Updated and organized 2-12-23
Sites geared to helping you prepare for poisoning, pandemics, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, flood and flash floods, fires, and disasters and emergencies generally. Let me know in comments of additional useful websites and online information. See also Weather and weather-related events (Search engines, Writers and Editors)
PREPARING FOR DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES, GENERALLY
• A preparation & safety awareness guide for travellers (Postcard Travel)
• Disaster Distress Helpline (SAMHSA, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call or text 1-800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
• How to Pack an Emergency Kit for Any Disaster (Kenneth R. Rosen, NY Times, 7-3-17) The Life Straw "is Mr. Smyth’s choice for purification straws you can drink water through." If you have a container to drink from, iodine water purification tablets
are a simpler, nearly weightless alternative."
• Natural Disasters and Severe Weather (CDC) Separate pages on natural disasters and severe weather; earthquakes; extreme heat; floods; hurricanes; landslides and mudslides; lightning; tornadoes; tsunamis; volcanoes; wildfires; winter weather; disaster resources; disaster evacuation centers.
• Resources for Victims and Survivors of Crime and Crisis (National Organization for Victim Assistance, or NOVA)
• Disaster Distress Helpline (SAMHSA)
• SafeStars Resources (sites on child safety, campus safety, first aid and CPR, fire protection, earthquake readiness, flood readiness, hurricane readiness, and so on--not necessarily just for kids)
• A to Z Guide to Security, Safety and Prevention (Angie's List)
• Can Climate Change Kill the Internet? (My Move) During major weather events, the internet could be taken down--for prolonged periods. This piece addresses what to do if internet stops working and how to create an emergency communication plan for your family in case phones and internet go down during a storm.
• Disaster Preparedness for Livestock
• Disaster Preparedness for Pets (ASPCA)
• Older adults have special preparation needs when disaster strikes (Liz Seegert, Covering Health, AHCJ, 9-5-19) Many adults over 50 haven’t taken key steps to protect their health and well-being in case of severe weather, long-term power outages or other situations. Less than half have signed up for emergency warning systems offered by their community, which can give crucial information in case of storms, natural disasters, lockdowns, evacuation orders, public health emergencies and more. Fewer than a third have put together an emergency kit with essential supplies and medicines to get them through an emergency at home or take with them in an evacuation. And only a quarter of those who rely on electrical power to run health-related equipment have a backup power supply. A must read for elders and their families.
• Go Kits (emergency survival kits) can be ordered online.
• How to Prepare for a Winter Storm (Angie's List)
• Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to minimize the risk of getting and spreading it
• COVID-19: What you need to know (Comfortdying.com) A long section of links to specific information (e.g., Reliable sources of information, vaccinations, vaccination hesitancy, masks, what science has learned, long haulers, where things went right, where things went wrong, what to do or not do (and how not to do it), etc.
• Covid Pandemic: The Big Picture
• Poison. Worried you ingested something deadly? This virtual poison control website can be a lifesaving tool (Erin Blakemore, WaP, 10-5-19): Poisoned? Get expert help online @ webPoisonControl (the online home of a project supported by 18 accredited poison control centers nationwide and operated under the auspices of the National Capital Poison Center in Washington). Poison Control tells you what to do if you swallow, splash, or get stung by something that might be harmful. Don't guess! Get accurate answers prepared by poison control experts. See subsections on poison and prevention info (by substance, by age, by season, etc.; Pill identifier; and the Poison Post (a quarterly newsletter/blog you can subscribe to. See current and previous posts.
If the exposure took place in a child under 6 months old, a pregnant woman or someone with serious medical problems, call poison control at 800-222-1222.
HURRICANES AND TORNADOES
• Hurricane Basics (Ready.gov, which has similar sites for other types of disaster, including active shooters, drought, explosions, landslides, pandemic, and so on)
• Tornadoes and Severe Storms (SAMHSA) Tornadoes are outgrowths of powerful thunderstorms that appear as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds. They extend from a thunderstorm to the ground with violent winds that average 30 miles per hour. Also, they can vary in speed dramatically from being stationary to 70 miles per hour.
• Hurricanes and Tropical Storms (SAMHSA) Hurricanes are types of tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and eastern Pacific Ocean
• Hurricane Safety Checklists (National Hurricane Survival Initiative)
• When Hurricane Warnings Are Lost in Translation (Terena Bell, The Atlantic, 9-8-17) Organizations are hitting roadblocks in getting information out to people in Florida who don't speak English.
• Hurricanes and Other Tropical Storms (CDC, Natural Disasters and Severe Weather.
• Tornado Readiness: Protection from Extreme Wind (National Wind Institute)
• Storm Spotting for Children: At-Home Meteorology (Alejandra Roca, Redfin, 12-20-17)
• Mayfield, Before and After (Bobbie Ann Mason, New Yorker, 12-26-21) What was left of a Kentucky town after the tornado?
• Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country: Your Handbook for the San Francisco Bay Region (U.S. Geological Survey and many partners)
• Earthquake Proof Your Home: How to Prepare Your Home and Property for an Earthquake (InstallItDirect)
• The Complete Guide To Preventing and Surviving Avalanches (Slope Hound, 6-11-19)
FLOODS AND FLASH FLOODS
• Floods and flash floods (Disaster Center, which has material on other kinds of disaster also).
• Floods (SAMHSA)
• Be Prepared for a Flood (pdf, FEMA) See also Preparadness and Protective Actions (also FEMA)
• How to View and Obtain Flood Maps
• Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover Floods
• National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
• Flood Insurance Facts
• How to Start Your Flood Claim Whether your home experienced inches of flood water or a few feet, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can help you recover. If you're an NFIP policyholder, follow the steps below to begin filing your flood claim.
• Flood Safety Social Media Toolkit (FEMA)
• New Jersey’s Stunning Storm Toll Includes Many Who Drowned in Cars (Tracey Tully, Kevin Armstrong and Sean Piccoli, ny tIMES, 9-3-21) Hurricane Ida killed at least 25 people in New Jersey — more fatalities than in any other state. "At least a third of the fatalities in New Jersey were people who drowned after being trapped in vehicles in a densely packed state known for its car culture, its tangle of highways, suburban commuter towns and limited public transportation....Screeching alerts had sounded repeatedly on cellphones late Wednesday, warning people to stay inside, but no travel bans were put in place [in two states]...On Friday, in an acknowledgment of the growing risk of flash flooding as climate change unleashes increasingly intense storms, New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced that the city would increase its use of evacuation orders and travel bans....Mr. Murphy was still warning people to remain off the roads, especially near waterways that had not yet crested....In South Plainfield, N.J., a 31-year-old man, Danush Reddy, lost his footing as he was walking alongside a flooded roadway and was swept into a 36-inch-wide sewer pipe, borough officials said. His body was found miles away....a second man who had been sucked into the same pipe earlier Wednesday but had managed to survive by clinging to debris in the fast-moving current..." Stay put in a safe place!
• Flood safety tips (CDC)
• Be ready! (CDC infographic) What to do and not do before, during, and after a flood.
• Fire Safety (KidsHealth)
• Home Fire Escape Plan (Hartford) RESOURCES FOR JOURNALISTS
Helpful information is also available in these sections for journalists on the website Writers and Editors:
• Covering disaster
• Covering public and private tragedy and trauma
• Weather and weather-related events (Search engines, Writers and Editors site) Sections on general weather, avalanches, earthquakes, hurricanes and typhoons, tornadoes, volcanoes, and historical weather info.
• How prepared are you for disaster?
This blog post appeared first as part of Cool science sites (Pat McNees site)
• Not a natural disaster, but in memory of a major human disaster: Remembering (Or Not Remembering) 9/11 (Listen to radio special on 1a)
If you know of other helpful resources, please comment below.