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The Best Resources for Disaster Preparedness

A disaster can be defined as an event that results in available resources being overwhelmed and that causes death, injury and destruction. Lack of preparedness for disasters can be fatal, hence the importance of proper disaster planning. Make no mistake, having a good plan is essential. Being ready when the worst happens can help you to remain calm and can help you to recover from catastrophes quickly. The big question is how do you get the information that you need to prepare adequately? Fortunately, the internet has many resources that provide valuable information on preparing to face catastrophes. 


Here are some of the best online resources for learning what to do before and after disaster strikes:


• The American Red Cross

As one of the best-known disaster relief organizations, the American Red Cross responds to over 70,000 disasters each year. They provide shelter, food and health services to victims of disasters so that they can recover quickly. The Red Cross website provides information on the different health and safety courses that the organization offers as well as pages on how you can donate blood or volunteer. 


• Ready.gov

The Ready program is designed to get Americans prepared and empowered so that they can respond to both natural and manmade disasters. Ready's focus is on getting the American public to build emergency supply kits, develop emergency plans for their families and to learn about the different types of emergencies that they may face. The Ready website includes a section for helping small and medium sized business to prepare for disasters and another section on disaster education for kids between the ages of eight and 12. 


• The National Hurricane Center

For weather-related emergencies, the National Weather Service (NWS) is an essential resource. If you are one of the 45 million Americans who live in hurricane prone areas, you will want to bookmark the NWS’s National Hurricane Center. Here, you will find information on formulating an emergency plan and putting together a basic disaster supplies kit. The website will also provide information on evacuation guidelines and on joining the NWS's StormReady program. The StormReady program helps communities to prepare for disasters by providing communication and safety skills. 


• Survival Life

This blog is all about developing the survival and preparedness skills needed to withstand harsh living conditions after a disaster. It provides a range of resources for those who want to be ready when catastrophes occur. The resources range from information on purchasing bulk emergency food to ways of producing energy from alternative resources. The website also features reviews of survival gear so that you can learn what works before you buy. 


• The National Resource Center

This website offers a variety of planning tools, fact sheets and educational materials developed by a range of organizations including government agencies and academic centers. The resources here are intended to help multicultural communities. There are articles in multiple languages as well as information on everything from swine flu to preparing for flash floods. 


• Disability.gov

Just like everyone else, people with disabilities need to be prepared for disasters and this website provides the information that they will need. The guide includes sections on how disabled people can find the resources to prepare for disasters and recover from them. It also provides information on the laws protecting the rights of disabled people to have equal access to emergency services and facilities. 


• DisasterAssistance.gov


The goal of this program is to provide support and services to survivors of disasters. It also provides them with a mechanism through which they can apply for disaster assistance. The website helps disaster victims to find assistance that meets their personal needs and to locate different types of assistance from 17 different government agencies.