What’s on This Page
- Emergency Assistance Request Form
- Be Ready for Disasters and Emergencies with Ready.gov
- Home Fire Safety
- Natural Disasters
- Prepare for an Evacuation
- Radiation Exposure and Emergencies
- Severe Weather Warnings
Be Ready for Disasters and Emergencies with Ready.gov
Emergencies and natural disasters can cause anything from mild to devastating damage.
Ready.gov offers information on how to prepare and respond to a natural disaster or emergency, including:
- Build a disaster supplies kit
- Make a family emergency plan
- Make a pet emergency plan
- Prepare your business for emergencies
Home Fire Safety
On average, every three hours, someone in the United States dies from a fire. Learn ways to prevent a fire in your home and teach everyone in your family what to do if your home is on fire.
High Risk Factors
- Cooking causes the most fires, while smoking leads to the most deaths.
- Young children and the elderly are in the most danger from fire deaths.
- Night is the deadliest time for fires. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to alert you to problems while you sleep.
- Alcohol use contributes to 40% of fire deaths because of accidents, heavier sleeping, and bad judgment.
Prevent Home Fires
Get the basics from Ready.gov on preventing fires in your home, and learn about specific fire hazards:
- Learn 10 ways to prevent kitchen fires.
- Get tips for safe barbecuing.
- Find out how to create a fire-safe Thanksgiving.
Heating and Other Dangers
- Learn how to safely maintain wood stoves, space heaters, and fireplaces.
- Find out how to stay safe with portable generators (PDF, Download Adobe Reader).
- Enjoy using candles safely.
- Keep your Christmas tree safe from fires.
- Know what to do in case of a wildfire.
Survive a Fire in Your Home
- Working smoke alarms cut your chance of dying in a home fire in half. Find out how tocorrectly use smoke alarms.
- Make an escape plan and practice it. During a fire, you might not be able to see or breathe, which means you’ll need a plan you can follow quickly and with your eyes closed.
- Smoke and other toxic gases kill far more often than heat. These gases disorient before they kill, so get out fast.
- Learn more about what to do after a fire. (PDF, Download Adobe Reader)
Natural disasters are sudden environmental events that have catastrophic consequences, such as loss of life and property damage, including hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and forest fires.
Learn how to recognize hazards and what to do to protect yourself and your family at Ready.gov’s Natural Disasters website.
Visit the following links for additional information:
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Natural Disasters – learn ways to reduce natural disaster risks to health and the environment.
- International Travel: Natural Disasters – information for U.S. citizens who are abroad.
- Natural Disasters and Severe Weather – emergency preparedness and response information, including health and safety concerns.
- FirstNet – a nationwide public safety broadband network for local, state, regional, tribal and federal first responders to emergencies and other public safety personnel, including firefighters and paramedics.
Consider using the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s free mobile application, Weather the Storm. FEMA’s app offers weather alerts, shelter locater, safety tips and information on applying for federal assistance after a disaster. The weather alerts do not replace Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) function available on many new smartphones.
A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new virus, which the human population has little to no immunity against, emerges and spreads easily from person-to-person worldwide. While such a situation rarely happens, planning for pandemic influenza can help lessen its impact.
- Pandemic Awareness – resources to help plan for the next pandemic, as well as information on the current situation.
- Ready.gov: Pandemic – information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources – facts about the CDC’s pandemic preparedness efforts.
- Occupational Safety and Health Topics – guidance on preparing workplaces for a pandemic.
Prepare for an Evacuation
Sometimes communities or individuals must leave their homes because of dangerous weather, fire, chemical accidents, or other emergency situations. Local officials may decide that hazards are serious enough to require evacuations.
- Plan how you will get away, and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency. Ask about evacuation plans at the places where you spend time, including work, school, or other places you frequent.
- Be on the alert for evacuation information from local governments through television, radio, or Internet news, as well as through text messages, telephone calls, or warning sirens.
- Learn how people with particular concerns can prepare for an evacuation:
Radiation Exposure and Emergencies
Radioactive contamination and radiation exposure can occur if radioactive materials are released into the environment as the result of an accident, an event in nature, or an act of terrorism. Such a release could expose people and contaminate their surroundings and personal property.
- Radioactive Contamination and Radiation Exposure
- Radiation Exposure during Military Service
- Calculate Your Radiation Dose
For more information, visit the following links:
Severe Weather Warnings
View the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) severe weather forecasts, warnings, and updates on various forms of hazardous weather:
- Current Severe Weather Reports for the 48 Contiguous States
- Current Advisories for Hawaii and its Surrounding Waters
- Current Advisories for Alaska and its Surrounding Waters
General information on preparing for severe weather is also available.
Another option for weather alerts, consider the FEMA mobile application, Weather the Storm. The app can give you alerts from the National Weather Service, plus other information such as safety reminders, locate open shelters and share your disaster photos with first responders. The FEMA app does not replace Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) function available on many new smartphones.
Do you need help?
Ask us any question about the U.S. government for free. We’ll get you the answer, or we’ll tell you where to find it.