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disaster readiness

  • Get Help

    We share a lot, (really a LOT) of information about Disaster Preparedness and Recovery - but did you know about this great resource?

    disaster-assistanceDisaster is the online portal of The Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP).


    The site allows you to:

    The site can also help you learn how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. You can learn to deal with immediate needs, like how to:

    • Evacuate or shelter in place.
    • Find emergency shelter.
    • Get food and water.
    • Handle emergency medical situations until help arrives.
    • Find family, friends, and even lost pets.

    You can even read the latest disaster news feeds and find other recovery help to help you move forward.

    The DAIP mission is to provide disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners.

    Partnering Organizations

    The following partners have helped make possible:

  • Surviving


    Used as a proverbial reminder that no one is entirely independent and that everyone relies in some way on other people, the phrase no man is an island comes from “Meditation XVII,” part of the metaphysical poet John Donne’s prose-poem Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions:

    No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

    Donne wrote his Devotions, a series of 23 essays on life, death, health, and sickness while recovering from a near-fatal illness in the early 1620s and published them in 1624.

    When you are faced with a disaster, you can often face physical and psychological strain. It's often hard to remember what to do in an emergency situation,

    When it is all up to you to help yourself….
    When you are on your own without the everyday amenities that we all take for granted…
    When there’s no one around and you are thrust into a situation of high risk and jeopardy to your well being…

    This is what survival and disaster preparedness is all about.

    Over the next weeks leading up to and then continuing on through all of September for National Preparedness Month, we are going to directly address the problems of what to do.

    We will help you answer the question: "How do you sustain yourself until help arrives?"

    Our upcoming articles will also explore the scenarios that may develop when alone in outside environments. Disaster and Emergency survival is often very similar to camping and wilderness subsistence... We will address how  to cope when alone in outside environments. We are going look at the physiological aspects of survival, the realities of how we can help ourselves and others around us until assistance can reach us or until we are able to get out of our dilemma under our own power.

    Disasters or emergency encounters do not come by invitation.  They are not planned, nor scheduled. The reality is that n life, most unpleasantness that we encounter seems to happen at the most inopportune times.

    Because you are reading our site, you are a concerned individual. We remind you that nobody knows everything about everything! If something you read strikes an idea or motivates a solution to a dilemma, write it down and use it if the situation ever arises. Share it with us to pass along, too... and, of course, seek additional materials to further your education.

    Stay tuned.. we'll be sharing a lot - you can bookmark us, follow us on twitter, like us on Facebook, join our G+ circle, subscribe to our RSS feed... or just check back every day or so for a LOT of great survival tips and ideas!

    PRE-pared means yo plan and supply yourself BEFORE Disaster Strikes! PRE-pared means yo plan and supply yourself BEFORE Disaster Strikes!
  • Don't Wait

    We have said it before, and we will say it again - the word Preparedness begins with "Pre-".. this means before, don't react to an emergency by "preparing" get your gear and your plan together today.

    Don't wait, communicate with your family today about an emergency plan today. Visit for tools and resources to make and practice a family emergency communication plan. In recent years, devastating earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires have highlighted the need for Americans to prepare for natural disaster. However, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), half of Americans have not discussed or developed a family emergency plan. The Ad Council has partnered with FEMA on the Ready Campaign since 2003, with the goal of educating Americans about the best ways to prepare.


    Icon for file of type application/pdfFamily Communication Plan for Kids (English)

    Family communication plan template designed for kids to organize emergency contact phone numbers and identify an emergency meeting place.


    Icon for file of type application/pdfFamily Communication Plan for Parents (English)

    Family communication plan template designed for parents to organize emergency contact phone numbers and identify an emergency meeting place.

    Ready to get your stuff? 

    PRE-pared means yo plan and supply yourself BEFORE Disaster Strikes! PRE-pared means yo plan and supply yourself BEFORE Disaster Strikes!
  • FEMA Releases Severe El Niño Disaster Response Plan

    FEMA Releases Severe El Niño Disaster Response Plan

     For California, Arizona, Nevada

    Combined Federal, State task force to meet today at Governor’s Office of Emergency ServicesSurvival-Supplies

    Sacramento Calif., --  The FEMA Region 9 office, in Oakland, CA has established an El Niño task force charged with preparing the regional office and its partners for the impacts of El Niño.  Today, the FEMA Region 9 Office released its Severe El Nino Disaster Response plan and will convene a regional interagency steering committee meeting in Northern California to exercise the plan.

    The task force has evaluated the core capabilities needed to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against any El Niño related incident that occurs across the office’s area of responsibility. The task force has developed an Executive Decision Support Guide, or response plan, and an interactive flood decision support tool to enhance the regional office’s ability to respond to potential El Niño flood events during the winter of 2015-2016. The plan seeks to align actionable decision points that provide critical information that leaders need to make informed decisions by determining the hazard level potentially impacting lives, public health, safety, property, and critical infrastructure.

    The objectives of the task force developed in the plan:

    • Establish actionable processes and procedures to identify the location, potential impacts, and probability of occurrence of natural hazards
    • Identify key at-risk populations, critical facilities and natural/cultural resources
    • Identify gaps in core capabilities needed to overcome the threat
    • Develop key messages to motivate partners to prepare and act

    The task force consists of subject matter experts from the FEMA Region 9 office as well as other federal, state, local, tribal and community partners.

    Disaster-Survival-Gear"California is at risk for many types of disasters,” said Mark Ghilarducci, Director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.  “These joint exercises with our partners allow us to prepare for and respond to emergencies.”

    “Utilizing a ‘whole community’ approach to emergency management reinforces the fact that FEMA is only one part of our nation’s emergency management team,” said Bob Fenton, FEMA Region 9 Administrator. “The exercise gives us an opportunity to learn from each other, and from the experts in the areas where solutions will come from.”

    “There aren’t many types of disasters capable of impacting all Arizonans, but a strong El Niño could cause flooding, evacuations and power outages anywhere (and everywhere) in the state,” said Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Deputy Director Wendy Smith-Reeve. “It takes a team effort to plan for, respond to and recover from the kinds of widespread consequences being talked about, which is why we’re invested in the education and training of and outreach to the whole community.”

    FEMA recognizes that a government-centric approach to emergency management is not adequate to meet the challenges posed by a catastrophic incident.  Utilizing a “whole community” approach to emergency management reinforces that FEMA is only one part of our nation’s emergency management team.

    The El Nino task force has focused on interpreting data in areas of California, Arizona and Nevada that have proved historically vulnerable in order to develop risk projections of current El Niño events.  It is through this assessment the task force seeks to determine the critical decision points needed by senior leaders during all phases of an incident from pre-incident, incident onset, through response and recovery.

    Today, the FEMA Region 9 Office will participate in a Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) exercise with its disaster response partners to exercise the response plan and its flood decision support tools.  During this exercise, participants will identify issues, gaps and shortfalls that will be incorporated to enhance the plan’s utility.  The task force will leverage best available data from predictive modeling and other analytical tools to keep senior decision makers informed throughout potential El Niño events.  The efforts undertaking by the task force during the ROC will enable the FEMA Region 9 Office, its partners and ultimately the disaster survivor to make intelligent decisions for any El Niño related event.

    PRE-pared means yo plan and supply yourself BEFORE Disaster Strikes! PRE-pared means yo plan and supply yourself BEFORE Disaster Strikes!
  • Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

    We talk about Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Recovery often - but tend to focus more on these topics around the time of America's PrepareAthon, and During National Preparedness Month in September.

    We'd like to take a break from our discussions of Summer Safety, Fireworks, Picnics, and Swimming to remind you that this is the very heart of Disaster Season, with Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Floods, and Lightning threatening Americans across the land.

    Review your Disaster Plans and make sure you are ready for whatever may interrupt your Summer Fun.


  • Where is your Emergency Kit? Where Should it Be? What Should be in It?

    We've said this before, we'll say it again - As Americans, our Cars are usually where we are, so prepare your car first! suggests this for your vehicle:

    In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car. This kit should include:

    Also consider:

    Be prepared for an emergency by keeping your gas tank full and if you find yourself stranded, be safe and stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.

    Auto Emergency Accessories - From Tire Gauges and emergency tire inflator kits to Emergency Reflecting Triangles, Fix-A-Flat & emergency Escape Window Punch, We have auto Emergency Strobes, Battery Jumper Cables & Traffic Cones. We even have emergency Travel Blankets to stay warm in a roadside emergency

    View in FEMA Multimedia Library

    Be Prepared For Emergencies While Traveling

    Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.



    Your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water and supplies for at least three days.

    Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.

    Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks.


    You need to be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Make sure you have food and water and other necessities like medicines in your kit. Also, be sure to have comfortable walking shoes at your workplace in case an evacuation requires walking long distances.

    Your kit should also be in one container and ready to “grab and go” in case you are evacuated from your workplace.

  • National Preparedness Month: Preparing Business for Disaster

    Get Your Business Ready For Any Kind of Disaster

    Businesses have Disaster Preparedness concerns that differ from individual. Businesses have a duty to care for employees and customers/clients at their facility in the event of a calamity, and have the further need to get back "in business" as fast as possible.

    Each year small businesses nationwide are forced to close their doors in the aftermath of severe storms, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes. Business interruptions, even if they last just a few hours, are costly in terms of lost productivity and profits. Just a day or two of unexpected closure can ruin many small and medium size businesses.

    Get help with your own business preparedness planning through a series of free webinars in September hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery.   The September series is presented in collaboration with FEMA’s Ready Campaign as part of National Preparedness Month.  

    The SBA wants to help business owners take charge of the well-being of their own companies, the safety of their employees, and the sustenance of their local economies by being prepared to rebound quickly from any kind of disaster.

    The half-hour webinars will be presented at 2 p.m., Eastern time, each Wednesday in September. Visit to register for any or all of the webinars listed below:

    • suministros para los equipos de emergencia Equip your Biz!

      September 3: Crisis Communications for Any Organization
      Learn best practices for developing an emergency communication strategy.

    • September 10: How to Plan for a Power Interruption…and Recover Fast
      Tips on how to make your company resilient and better prepared to mitigate losses during power outages.
    • September 17: The Top 5 Steps for Preparedness This Year
      The top five ways to prepare for disaster-related business interruptions will be discussed.
    • September 24: If You Do Nothing Else This Year
      Simple, low-cost tips on building a solid business continuity plan.

    SBA has partnered with Agility Recovery to offer business continuity strategies through their “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit to check out the archived webinars and for more disaster preparedness tools.

    ? It is National Preparedness Month! September 2014 is National Preparedness Month - read our National Preparedness Month Blog for Preparedness Tips, Articles, Plans and more!!!

    Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto
  • Consumer Reports says Get Ready or Face Major Hardship and Loss

    National Preparedness Month Series

    As Consumer Reports notes, there’s no telling whether the rest of this hurricane season will bring anything like Superstorm Sandy, which flooded more than 150,000 homes, killed more than 140 people, and left about 8.5 million homes in 20 states without power. A relatively minor storm can also cause major damage if it includes high winds, heavy rain, or tree-snapping ice or snow.

    Even a simple blackout can happen at any time and last for days. More than a half-million New Jersey residents were still without power two weeks after Sandy. And if you think most home-insurance policies cover disasters, think again: Flood insurance is just one of the “extras,” assuming it’s available in your area.

    Disaster preparedness: How to be ready for the next big storm

    What you can do to safeguard your home and family:

    Protect people and property

    Damage from a neighbor’s tree is usually covered by your insurer, not your neighbor’s.

    Cover windows properly. Experts used to recommend taping windows to limit breakage to a few large pieces, rather than many smaller ones. But small and large pieces can be equally deadly. A safer bet: Keep windows shut and close blinds, shades, and drapes. Longer-term, consider impact-resistant windows or hurricane shutters (about $40 per square foot), which might also net you an insurance discount.

    Secure outdoor items. High winds can turn lawn chairs, potted plants, trash cans, and other outdoor items into deadly projectiles. Move whatever you can into a garage, a shed, or a basement.

    Park cars on high ground. Two feet of floodwater can carry a car away. What’s more, driving in water just 8 inches deep can ruin the engine if the water seeps in through the air intake. Park at a high elevation or on a hill—but not beneath trees.

    Protect your valuables. Move what you can to higher floors if you expect flooding. Also think ahead by documenting and photographing items you’d include in an insurance claim if lost or ruined.

    Stock up on essentials

    Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster! Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster!

    Build an emergency kit. It should have a whistle to attract help, dust masks, duct tape, a wrench or pliers to turn off water if needed, flashlights and batteries, and local maps. Plan on 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. Include moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation. Also consider changes of clothing and sleeping bags or blankets.

    Be prepared for injuries. A first-aid kit should be stocked

    First Aid Kits come in all shapes and sizes! First Aid Kits come in all shapes and sizes!

    with bandages in various sizes, sterile dressings and gloves, hand sanitizer and antibiotic towelettes, a thermometer, pain medicines, tweezers, and scissors.

    Fuel up. Fill all of your vehicles’ tanks, because gas stations could lose power. ­Remember that most gas generators ­require roughly 12 to 20 gallons of gas per day. Also figure on at least a gallon of gas for extensive chainsawing. Store all fuel away from the house.

    Have the right phones. Keep at least one corded phone because cordless phones require AC power. Our post-Sandy survey also found that cell phones were more reliable than landline phones, though we lack data on differences for fiber and cable vs.older copper-wire systems. Be sure cell phones are charged. And have an out-of-town contact you can call, because long-distance phone service can be more reliable than local service during and after a storm.

    Get the right foods. Frozen food may last two days without power, but refrigerated items can spoil after 4 hours. Keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable foods such as crackers, whole-grain cereals, and canned foods. And don’t forget the manual can opener.

    Check your fire extinguishers. You should have one with a minimum classification of “2-A:10-B:C” on each floor. Check the dial or pop-up pin for adequate pressure each month. Professionally repressurize extinguishers older than six years, and replace any older than 12 years.

    Prepare for special needs. Tell your utility and local fire department before a storm if someone in your home uses an oxygen concentrator, ventilator, or medical bed; your power could be restored sooner. And keep a one-month supply of medication during hurricane season.

    Make sure your Emergency Radio is Ready at all Times! Make sure your Emergency Radio is Ready at all Times! Click Here

    Tune in. A battery-powered or hand-cranked radio will keep you connected if your computer or the Internet is down. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radios are also handy for emergency information.

    Have some ready cash. Banks and ATMs could be out of service, assuming you can get to them.

    Stay safe during the storm

    Find the safest place. Stay in a central room without windows. Have kids? Ease the fear factor with books, a toy or two, and if you have power or a generator, some movies and video games.

    Avoid electrocution risks. Don’t use any plug-in device if flooding or wetness is nearby. Landline phones can also be a shock hazard in an electrical storm. If you must make a call during a storm, use a cell or cordless phone if possible—or use a land­line phone’s speaker mode to reduce contact with the handset. Avoid baths and showers until the storm passes. And watch out for downed power lines and live wires.

    Use cars safely. Obey emergency crews and follow designated routes. If your vehicle stalls in water, shut off the ignition and seek higher ground; the leading cause of Sandy-related deaths was drowning.

    Do some damage control afterward

    Do a mold check. Mold can start in as little as 24 hours after a flood and will keep growing as long as relative humidity stays above 55 to 60 percent. Put soaked items outdoors and save what’s ruined for the insurance adjuster. Run a dehumidifier, and clean affected areas with detergent and water or a bleach solution. You’ll need a mask and protective gloves if you do that yourself. For serious mold, hire a pro.

    Inspect heating equipment. If any part of your furnace, boiler, or gas heater was submerged, have a pro check and recondition the equipment before you switch it back on. Internal damage could cause a fire, explosion, or shock hazard.

    Check your vehicle. Suspect flood damage? Don’t try to start it until it has been professionally inspected. Salt water is especially corrosive, but even freshwater that’s high enough to reach carpeting can damage computers and other electronics.

    Try to make only one claim. One larger claim is better than two small ones because multiple claims within the same year are likelier to get you dropped or reassigned as high-risk.

    Home insurance: Are you really covered?

    Based on the ad slogans, you’d think home insurers were everything from good neighbors to lifelong friends sworn to be “on your side” come hell or high water. But of the more than 8,000 Consumer Reports subscribers we surveyed who endured Superstorm Sandy, just 54 percent of those who filed claims were highly satisfied with how they were handled. That’s just a notch above the 51 percent who told us that after Hurricane Katrina.

    Knowing what is—and isn’t—covered before the next big storm can help you make sure you aren’t stuck for the bulk of any repairs. Here are some of the most common home-insurance myths, and steps that can help put you in good hands: Continue reading

  • Being Prepared for Emergencies When Traveling or in a Hotel

    National Preparedness Month Series

    Always start with a GOOD Travel First Aid Kit! Always start with a GOOD Travel First Aid Kit!

    Nothing can spoil a great vacation like an injury. Be prepared to deal with mishaps on the abroad and away from home with first aid kits designed specifically for traveling and travelers! Consider differences in availability of basic over=the-counter remedies, Dental Emergencies and other exigencies.

    Disasters and emergencies don't take a day off so don't assume that being on vacation means that you shouldn't prepare. Members of the travel industry have teamed up with FEMA to compile tips for the public to keep in mind when they stay in a hotel. Check out this video to learn all of the great tips that you need to know before you check in.

    Share how you prepare before going on vacation and staying in a hotel.

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