Emergency Preparedness Essentials


Identifying Local Partners

The first step to preparing your community for a potential hazard or disaster is to indentify location partners and resources that can help provide emergency preparedness solutions. Get started by checking out organizations and groups that are involved with your city or local community. There may be an active community volunteer or emergency preparedness group that you can join. You can find many local emegency preparedness resources on this website or you can contact one of the organizations listed below.
  • A great place to look for local community partners when it comes to emergency preparedness is provides access to Citizen Corps Councils whose mission is to help communities become safer, stronger, and more prepared to effectively respond to all kinds of natural and manmade disasters.

  • Another great resource is a non-profit neighborhood watch organization designed to help citizens become the local eyes and ears of law enforcement in their local communities. While their primary mission revolves around law enforcement, joining will also provide you the opportunity for you to meet with other safety and preparedness minded citizens in your community.

  • On the website you'll also find the community Emergency Response Teams CERT program. CERT is a government sponsored program designed to educate people about disaster preparedness for hazards of all kinds. The program trains community members in basic disaster response skills, including light search and rescue, fire safety, disaster medical operations, and team organization. Once you become a CERT member you'll have the opportunity to help others in your community (both in neighborhoods and workplaces) learn basic emergency preparedness skills they'll need in case of a disaster. CERT members are encouraged to take an active role in supporting emergency preparedness projects in their community.

  • offers an excellent community service opportunity for those interested in volunteering for their local fire or EMS department. Fire Corps volunteers are responsible for assisting fire and EMS personnel in a non-emergency role. Volunteer service activities may include distributing disaster preparedness materials, teaching fire safety to children and other members of the community, executing home safety checks, and much more.

  • If law enforcement is your area of interest when it comes to serving your community, then we highly recommend looking into the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program. VIPS volunteers participate in a wide variety of law enforcement activities designed to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from crime, threats of terrorism, and disaster.

  • For those who have a special interest in medicine and public health there's the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). The MRC provides various volunteer opportunities for citizens interested in medicine, public health, personal safety, logistics, communications and a number of other areas. As an MRC volunteer you'll help those within your community (family, friends and neighbors) become safe and healthy. During times of disaster and emergency, MRC volunteers may be called on to put their skills to work helping some of the most vulnerable members of their community.

  • Everyone knows about the American Read Cross. But what a lot of people don't know is that the American Red Cross offers a special volunteer program for those interested in community emergency preparedness. The American Red Cross "Disaster Preparedness Presenter" program is designed to train volunteers to help their neighbors and their community prepare for disasters by distributing information and teaching citizens how to make disaster kits and plans. To learn more about this programs contact your local American Red Cross chapter. You can find a list of all American Red Cross chapters by selecting your state from the community preparedness resources page on this site.

  • The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is a nonprofit, membership based volunteer organization. VOAD volunteers assist those affected by disaster once it has occured. VOAD volunteers are primarily responsible for disaster response.

  • To find additional emergency preparedness partners and volunteer opportunities within you community you should contact your local police department, fire department, paramedics, or emergency management agency to learn how you can assist in preparing your community to effectively respond to and recover from disaster.
Are You Prepared?
Be informed about disasters
Make an emergency survival plan
Build a survival kit
Community and state resources
Emergency Resources by State
Be Informed

Disaster Preparedness
Accidental Hazards
Terrorist Hazards
Disaster Protection
Disaster Recovery
Make A Plan

Plan for Risks
Plan for Family
Develop a Custom Plan
Indian Country
Location Plans
School Emergency Plan
Workplace Plan
Build A Kit

Disaster Supplies Kit
Maintain Your kit
Kit Locations
Water Supply
Food Supply
Supplies Checklist


Plan Escape Routes
Utility Shut-off
Vital Records
Test Safety Skills
Home Storage

Program Management
Business Planning
Testing and Exercises
Program Improvement