Disaster Preparedness & Recovery


When Trouble Strikes: A Crisis Planner

A business crisis isn’t a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Whether it’s a robbery, a leaking room, the death of the owner or the wrath of Mother Nature, a disaster can strike at any time. This online planner will help you identify possible crises affecting your business and help you either minimize their impact or avoid them crisis altogether. An essential planner for any small business.

Washington Business Preparedness Survey

A survey to assess the readiness of state businesses to help local emergency preparedness planners understand local business needs and abilities to prepare for and recover from natural and man-made disasters.


Provides resources and best practice information for public and private stakeholders who are seeking to rebuild their local economies after a disaster as well as assisting the business community in preparing for a disaster. It is a one-stop shop for disaster preparedness, post-disaster economic recovery, and disaster resiliency resources, tools, event announcements as well as opportunities to connect with peers through social media groups. The following is a list of reports and guides that will assist you in your search.

International Sustainable Resilience Center

Works to bring global expertise in disaster resilience, sustainability, and public-private partnerships together to help offset the growing threat of disasters around the world.

Disaster Assistance Improvement Program

DAIP's 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.

Lifting Small Business from the Ashes: Lessons Learned About Long-Term Recovery Challenges Facing Small Businesses in Southern California After the 2017 Thomas Fire - Institute for Sustainable Development

Long Term Recovery: What You Need to Know - Emergency Management

Controlling Forest Fires in Western States - Stateline

Deadly extreme weather is the new normal - The Hill

How to help small business after a flood - Route 50

A Message to FEMA: Respond to Disasters Differently - Route 50

North Carolina: A New Approach for Hurricane Recovery Efforts - Route 50

new report from International City/County Management Association (ICMA) documents leadership challenges and lessons learned after natural disasters and crises such as mass shootings and police shootings. “Before, After, and During a Crisis” stresses the importance of community engagement in building resilience. Drawing from numerous case studies of city managers’ responses to crisis events, the report identifies best practices and key takeaways

Moving Forward After a Disaster, prepared by the Red Cross provides information for critical resources, helpful checklists, and phone numbers that may assist you in your recovery. 

Embracing the New Economic Realities: After the Wildfires: This report identifies the recent economic assessment of the Wood Buffalo business environment in Alberta Canada. This report shines a spotlight on the state of the overall business sector within the region. It reflects the voice of multi-tiered stakeholder groups and their views of what’s working, what needs improvement and, ultimately, recommendations for ways in which businesses, industry (i.e. the Oil & Gas sector) and the community can work collaboratively towards success. 

Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation is designed to help communities improve their resiliency and provides how-to guidance for communities to start their mitigation planning and disaster-recovery planning processes. The report was produced by the American Planning Association (APA) through a cooperative agreement from FEMA.

Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2017: Data to Drive Decisions (12 pages, PDF), found that although total grant dollars awarded for disasters fell 30 percent from 2014 levels, a total of 202 foundations made 740 grants for disaster-related causes, compared with 162 foundations that awarded 525 disaster-related grants in 2014. The annual study found that in terms of strategy, funding from the largest U.S. foundations in 2015 shifted slightly toward disaster risk management. The top three U.S. foundation funders of disaster relief and humanitarian aid in 2015 were the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Direct Relief’s approach to disasters is to support the immediate needs of victims by working with local partners best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for the long-term recovery.

After the Camp Fire: How does a mayor rebuild Paradise when all seems lost?  Mercury News

A New Dividing Line: The Storm Before and After, Weekly Yonder

Lessons from Harvey: Crisis Informatics for Urban Resilience, Institute for Urban Research

Making Rescue Volunteers Part of the Official Response, Route Fifty

Beware of Scams: Protecting Yourself After the Storm The Hartford: Extra Mile

North Carolina Readies for Florence, NC Department of Public Safety

A Go Bag Can Make all the Difference in an Emergency, AARP

How To Build An Ultimate Go Bag For Any Emergency, Skilled Survival

How To Prepare For a Hurricane, AARP

Humanity's greatest existential crisis

Lending a hand to a rural natural disaster

Mobilize your crisis plan for improved emergency response

A toolkit for economic preparedness: Economic Disaster Recovery Project

Engaging small businesses in disaster preparedness

Federal disaster recovery funding

Leadership in times of crisis: A toolkit for economic recovery and resiliency

How to write a disaster recovery plan and define disaster recovery strategies – Paul Kirvan

Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do by Irwin Redlener, was written  by one of the  leading experts on disaster preparedness and offers a compelling narrative about our nation’s inability to properly plan for large-scale disasters and proposes changes that can still be made to assure the safety of its citizens. 

Master Your Disaster: Your Readiness, Response and Recovery Guide by recovery expert Leann Hackman-Carty shows you how to prepare your family, business, and community for a number of devastating scenarios. Gleaned from years of experience with disaster recovery organizations, her specialized insight will help you understand the different levels of disaster preparation and recovery. Master Your Disaster gives you the confidence to act calmly and efficiently when the time comes. Your new foundation in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery will make the chaos more controllable—and survivable.

Noah's Town: Where Animals Reign by Maury Forman, a 28-year veteran in economic development, tells the story of how the descendants of Noah's Ark have integrated themselves in society and have formed a sustainable and growing community. That is until the never expected, once-in-a-lifetime storm causes havoc among residents and tourists. It is up to Maya Morton, a proud and stubborn donkey and the newly appointed economic developer, to rescue her community and guide them to recovery. This fable illustrates that there is nothing more powerful than a community working together to prepare for a disaster before it happens.

Quakeland: On the Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake, by Kathryn Miles, is a journey around the United States in search of the truth about the threat of earthquakes. This book leads to spine-tingling discoveries, unnerving experts, and ultimately the kind of preparations that will actually help guide us through disasters.

FEMA Individual and Households Grant program

These grants are available to people whose homes are located in a federally recognized disaster area, which can include flooding. IHP grants provide swift grants to return your house or apartment to a habitable condition after a disaster. Officially, grants can reach up to $33,000, but the payouts tend to be much lower than that—These grants are primarily meant to cover expenses not covered by flood insurance  However, everyone may apply, regardless of their income level or whether they have flood insurance—if you have flood insurance, you just have to pay back the grant with flood insurance funds once you receive it.

American Association of School Librarians: Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Fund

Administered by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), supports public school libraries in the communities served by Dollar General. The Fund provides grants of up to $20,000 to pre-K-12 public schools whose school library programs have been affected by a natural disaster, fire, or an act of terrorism. Schools that have absorbed a significant number of displaced/evacuee students are also eligible to apply. Grants are intended to help replace or supplement books, media, or library equipment. Eligible applicants must be located within 20 miles of a Dollar General store, distribution center, or corporate office. Grant applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Visit the AASL website to submit an online application.

CDBG Specialty Grants

CDBG Economic Opportunity Grants assist eligible, rural Washington State cities and counties with economic resilience and developments projects including job creation, microenterprise assistance, energy-related, and disaster recovery activities that promote vibrant communities and principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants are provided to Washington state jurisdictions and tribal governments to reduce the effects of natural hazards and mitigate vulnerability to future disaster damage. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send an email to HMA@mil.wa.gov.

Emergency Relief Program

When a disaster/emergency occurs, public works agencies have the responsibility to maintain service and recover in the most expedient way. This can be accomplished through preparation, collaboration and coordinating the response with other public agencies. This section contains information and instructions on procedures for the Emergency Relief program on and off the federal-aid highway system.

Equipment Cache Grants

Washington has seen a dramatic shift in oil transportation recently, both in the types of oil and in the locations where large quantities of oil are transported. These changes affect the risks associated with oil transportation. Many communities don't have response resources for spills of oil or hazardous materials. To help solve this problem, we provide equipment and training grants to emergency responders. These grants help local communities effectively prepare for and respond to spills.

FEMA's Public Assistance Grants

The mission of FEMA's Public Assistance Grant Program is to provide assistance to State, Tribal and local governments and certain types of Private Nonprofit organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the President.Through the Public Assistance Program, FEMA provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations. The Public Assistance Program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. The Federal share of assistance is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost for emergency measures and permanent restoration. The grantee (usually the state) determines how the non-federal share (up to 25 percent) is split with the subgrantees (eligible applicants).

Fire Management Assistance Grant Programs

The federally funded Fire Management Assistance Grant Program (FMAGP) provides financial assistance to state, local, and federally recognized tribal governments for the mitigation, management, and control of fires on publicly or privately owned forests or grasslands.

Flood Plains By Design Grant Program

Flood plains by Design is Ecology's primary grant program for projects that help communities live better in their floodplain. Floodplains by Design is a partnership of local, state, federal, and private organizations focused on coordinating investment in and strengthening the integrated management of floodplain areas through Washington.

Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant

US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) provides funding to Washington state for tribal, state, and local governments to sustain and enhance hazardous materials-related emergency preparedness.  The funding is specifically targeted to increase the effectiveness in safely and efficiently handling hazardous materials accidents and incidents and to encourage a comprehensive approach to emergency training and planning by incorporating the unique challenges of responses to transportation situations.

Emergency Management Performance Grants

The purpose of the EMPG Program is to provide federal grants to states to assist state, local, territorial, and tribal governments in preparing for all hazards. The federal government, through the EMPG Program, provides necessary direction, coordination, and guidance, and provides necessary assistance, as authorized in this title, to support a comprehensive all-hazards emergency preparedness system.

SBA Disaster Loan Program

SBA disaster loans are available even without a Presidential Disaster Declaration and are a great tool to provide low-interest loans to individuals, families, businesses and organizations that suffer physical or economic loss due to a disaster or other disruption.

Disaster Resilience, Recovery and Restoration

Disaster Recovery includes both pre-disaster recovery planning and post-disaster recovery to re-envision and restore a community. Technical assistance and information is available for local governments, special districts, and organizations.

The Resilient Children/ Resilient Communities Toolbox is a dynamic collection of resources developed and curated throughout this initiative for the benefit of those working to make our communities and our children more resilient to disasters. This collection of tools and resources should be shared widely with communities nationwide. The toolbox is organized by different kinds of people or organizations that are looking for tools to assist in their preparedness and planning efforts

Planning for Business Operations After Earthquakes prepared by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation provides suggested steps to take to help protect your people and keep your business systems running in that scenario. This will improve your chances of maintaining revenue as well as operations during the recovery.

Ready is a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement. Ready ask individuals to do four key things: (1) stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) build an emergency supply kit, and (4) get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies.

Engineers Without Borders USA builds a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs. Their highly skilled volunteers work with communities to find appropriate solutions for their infrastructure needs.

Summary of Disaster Programs for Farmers, Prepared for Farm Aid by the Farmers’ Legal Action Group

Student Tools for Emergency Planning, or STEP, is a classroom-based emergency preparedness curriculum for fourth- and fifth-graders in an easy, ready-to-teach format. Students will learn about disasters, emergencies, and hazards, and how to create a disaster supply kit and family emergency communication plan.

The Ready PSA Campaign from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is designed to prepare American families for an effective response to whatever natural or man-made disaster may come next. The campaign also encourages Americans to be informed and build a kit with essential supplies that will last up to 72 hours. PSAs urge every American to visit Ready.gov and learn how to make their emergency plan today.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for individuals, including farmers, who are prevented from working because of a disaster, and is available through your state Employment Security Commission. Learn more in this FEMA Disaster Unemployment Assistance Factsheet.

Rural Advancement Foundation International  (RAFI) developed a series of videos about how to prepare for, deal with, and recover from a disaster. They are most relevant to farmers, but lessons can be applied to others as well. Watch all four videos (including an introduction to the series, “Documenting Disasters,” “Distribution of Labor during a Disaster,” and “Working with Farmers in Disaster Recovery”) here.  Rafi Also provides information on Documenting Disaster Losses.

Crowd Source Rescue is a public-safety grade platform that uses next-generation technology to quickly connect both professional first-responders and vetted volunteers with response, relief, and recovery cases before, during, and immediately after a disaster.

Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency: provides strategies and tactics for community leaders to focus on for economic recovery and preserving jobs, incorporating useful information for convening private and public stakeholders to identify key economic recovery strategies, tips on how to navigate federal resources for response and recovery, and implementation of recovery initiatives.  The toolkit was developed by IEDC with nationwide input and funded in part by grants from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration

The National Disaster Recovery Framework is a guide that enables effective recovery support to disaster-impacted States, Tribes, Territorial and local jurisdictions. It provides a flexible structure that enables disaster recovery managers to operate in a unified and collaborative manner. It also focuses on how best to restore, redevelop and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural and environmental fabric of the community and build a more resilient Nation.

The Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for State Governments enables states to more easily adapt to new post-disaster roles needed to manage new or modified sources of state and federal recovery resources.  Using this guide to develop state capability will not only allow your state or territory to be more effective in recovery, but it will help you better communicate and interface with your federal and local recovery partners

The Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for Local Governments provides tools for public engagement, whole-community recovery, identification of existing recovery resources, and identifying outside partnerships that can help local governments build resilience both pre- and post-disaster.

The Community Recovery Management Toolkit is designed to help communities manage long-term recovery. The toolkit guides you through a 3 step process of Organizing for Recovery, Planning for Recovery, and Managing recovery, while also giving you resources from other recovery support functions.

The Effective Coordination of Recovery Resources for State, Tribal, Territorial and Local Incidents outlines best practices and approaches for states, tribes, and territories to help enable a more effective recovery for local communities after an incident of any size or scale. This guide will better position recovery stakeholders to lead, coordinate and support impacted communities in a more efficient, effective and equitable manner. It is designed to be applied after an incident, either in concert with existing pre-incident recovery plans or to enhance post-incident planning efforts.

The Institute for Sustainable Development focuses on more long-term issues affecting disaster recovery, resilience, and the future. ISD continues to build on its legacy of bringing together business, academic, and other thought leaders to promote partnerships, policies, and projects that promote (a) community resilience and disaster recovery, and (b) long-term community transformation based on applied innovation and sustainable development principles.

Save The Children has been on the ground protecting America’s children in every major disaster since Hurricane Katrina. In the earliest days of disasters, they send emergency responders, deliver essential relief supplies and provide safe spaces for children to learn, play and cope. Their team is also committed to long-term recovery programs that help children return to learning and help schools, communities and children prepare for disaster.

The National Center for Disaster Preparedness works to understand and improve the nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. NCDP focuses on the readiness of governmental and non-governmental systems; the complexities of population recovery; the power of community engagement; and the risks of human vulnerability, with a particular focus on children. NCDP carries out research that helps prepare for, respond to, and recover from large-scale disasters — including hurricanes, earthquakes, nuclear accidents, pandemic flu, and terrorist attacks. NCDP’s approach combines research, policy work, education, and high-level advocacy to ensure that the best thinking — and best practices — become part of our national disaster preparedness and recovery work.

The Clara Lionel Foundation supports and funds groundbreaking education and emergency response programs around the world. They harness the power of philanthropy to help more communities prepare and withstand disasters before they hit.

The International Sustainable Resilience Center works to bring global expertise in disaster resilience, sustainability, and public-private partnerships together to help offset the growing threat of disasters around the world.

Red Cross : After the emergency phase of a response has been completed, the Red Cross helps people recover and address lingering community needs. Working together with community leaders, government and relief agencies, they organize and execute recovery strategies that include:

  • Providing emergency financial assistance in the immediate aftermath of a disaster
  • Distributing financial assistance for households that need extra help in the long-term
  • Providing grants for community-based recovery services

The Farmer’s Legal Action Group provides information on a variety of disaster-related topics, including Disaster Readiness and Recovery: Legal Considerations for Organic Farmers.

Farm Aid connects farmers to direct services, including financial counseling, technical assistance, legal advice and more.

Economic Development Administration: Disaster Recovery Programs have a long history of successfully supporting disaster recovery and resiliency efforts. EDA's role in disaster recovery is to facilitate the timely and effective delivery of Federal economic development assistance to support long-term community economic recovery planning and project implementation, redevelopment and resiliency. 

Direct Relief’s approach to disasters is to support the immediate needs of victims by working with local partners best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for the long-term recovery.