Natural disasters can occur unexpectedly, disrupt thousands of lives and have lasting effects on people and property. To reduce our fears, anxieties, and losses, all of which develop during disasters, it is essential that individuals are prepared ahead of time with proper provisions and detailed instructions to manage themselves and their families. First and foremost, individuals need to be ready to be self sufficient for at least three days with necessary items such as: first-aid kits, food, water and sanitation supplies. Further preparation includes: safeguarding your vital records, saving money in an emergency savings account, and evacuating ahead of time. For individuals with medical concerns, the following precautions must be taken: establishing a personal support network with family or friends, keeping an emergency health information card, an emergency contact list, a prescription drug list, maintaining a 7-14-day supply of essential medications, and any assistive devices that are necessary on a daily basis. Taking such simple measures will ensure that individuals are ready to handle unexpected emergency situations and find proper means of sustaining a somewhat normalcy.

Source: American Red Cross, Tips for People with Disabilities and Medical Concerns.

Types of Diasters and Weather Emergencies[i]



Earthquakes  Tornadoes
Extreme Heat         Tsunamis
Floods           Volcanoes
Hurricanes         Wildfires
Landslides & Mudslides Winter Weather




The Health Alert Network (HAN)

The Health Alert Network (HAN) is a national program that provides health alerts, health advisories, updates, and information service messages to state and local health officers, public information officers, epidemiologists and HAN coordinators as well as clinician organizations. HAN ensures each community has rapid and timely access to emergent health information and access to a group of highly-trained professional personnel as well as evidence-based examples for effective public health preparedness, response and service on a 24/7 basis.

The Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC)

The Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) training program draws from lessons learned during public health emergencies, and incorporates best practices from the fields of risk and crisis communication. Their goals are to disseminate training curricula and tools to aid public health professionals to prepare for emergencies and to train these communicators both inside and outside the CDC to then train others on how to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate crisis and emergency risk communication activities.

Community Disaster Toolkit

Children represent almost 25 percent of the population but the unique needs of children are often overlooked or misunderstood in disaster planning and management. Every weekday, 67 million children attend schools or more than 325,000 licensed child-care facilities in the U.S., but less than one-quarter of states require child care facilities and schools to meet four basic criteria for disaster preparedness. Is your state prepared?

Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation: Summary for Policymakers

This special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assesses the scientific literature on issues that range from the relationship between climate change and extreme weather to their implications for society and sustainable development.  

Managing Emergency Preparedness: Academic Health Centers Organize and Innovate  

This brief guide by the Association of Academic Health Centers provides academic health center leaders and policymakers at the local, state, and national levels with a short-hand guide on managing emergency response activities within academic health centers. It demonstrates the importance of academic health center resources, and how connectivity and integration of functions play an essential role in the event of an emergency.  

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