A partnership was developed between the San Mateo County Health Department and community-based organizations (CBOs) that have existing relationships with special populations. The process included administering a survey on CBO service provision and establishing memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with organizations that serve seniors, the mentally and physically disabled, the homeless, undocumented immigrants, non-English/limited-English speakers, and rural populations. Benefits to both parties entering into the MOU were clearly delineated and included access to limited emergency response resources. The process also involved leveraging training for CBOs and developing a way to update them quickly during emergencies. The framework articulates expectations and provides a concrete roadmap for a complex issue. The practice could be applicable to all jurisdictions, although it may be important to develop a special needs advisory process and bilingual materials to facilitate the process' effectiveness.