Disasters can occur anywhere at any time and result in significant disruption to the lives of people and the communities in which they live. Families and individuals can be prepared by knowing what to do in the event of a disaster such as where to seek shelter if evacuation is necessary.
Preparedness also involves being responsible to take care of personal needs (food, water, clothing, medical) for a period of at least three days after the event has occurred. Being prepared will help with the decision-making and communication efforts that will be necessary. What’s Your Readiness Quotient? is a tool to help you evaluate how prepared you are for emergencies.
All citizens need to understand the Homeland Security Advisory System.
**National Terrorism Advisory System – learn about the new advisory system that will replace the current color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System.
Preparedness Guides and Resources
American Red Cross
Be Red Cross Ready – guide for family emergency planning.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Are You Ready?: A Guide to Citizen Preparedness – a comprehensive guide to personal emergency preparedness which includes information about creating a disaster supply kit, planning for people with disabilities, and locating an emergency shelter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addresses preparing for disasters, including information on who to contact in emergencies, mass trauma related to catastrophic events, preparedness for businesses, bioterrorism, and improving surveillance infrastructure.
Department of Homeland Security
Be involved in disaster preparedness/response in your own community.
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
Medical Reserve Corps
Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)
Citizen Corps in New York State – New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYS OEM)
National Center for Disaster Preparedness – Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Provides information for health professionals on issues related to medical and psychological effects of disasters and the needs of children.
The Disaster Handbook, – University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Inst. Food and Agricultural Sciences (1998) covers agricultural safety and disaster preparedness topics for the home and farm.
Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) – resources available to guide communities during the recovery period. English/Spanish.
After the Disaster: Phases of Community Adjustment – University of Georgia. Describes the heroic, honeymoon, disillusionment and reconstruction phases of a community disaster.
After the Disaster: When Healing is Slow – University of Georgia addressing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with disasters.
Apply for Assistance – how to apply for help from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after a disaster.
- Disaster Assistance: Common Misunderstandings with Clarifications – FEMA media release.