October 25, 2006
Here are some websites collected from newspapers to
help prepare for a disaster.
• DISASTERS & EMERGENCIES
This Department of Health and Human Services site
is a central resource for all of the federal government's
information on natural disasters, emergencies, bioterrorism,
traumatic events and mental health. The site also has links to
government agencies that sponsor related programs, including the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's bioterrorism site, the
Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland
site. But a number of less visible government programs may be easier
to visit directly.
This Red Cross site helps people with disabilities
and other medical concerns, including those in wheelchairs or on
life support, prepare for disasters and evacuations. It also offers
tips for providing medical care to pets and service animals.
• NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
COUNTY AND CITY HEALTH OFFICIALS
Provides information on local public-health
preparedness initiatives; Project Public Health Ready ranks
communities that have met certain emergency-preparedness criteria.
• ASSOCIATION OF STATE AND
TERRITORIAL HEALTH OFFICIALS
Offers tools to help states assess their own
preparedness levels, including a list of steps to take before and
after an emergency based on state health officials' experiences with
the 9/11 and anthrax attacks. Co-sponsors a related site (statepublichealth.org)
with links to sites of state health departments, immunization
programs, and public-health hot lines, and information on preparing
for hurricanes and other disasters.
This federal site provides access to
disaster-related information and services, and links to state
emergency-management programs that include updates on current
disasters such as wildfires and floods.
• MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS
The corps consists of local teams of volunteer
medical and public-health professionals prepared to serve during
emergencies and work with federal responders. The site offers help
finding or starting a local medical reserve group. Some local and
state teams have their own sites with disaster-preparedness tips,
such as the Oklahoma Medical Reserve site (okmrc.org/disaster/preparing.cfm15),
which offers warnings on common mistakes made during disasters, and
tips on assembling a disaster kit and recovering from a disaster.
• EMERGENCY MENTAL HEALTH AND
The federal Center for Mental Health Services gives
advice on talking about disasters and managing anxiety. It also has
a locator for mental-health services to help you find local agencies
• NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH
This group coordinates with local mental-health
services to provide aid in natural disasters, and helps coordinate
services for communitywide mental-health needs in the aftermath of
national emergencies. Links to local mental-health disaster-recovery
programs and fact sheets, such as one to help teens recover from a
This site, from the American Academy of Pediatrics,
has tips for parents, teachers and communities on children's medical
and mental-health needs in disasters. It also has tip sheets for
• FLORIDA INSTITUTE FOR FAMILY
Here you'll find resources for families of children
with special health-care needs, including a disaster-preparation
checklist and suggestions for a disaster supply kit.
• HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE U.S.
This site has downloadable brochures with
information to help plan for the safety and health of pets, horses
and livestock before, during and after disasters.
• INSTITUTE FOR BUSINESS &
This nonprofit group, sponsored by insurers and
reinsurers, focuses mainly on protecting homes and businesses during
disaster, but it also has personal safety tips, such as how to
increase your chances of survival in an earthquake indoors, outdoors
or while driving, and how to protect your family during a tornado,
flood or wildfire.