Reference Materials: Preparedness


  • American Red Cross
  • American National Standards Institute's Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP). The American National Standards Institute’s Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP) has as its mission to identify needs and facilitate the development and enhancement of homeland security standards, serve as the private/public sector partnership for standards issues, support the work of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Office of Standards, provide a forum for information sharing on homeland security standards and conformity assessment issues, and facilitate dialogue and networking on key issues for homeland security stakeholders.
    • Final Workshop Report: "Achieving Preparedness Through Standards Implementation: Challenges and Opportunities for Small Business" (August 2011)
  • Association of State and Territorial Heath Officials
  • Canada: Catastrophic Earthquake Preparedness. Auditor General Russ Jones’ latest report, Catastrophic Earthquake Preparedness, which was released on Mar. 25, 2014, states that British Columbians are at significant risk if a catastrophic earthquake were to occur today. The audit found that Emergency Management BC (EMBC), the organization tasked with preparing government’s response to such an event, is not adequately prepared for a catastrophic earthquake. The audit also found that neither the Province nor EMBC has made preparing for one a priority. Download press release and report.
  • Canada: Research Project Measuring Municipalities’ of Ontario Level of Emergency Logistics Preparedness, by Jennifer Robitaille,
    President, DOCK24 Inc. Download report.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Radiation Emergency Resources. In the event of a radiation emergency, whether intentional or accidental, emergency managers can play an important role in making certain the public receives timely and accurate information that will be helpful in saving lives. There are CDC resources available online that focus on the key information that people should know: protection in a radiation emergency; types of radiation emergencies; health effects of radiation; and medical treatments. CDC tools for professionals include: FAQ sheets, a media toolkit, communication tools, training, and messaging.
  • Children and Disaster Resources. This resources page, created and maintained by the IAEM Children and Disaster Caucus is now divided into five sections: Resources for EM Practitioners; Children and Disasters; Disasters and Schools; Disasters and Child Care; and Resources for Children and Families.
  • Children’s Disaster Book List. A living document prepared and maintained by the IAEM Children and Disaster Caucus that provides a quick look into (e.g. list) what is available to enable disaster preparedness conversations with young children and youth.
  • Citizen Corps: Are You Ready? A Guide to Citizen Preparedness. The guide is a 100-page publication that provides a step-by-step outline on preparing a disaster supply kit, emergency planning for people with disabilities, evacuation, and planning for family pets.
  • Department of Health & Human Services: National Health Security Strategy.
  • Dept. of Homeland Security. Official Web site of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
  • Hazus 3.2. Free download of new version of Hazus software now available. (31 Oct 2016)
  • DHS Tribal Resources Guide. DHS’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs developed this guide to highlight some of the DHS resources available to tribal nations to keep our nations safe and secure. This document summarizes and provides links to training, publications, guidance, alerts, newsletters, programs, and services available from across the Department to federally-recognized tribal nations. This document is not exhaustive and will be maintained as a living document.
  • DHS Private Sector Resources Catalog. The Private Sector Resources Catalog, published by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, facilitates your organization's access to the resources you need to participate in the homeland security enterprise and help keep our country secure. The first to be targeted specifically towards private sector partners and encompassing the entire Department, this document collects the training, publications, guidance, alerts, newsletters, programs, and services available to the private sector across the Department. Recognizing the breadth and diversity of the available resources as well as the Department's continually evolving work, this catalog will be updated regularly to publicize new resources and increase private sector awareness.
  • Disaster Help Portal. The portal is part of the Disaster Management e-gov initiative. It is intended to reach five overlapping audiences: (1) Local / State / Tribal Governments, (2) individual Citizens, (3) private sector businesses, (4) non-Government organizations, and (5) Federal agencies. The intergovernmental audience is the primary focus at present, and that audience is seen as composed of: political and civil service leadership, emergency managers, homeland security advisors, and first responders (including fire and law enforcement, emergency medical services, etc.).
  • DHS Fact Sheet on Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Program. Department of Homeland Security regulates security at high-risk chemical facilities through the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. Facilities that manufacture, use, store, or distribute certain chemicals may be required to complete an online questionnaire, which the Department uses to determine the facility’s level of risk. Don’t let chemicals in your community be the target of a terrorist attack – learn more about the CFATS program at To anonymously report a non-emergency concern about a facility, call the CFATS Chemical Facility Security Tip Line: 877-394-4347 (877-FYI 4 DHS). Call 911 or contact your local FBI field office instead if this is a security emergency or terrorist incident.’
  • Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). EMAP is a voluntary accreditation process for state and local programs responsible for coordinating preparedness for and response to disasters, whether natural or human-caused.
  • Emergency Management Magazine Article: "What It's Like to Run a One-Person Department," by Brian Heaton. Posted here.
  • Environmental Protection Agency, Water Security Division, 9-minutes video: Don’t Get Soaked: Why It’s Important to Invest in Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Mitigation Activities at Your Utility (12 Mar 2014). The purpose of the video is to educate decision makers at drinking water and wastewater utilities such as managers, board members, elected and appointed officials on the importance of investing in preparedness, prevention and mitigation activities at the utility.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA is tasked with responding to, planning for, recovering from and mitigating against disasters.
  • FEMA El Niño resources web page (17 Nov 2015) 
  • FEMA's "Preparing for Disaster" Brochure. English: PDFTXT Spanish: PDF | TXT
  • FEMA Higher Education Project. One goal of FEMA is to encourage and support the dissemination of hazard, disaster, and emergency management-related information in colleges and universities across the United States. In support of this effort, the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland, has undertaken several projects with the aim of promoting college-based emergency management education for future emergency managers and other interested personnel. For a listing of colleges and universities offering emergency management courses, certificates or degree programs, go to The College List.
  • FEMA Healthcare Public Threat Briefing.
  • FEMA Prep Talks. PrepTalks are a partnership between FEMA, the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), the National Emergency Management Association, the National Homeland Security Consortium, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. PrepTalks are given by subject-matter experts and thought leaders to spread new ideas, spark conversation, and promote innovative leadership for the issues confronting emergency managers now and over the next 20 years. Each PrepTalk release includes videos of the presentations and the question-and-answer (Q&A) sessions, a discussion guide to support local action, and additional resources. PrepTalks Discussion Guides are companion documents to the PrepTalk videos. When used together, these guides help translate the research and expertise showcased in each presentation into action steps to improve disaster preparedness.
  • FEMA's RASPLOT 3.0 software program, released Aug. 25, 2015, is designed to allow users to create flood profiles and floodway data tables.
  • FCC's PSHSB Clearinghouse. This Clearinghouse was established for the collection, evaluation and dissemination of public safety communications information.
  • Fire Science Online's Emergency Management Careers: A Guide to Training Options and Career Programs.
  • Foundation for Higher Education Accreditation. The Foundation for Higher Education Accreditation (FFHEA) facilitates and supports the efforts of students, researchers, academicians, administrators and practitioners to develop standards that will strengthen the disaster/emergency management profession. The organization is dedicated to excellence in teaching; research and public outreach in disciplines contributing to the disaster phases and the security of the homeland; and the promotion of collaborative opportunities between the public, private and academic communities. Its mission is to serve the emergency management educational communities by developing post-secondary coursework and programs, including those for use in associate, baccalaureate and graduate degree programs.
  • GAO Reports and Testimonies Related to Disaster Preparedness, Response and Reconstruction. A bibliography of GAO products related to disaster preparedness, response and reconstruction.




  • File:
    Title: Planning Considerations: Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks (DHS/FEMA, July 2018)
    Summary: This guide supports planning for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks (CCTAs) and provides a summary of their unique characteristics. The document builds on Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101: Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans, and CPG 201: Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) Guide by providing planning considerations specific to CCTAs, which are relevant both to developing a plan and to completing a THIRA.

  • File:
    Title: "Engaging Faith-based and Community Organizations: Planning Considerations for Emergency Managers," guide released by FEMA on June 14, 2018.
    Summary: By identifying, engaging, and building partnerships with these groups, particularly those in racially, ethnically, economically, and religiously diverse communities, emergency managers can provide training and technical assistance to strengthen their skills, connect them with existing partners, and then integrate them into emergency management plans and exercises before an event occurs, thus increasing response and recovery capability.


  • File:
    Title: "Recommendations on Selection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment and Decontamination Products for First Responders Against Exposure Hazards to Synthetic Opioids, Including Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogues" (IAB, August 2017)
    Summary: This document establishes guidance for personal protective equipment selection and use, decontamination, detection, and medical countermeasures for first responders who may be exposed to opioids in the course of their occupational activities.

  • File: Paper-02Aug2017.pdf
    Title: “White Paper for the Integrated Public Safety Response to the Active Shooter/Active Assailant” (North Carolina Active Assailant/Mass Violence Work Group, 2017).
    Summary: This white paper is the culmination of a four-year effort with a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional, multi-discipline group representing more than 50 local, state and federal public safety agencies. A rapid, safe, and successful response to active shooter/active assailant incidents requires planning, training, and preparation. The white paper, based on nationally recognized and best recommendations, includes an emergency management section.

  • File:
    Title: The Real-Time and Open Source Analysis (ROSA) Resource Guide was released on July 10, 2017. This document was developed by the National Network of Fusion Centers, in partnership with the ODNI Office of Partner Engagement-Information Sharing Environment (PE-ISE), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the associations represented on the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC).
    Summary: The Guide was designed to assist law enforcement agencies and fusion centers in understanding the lawful and appropriate use of open source information, focusing on social media. It is designed to help law enforcement agencies and analytic personnel understand the potential tools and resources available to support law enforcement operational and analytic activities, while ensuring that related privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties concerns are addressed.

  • File:
    Title: The EMS Infectious Disease Playbook (ASPR/TRACIE, June 2017)
    Summary: This resource was developed to address occupational exposure to a potentially infectious patient. ASPR/TRACIE incorporated existing official guidance and best practice information into this one-stop resource that can guide the transport of patients known or suspected of having an infectious disease.

  • File:
    Title: How to Protect your Networks from Ransomware (May 15, 2017).
    Summary: This is a U.S. federal government interagency technical guidance document aimed at chief information officers and chief information security officers at critical infrastructure entities, including small, medium, and large organizations.

  • File:
    Title: Indicators Associated with WannaCry Ransomware (May 15, 2017).
    Summary: This document is a joint product of DHS and the FBI. In furtherance of public-private partnerships, the FBI routinely advises private industry of various cyber threat indicators observed during the course of our investigations. This data is provided in order to help cyber security professionals and system administrators guard against the persistent malicious actions of cyber criminals.

  • File:
    Title: "The Federal Plain Language Guidelines," published by the the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN), are standards that the U.S. federal government uses to improve the way it provides information to the public.
    Summary: The Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP) is committed to this purpose and the audience that serves, using the guidelines to help standardize the language and style of all content on the website. DAIP’s goal is to maintain as close to an eighth grade reading level as possible on each page and the website as a whole. This reading level is the average for most Americans and is one that almost anyone can understand.

  • File:
    Title: Post-Disaster Reunification Fact Sheet (REMS Tactical Assistance Center, 2017)
    Summary: Included are methods to address reunification in school emergency management planning and links to key reunification resources.

  • File:
    Title: Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for State Governments (DHS/FEMA, Jan. 23, 2017)
    Summary: This guide was designed to help states and territories prepare for recovery by developing pre-disaster recovery plans that follow a process to engage members of the whole community, develop recovery capabilities across state government and nongovernmental partners, and ultimately create an organizational framework for comprehensive state recovery efforts.

  • File:
    Title: A Proposed Model for Bioterrorism Response: Initial Operations and Characterization (position paper, IAB, Jan 2017)
    Summary: The paper proposes a model for a biological threat response capability that brings together public safety jurisdictions, federal resources, processes, standards, and doctrine to support the creation of a network of locally owned and operated validated bioterrorism response teams.

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