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Disaster Preparedness

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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 disaster?  Approximately 43% of American Single Family Homes are at risk for having a natural disaster according to RealtyTrac..

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

See the report on the current and future use of technology during disasters.  A Vision for the Humanitarian Use of

Emerging Technology for Emerging Needs.

Disaster Plan

You can start with a Disaster Plan like this interactive one offered by the American Red Cross. You could also use this simple written plan from Ready.gov.

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 ready.gov, start with just a few items and add to your kit until it's complete.

Use your smart phone to help keep you prepared in a few different ways. There's an app for that. Try the team of Red Cross Apps here. Their Emergency App can give you real time weather info and disaster information and you can tailor it to the disasters most common in your area.  FEMA's app, the Tech Soup picks- geared toward non-profits here, or these from marketplace.org.  Iowa Legal Aid's Disaster App helps with all phases of disaster assistance.

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 and do also send Wireless Emergency Alerts to phones that can receive them. Look here for more information.

The google crisis map is great after a disaster to let you see where FEMA has resource centers, you can get gas, or which areas have their power out and will be added to as will help.

Business Preparation

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

View in FEMA Multimedia Library

Another resource for business owners and others is the international standard for business continuity management.  ISO 22301:  Your Upgrade to Firs-Class Resilience  gives 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 eeffectively and how these lessons can be applied world wide. 

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
  Please look here to see upcoming webinars, videos, and additional resources. 

Prepare for Anything and Everything

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...

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.

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. Look 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.

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