Disaster Related Resources

PLEASE NOTE: This page is no longer being updated on a regular basis.

Resources added after October, 2015:

Home Emergency & Disaster Safety Info https://www.improvenet.com/a/home-emergency-disaster-safety

Resources added October, 2015:

Red Cross Diaster Safety Library http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster-safety-library

Essential Guide to Flood Preparation and Planning http://www.polygongroup.com/resources/flood-preparation-planning/

Resources added April, 2014:


CDC: Psychological First Aid in Radiation Disasters Web Base Course – “http://www2a.cdc.gov/TCEOnline/registration/detailpage.asp?res_id=2490” (Link no longer working.)
This course is a self-study training that increases awareness of the unique psychological consequences of radiological or nuclear events to enable professionals and volunteers to be better prepared to respond. Interviews are conducted with experts involved in the Goiania and Three Mile Island incidents, and video scenarios that allow participants to observe how psychological first aid techniques can be employed in a variety of response settings.

University at Albany School of Public Health: Risk Communication & Psycho-Social Issues in Radiation Events
This is a webcast archive of a presentation given in 2007 providing clear guidance for disaster responders to better manage psychosocial reactions and communicate effectively during a radiological emergency. As of January 31, 2020, this website will no longer be available.

HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response: Integrating Behavioral Health to Strengthen Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities and Coalitions webinar. “http://www.phe.gov/preparedness/planning/hpp/meetings/Pages/default.aspx” (Link no longer working.)


Red Cross: Disaster Preparedness For Seniors By Seniors
Written by a group of older adults who experienced a two-week power outage after a massive ice storm, this helpful booklet was designed to help people prepare for sudden emergencies.


Chandra, A., Kim, J., Pieters, H.C., Tang, J., McCreary, M., Schreiber, M. &Wells, K. (2014). Implementing Psychological First-Aid Training for Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 8, 95-100.

Ramirez, M., Harland, K., Frederick, M., Shepherd, R., Wong, M. & Cavanaugh, J. (2013). Listen protect connect for traumatized school children: a pilot study of psychological first aid. BMC Psychology, 1:26. Doi: 10-1186/2050-7283-1-26

Resources added March, 2014:


03/06/14 Science Daily: Mental health care model reduced symptoms in those most affected by BP oil spill The approach embedded mental health providers and telemedicine resources into primary care clinics in the most affected areas to help communities affected by the oil spill.

North, C.S., & Pfefferbaum, B. (2013). Mental Health Response to Community Disasters: A Systematic Review. Journal of the American Medical Association, 310(5), 507-518. doi: 10.100/jama.2013.107799 Based on a comprehensive review of the literature, the authors conclude that in post-disaster settings, a systematic framework of case identification, triage, and mental health interventions should be integrated into emergency medicine and trauma care responses.

Schnurr, P. (2014). A guide to literature on partial PTSD, PTSD Research Quarterly, 25(1), 1-8. “http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/newsletters/research-quarterly/v25n1.pdf” (Link no longer working.) Reviews the diagnosis, prevalence and course, validity, treatment and makes recommendations for developing diagnostic criteria so that results can be compared across studies. PTSD is described as a dimensional disorder and not a black and white “PTSD” or “no PTSD” condition.

Communications and Technology

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Report on Wireless emergency alerts. “http://www.firstresponder.gov/TechnologyDocuments/Wireless %20Emergency%20Alerts%20Mobile%20Penetration%20Strategy.pdf” (Link no longer working.)
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) provides a national capability to deliver alert messages directly to the public via mobile devices in a specific affected geographic region. The report characterizes WEA coverage across the nation, identifies barriers to adoption, and suggests options for improving coverage. It provides recommendations for each group on how to improve the utilization of WEA nationwide and maximize public awareness and user acceptance.

Humanity Road: “http://humanityroad.org/” (Link no longer working.)
A volunteer-based public charity that harnesses the power of the internet and mobile-based technologies to close the communications gap when disasters strike.

01/14/14 GCN Public Sector Media Group: FEMA crowd sources disaster response
FEMA’s official mobile app (FEMA Disaster Reporter) now has a crowdsourcing feature that allows citizens to report, photograph and explain conditions in their local area. The app then posts all of this information on a map for the public and emergency managers to view. It was first used as part of the response to flooding in Colorado last September.

01/21/14 Huffington Post: Why we should turn to technology when disaster strikes Technology is changing the way we respond when disaster strikes. How can we leverage the 2.4 billion internet users to help provide emergency response?

SAMHSA: Behavioral health disaster response mobile app. “http://store.samhsa.gov/product/PEP13-DKAPP-1” (Link no longer works.)
First responders’ immediate access to field resources for aiding disaster survivors. It has the ability to search for and map behavioral health service providers in the impacted area, review emergency preparedness materials and send resources to colleagues.

Other Web Resources

National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Resources for parents and caregivers
Parents and caregivers play an important role in the lives of children. This site has resources to help after traumatic events.

Ready.gov: America’s Preparathon

A federal government plan to get Americans to take action in preparing for disaster. The first “National Day of Action” is scheduled for April 30, 2014 and will focus on preparing for four specific hazards: tornadoes, wildfires, floods and hurricanes. The goal is to increase the number of individuals who understand which disasters could happen in their community, know what to do to be safe and mitigate damage, take action to increase their preparedness and participate in community resilience planning.

News Articles

02/26/14 SFGate.com: Fukushima radiation could reach Pacific coast by April

Coastal water monitoring teams collecting samples for analysis. Experts hope to allay fears spread via the Internet about “allegedly high levels” of radiation.

02/18/14 Winnipeg Free Press: U of M’s disaster research institute ends after 24 years
The only separate organization of its kind in Canada has been quietly disbanded after 24 years of research into flooding, forest fires and other natural disasters in Manitoba and internationally.

02/14/14 NBC News: Do school shooting drills go too far? Experts weight in
More school districts around the nation are turning to active shooter drills to prepare teachers and law enforcement for the worst-case scenario – and it’s giving some child psychologists pause.

02/04/14 The Taos News: Talking to children about traumatic news events. “http://www.taosnews.com/lifestyle/article_beeb7a3a-89f5-11e3-b27e-001a4bcf887a.html” (Link no longer working.)
Parents have an opportunity to talk with and listen to their children in the aftermath of traumatic events.

01/29/14 CTV News Toronto: Emergency workers twice as likely to suffer from PTSD
There is still stigma attached with emergency workers seeking mental health help. Toronto emergency services is trying to change that.


03/06/14 Canadian Red Cross Talks Blog: Progress after the Alberta floods

The Alberta floods triggered the largest domestic disaster response the Canadian Red Cross has undertaken in its 104-year history, and it plans to continue working with affected people and communities for the long term.

01/14/14 VEOCI: Sixty-one years of disasters & disaster declarations – some basics.
An overview of disaster declarations over the years.

Resources added January, 2014:

Coping With Residential Fires


Special Concerns of Older Adults Following a Disaster

PDF Document – Special Concernsof Older Adults Following a Disaster

Psychosocial Issues for Older Adults in Disasters

“http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA11-DISASTER/SMA11-DISASTER-03.pdf” (Link no longer working.)

Canadian Red Cross – After an Emergency or Disaster



APA’s Recovering Emotionally from Disaster:


Resources added June, 2013:

Download Compilation of APA/DRN Resources (12 page PDF document).

The compilation is a 12 page PDF document from the American Psychological Association – Disaster Response Network with sections on:

• Preparedness
• Response
• Culture
• Research
• Training
• Self-care
• Communication/Technology
• Flood Specific Resources
• Tornado Specific Resources
• Hurricane Specific Resources
• Tsunami Specific Resources
• Earthquake Specific Resources
• 9/11 and Terrorism Specific Resources
• H1N1 (Swine Flu) and Pandemic Influenza Resources
• Shootings Resources
• Oil Spill Resources
• Nuclear Radiation Resources

Flood Related Resources – Links provided by American Psychological Association – Disaster Response Network

Manage Flood-Related Distress by Building Resilience (APA):

Outlines steps one can take to reduce stressful emotions in the midst of flood-related chaos by strengthening one’s resilience.


Strengthening Your Emotional Well-Being Ahead of the Flood (APA)

Tips about simple and effective ways to manage flood-related fears and anxiety.

“http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/flood-preparation.aspx” (Link no longer working.)

Building Your Resilience (APA)

Pointers that may be helpful in developing a resilience building strategy.

“http://www.apapracticecentral.org/outreach/building-resilience.aspx” (Link no longer working.)

Emergency Preparedness and Response: Floods (CDC)

Most up to date information regarding natural disasters and severe weather, preparation, key facts, and recommendations.


Recovering Emotionally (Red Cross)

Helpful general resources. Also contains links to other guides for emotional well-being and helping children cope