active disaster quick links

National Disaster

Legal Aid

Disaster Preparedness

  Spanish / Español
  Vietnamese / Tiếng Việt

Where To Start

Be ahead of the curve and prepare for a disaster. Did you know that ONLY about one-third of all Americans are prepared for a disasterAccording to RealtyTrac, approximately 43% of American Single Family Homes are at risk for having a natural disaster. 

Everyone should have a Disaster Plan and a Disaster Kit. Don't worry, there's an application for that too. Two great places to start are and the American Red Cross. These sites give general and specific planning advice for surviving different types of disasters.

To see the report on current and future use of technology during disasters, click here.

Documents To Gather In Advance of an Emergency

Disaster Plan

You can start with a Disaster Plan like this one offered by the American Red Cross, which includes free disaster plan templates you can download and print to discuss with your family. You can also print this family emergency plan from

Disaster Philanthropy Playbook has toolkits and tip sheets that gather practical, proven strategies into applicable, step-by-step actions funders can take now to help their communities prepare, respond, and recover from major disasters.

6 Important Things To Know Before a Disaster 

Click here to watch a video from FEMA on six things to know before a disaster strikes.

Mitigating Hazards by FEMA 

For events on disaster preparedness, visit the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships

Disaster Kit

Don't stop with just the plan; make sure you have a kit, using this information from the Red Cross. If you can't afford to make a complete kit- see the list here from, start with just a few items and add to your kit until it's complete. You can download this free FEMA emergency supply checklist too.

Use your smart phone to help keep you prepared in a few different ways using the following applications:

If you don't have a smartphone, or want to save bandwidth by using text, FEMA can provide safety tips and find open shelters here. They can also send Wireless Emergency Alerts to phones that can receive them. Click here for more information.

The Google Crisis Map is a collection of national and regional-scale layers related to weather, hazards, and emergency preparedness and response, mostly for the US.

Business Preparation

Businesses need to prepare too and the government is here (with to help. Start with this emergency response plan and then build a business continuity plan.  Click here for a video that really brings home WHY you need a business continuity plan. 

Another resource for business owners and others is the international standard for business continuity management. ISO 22301: Your Upgrade to First-Class Resilience gives an overview of this and looks at the need to upgrade current-state business continuity (BC) programs to business continuity management systems (BCMS), and the benefits of managing them effectively and how these lessons can be applied worldwide. 

Preparation for Attorneys

Start with the ABA Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness' page.  There you will find great resources for attorneys planning for preparedness such as Surviving a Disaster: A Lawyer's Guide to Disaster Planning

Click here to see upcoming webinars, videos, and additional resources. 

Prepare for Anything and Everything

Disaster Preparedness for Pets - access article here.

America's Preparathon site is there to help with varied resources and activities to help make sure we're all prepared. 

If you make a plan and a kit, you are ready for most disasters. But for those who would like to prepare more, and more specifically, we have these offerings:

  • University of Southern California - What Can Chronically Ill Patients Do to Brace for Natural Disasters?
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention - How to Prepare for Any Disaster
  • The 2018 Storm Surge Report by CoreLogic
  • Popular Mechanics tells us how to survive anything. Fires and Floods are the most common disasters. More people are vulnerable to flooding than realize it. Find out your flood risk and get more information on the National Flood Insurance Program here. Consumer Reports has another good general disaster preparedness article and gives ratings for many disaster related products. For recent posts on preparing for and surviving natural disasters, click here.
  • The Center for Disease Control is there to prevent and help with health risks, whatever the cause. The CDC realized that if you're ready to meet the zombie apocalypse, you're ready for any epidemic. Click here for this Zombie Pandemic information that can help save your brains and your health- great for all ages. Please feel secure that the United States can respond quickly to  an outbreak of Ebola.  But think of the response to the Ebola epidemic as a reminder of why we should prepare for a pandemic disaster, along with more likely disasters, like a home fire, or a flood.  See the steps that were taken to stop Ebola.
  • The Earthquake Alliance tells you everything you need to know to live in "Earthquake Country," which is growing in size. The Beat the Quake game is a great way to learn what to do during a quake. Do you have a volcano in your backyard? We can help you with that too; just look here, for information from the National Park Service.  People can plan to avoid a storm surge now with help from the government.
  • How to Survive a Natural Disaster by Texture

Do you need disaster preparation tips in another language? can help in EspañolVietnamese, Chinese and others.  FEMA also provides more specialized training for emergency managers and regular people to take at their own pace.