Are you prepared for a natural disaster in your area?
Is your community prone to blizzards, drought, flooding, hurricanes, landslides, lightning, tornados, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires, or winter storms? Any one of these can bring about a disaster scenario. Are you and your family prepared?
Most of us already know what types of natural disasters our communities are prone to, having dealt with them in the past. Experience is the best teacher, no doubt. While this is true, it’s also true that we can always be better prepared by learning more about these threats and how to better prepare ahead of time.
Is your community susceptible to something you have never personally experienced before and therefore know little about? Educating yourself about the hazards that your community might face can go a long way in protecting your family should the threat materialize.
All cities and states have their own unique risks and challenges. You can identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area and plan for each. Pre-planning includes actions that can be taken before, during, and after a disaster that can make all the difference to your family's safety.
There are online resources to help you learn more about the hazards your community faces, along with helpful tips and instructions for making your emergency preparedness plans. These resources can be found at the local, state, and federal level.
#1 Local Level
You can get information on your city’s emergency preparedness plans by doing two types of searches.
Emergency Management Search
search for: your city's name emergency management
example: San Diego Emergency Management
- The most important information about disasters and emergency management comes from your local officials and community leaders.
- Many cities have specific sections on their websites dedicated to emergency preparedness where they post info on planning, preparing, and responding to disasters.
Emergency Preparedness Search
search for: emergency preparedness for your city'name
example: emergency preparedness for San Diego
- You will most likely be directed to your city’s website and to a page specifically on emergency preparedness.
- Learn about community response plans, evacuation plans, and designated emergency shelters.
#2 State Level
Get information on your state’s emergency preparedness plans by doing two types of searches:
Emergency Preparedness Search
search for: your state's name + emergency management
example: California Emergency Management
- You will find a wealth of information regarding your state’s hazards.
- Also listed are ways to prepare.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Enter your state and see what disasters/risks/hazards are associated.
- You will find information on how to prepare yourself and your family to face these threats.
#3 Federal Level
FEMA offers another tool called the National Risk Index, a database of natural hazard risks throughout the United States. Each location on this national color-coded map can be accessed with a simple mouse click. Once clicked, data for each location is listed and is measured against the 18 types of risks.
18 Risks Assessed By FEMA
- Coastal Flooding
- Cold Wave
- Heat Wave
- Ice Storm
- Riverine Flooding
- Strong Wind
- Volcanic Activity
- Winter Weather
You can also click on any one of the 18 risks, and a national map will show what parts of the country are risk-prone to that specific hazard. Learn more about your community’s hazards by visiting FEMA’s National Risk Index.