Emergency Human Services

When disaster strikes, the primary mission of emergency human services is to first understand what services are needed, then to ensure these services are provided quickly and efficiently to the people who need them most.

Emergency human services are an essential part of the Wisconsin Emergency Response Plan's emergency support function 6 (ESF-6). For more information on ESF-6, visit Wisconsin Emergency Management.


Emergency Human Services Explained

Emergency means something outside your human services agencies’ typical day-to-day work and duties.

Human services is meant generically and collectively to include services provided by governmental and non-governmental organizations. These include programs that help survivors address unmet, disaster-caused needs and/or non-housing losses through loans and grants or through coordination of assistance from non-governmental sources.



The American Red Cross North Central Division is offering a webinar series for emergency managers on Topics in Mass Care during the coming months. Each month they will take a closer look at the disciplines that make up mass care practice, and give participants a forum for any mass care related questions.

  • May 3, 2017: Special Consideration in Sheltering
  • June 7, 2017: National Shelter System for Emergency Managers
  • July 5, 2017: Feeding Basics

Previous sessions have been recorded and are available to listen to

Training Opportunity: Disaster Response Interpreter Training

The Offices for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Preparedness and Emergency Health Care, in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Public Health will be jointly sponsoring Disaster Response Interpreter Training for pre-selected sign language interpreters in 2017.

Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:00 am – 5:00 pm & Sunday, April 30, 2017 8:00 am – noon
Location: Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells

For more details: Save the Date Flyer (PDF, 137 KB)
Registration information to come.


Planning for and responding to your communities' and first responders' behavioral health needs after a natural disaster is a vital part of emergency response.

Functional Assessment Service Teams help support people with access and functional needs when they are displaced from their homes due to a disaster or emergency.

By defining terms used in emergency human services, responders and public officials can communicate more effectively during a response.


Emergency Human Services Contacts

For more information:
Contact Jan Devore

1 West Wilson St.
Madison, WI 53703

For emergency human services' materials for health professionals:

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Last Revised: April 27, 2017