Before A Disaster

Now is the time to focus on the disaster plan. When no natural disasters are looming, local and state governments and other stakeholders should incorporate disaster planning as an ongoing, scheduled process. Once a natural disaster is imminent, the disaster plan is activated.

Disaster Planning

Planning for a natural disaster is a constant process. Although no disaster plan is ever perfect, localities that regularly review and update policies and procedures, staffing and stakeholders roles, and funding options are better able to manage the response and recovery effort when a disaster does strike.

  • 1
    Introduction to FEMA

    The Stafford Act authorizes FEMA to provide disaster assistance funding, but it is a challenge for localities to understand all requirements

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  • 2
    Introduction to HUD’s CDBG-DR Program

    An introduction to HUD's CDBG-DR program.

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  • 4
    Vendor Contracts

    Having the services of qualified professionals during the disaster process is a key component to the success of responding to a disaster.

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  • 5
    Volunteer Engagement

    Volunteers play a critical role in a disaster recovery effort. However, volunteers are either under-utilized or can do more harm than good.

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  • 6
    Funding Options

    Opportunities for grant funding that should be identified during disaster planning.

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  • 7
    Policy Review

    Current disaster policies should be reviewed annually to ensure they comply with changing state and federal laws and regulations.

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  • 8
    Staffing Evaluation

    Evaluating internal and external staffing needs is a crucial part of natural disaster planning.

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  • 9
    Recovery Strategy

    The first step in determining a recovery strategy is identifying post-recovery goals.

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Plan Activation

Activation of the disaster plan occurs as soon as the locality knows about the disaster. In many cases, such as hurricanes, severe storms and floods, localities may have advance notice of several hours up to a few days. In others, such as tornados and earthquakes, little or no advance warning is available.

  • 1
    Communication Coordination Program

    The communication and coordination program is the strategy used to activate and implement a community's disaster plan.

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  • 2
    Emergency Management Services

    In a natural disaster, the emergency operations center (EOC) manages and directs incident command and all emergency management resources.

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  • 3
    Utility Companies

    Utility companies typically have their own emergency management plans, so they play an important role in a community's plan activation.

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  • 4
    Local Police & Fire

    Local police and fire departments play an important role in making sure the action plan is in place.

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  • 5
    Staffing

    The disaster planning process should include clear identification of when staff are needed.

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  • 6
    State Administration Interface

    In a disaster, localities communicate their needs to the state through the state administration interface.

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