online at:

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