Disaster Preparedness & Recovery

Washington Business Preparedness Survey

A survey to assess the readiness of state businesses to help local emergency preparedness planners understand local business needs and abilities to prepare for and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

When Trouble Strikes: A Crisis Planner

A business crisis isn’t a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Whether it’s a robbery, a leaking room, the death of the owner or the wrath of Mother Nature, a disaster can strike at any time. This planner will help you identify possible crises affecting your business and help you either minimize their impact or avoid them crisis altogether. An essential planner for any small business.


Provides resources and best practice information for public and private stakeholders who are seeking to rebuild their local economies after a disaster as well as assisting the business community in preparing for a disaster. It is a one-stop shop for disaster preparedness, post-disaster economic recovery, and disaster resiliency resources, tools, event announcements as well as opportunities to connect with peers through social media groups. The following is a list of reports and guides that will assist you in your search.

International Sustainable Resilience Center

Works to bring global expertise in disaster resilience, sustainability, and public-private partnerships together to help offset the growing threat of disasters around the world.

Protect Food and Water During Hurricanes and Other Storms

The US Food and Drug Administration provides steps you can take to preserve your food and water during storms.

Disaster Assistance Improvement Program

DAIP’s mission is to provide disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners.

new report from International City/County Management Association (ICMA) documents leadership challenges and lessons learned after natural disasters and crises such as mass shootings and police shootings. “Before, After, and During a Crisis” stresses the importance of community engagement in building resilience. Drawing from numerous case studies of city managers’ responses to crisis events, the report identifies best practices and key takeaways

Moving Forward After a Disaster, prepared by the Red Cross provides information for critical resources, helpful checklists, and phone numbers that may assist you in your recovery. 

Embracing the New Economic Realities: After the Wildfires: This report identifies the recent economic assessment of the Wood Buffalo business environment in Alberta Canada. This report shines a spotlight on the state of the overall business sector within the region. It reflects the voice of multi-tiered stakeholder groups and their views of what’s working, what needs improvement and, ultimately, recommendations for ways in which businesses, industry (i.e. the Oil & Gas sector) and the community can work collaboratively towards success. 

Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation is designed to help communities improve their resiliency and provides how-to guidance for communities to start their mitigation planning and disaster-recovery planning processes. The report was produced by the American Planning Association (APA) through a cooperative agreement from FEMA.

Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2017: Data to Drive Decisions (12 pages, PDF), found that although total grant dollars awarded for disasters fell 30 percent from 2014 levels, a total of 202 foundations made 740 grants for disaster-related causes, compared with 162 foundations that awarded 525 disaster-related grants in 2014. The annual study found that in terms of strategy, funding from the largest U.S. foundations in 2015 shifted slightly toward disaster risk management. The top three U.S. foundation funders of disaster relief and humanitarian aid in 2015 were the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Direct Relief’s approach to disasters is to support the immediate needs of victims by working with local partners best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for the long-term recovery.

After the Camp Fire: How does a mayor rebuild Paradise when all seems lost?  Mercury News

A New Dividing Line: The Storm Before and After, Weekly Yonder

Lessons from Harvey: Crisis Informatics for Urban Resilience, Institute for Urban Research

Making Rescue Volunteers Part of the Official Response, Route Fifty

Beware of Scams: Protecting Yourself After the Storm The Hartford: Extra Mile

North Carolina Readies for Florence, NC Department of Public Safety

A Go Bag Can Make all the Difference in an Emergency, AARP

How To Build An Ultimate Go Bag For Any Emergency, Skilled Survival

How To Prepare For a Hurricane, AARP

Humanity’s greatest existential crisis

Lending a hand to a rural natural disaster

Mobilize your crisis plan for improved emergency response

A toolkit for economic preparedness: Economic Disaster Recovery Project

Engaging small businesses in disaster preparedness

Federal disaster recovery funding

Leadership in times of crisis: A toolkit for economic recovery and resiliency

How to write a disaster recovery plan and define disaster recovery strategies – Paul Kirvan

FEMA Individual and Households Grant program

These grants are available to people whose homes are located in a federally recognized disaster area, which can include flooding. IHP grants provide swift grants to return your house or apartment to a habitable condition after a disaster. Officially, grants can reach up to $33,000, but the payouts tend to be much lower than that—These grants are primarily meant to cover expenses not covered by flood insurance  However, everyone may apply, regardless of their income level or whether they have flood insurance—if you have flood insurance, you just have to pay back the grant with flood insurance funds once you receive it.

American Association of School Librarians: Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Fund

Administered by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), supports public school libraries in the communities served by Dollar General. The Fund provides grants of up to $20,000 to pre-K-12 public schools whose school library programs have been affected by a natural disaster, fire, or an act of terrorism. Schools that have absorbed a significant number of displaced/evacuee students are also eligible to apply. Grants are intended to help replace or supplement books, media, or library equipment. Eligible applicants must be located within 20 miles of a Dollar General store, distribution center, or corporate office. Grant applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Visit the AASL website to submit an online application.

CDBG Specialty Grants

CDBG Economic Opportunity Grants assist eligible, rural Washington State cities and counties with economic resilience and developments projects including job creation, microenterprise assistance, energy-related, and disaster recovery activities that promote vibrant communities and principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants are provided to Washington state jurisdictions and tribal governments to reduce the effects of natural hazards and mitigate vulnerability to future disaster damage. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send an email to HMA@mil.wa.gov.

Emergency Relief Program

When a disaster/emergency occurs, public works agencies have the responsibility to maintain service and recover in the most expedient way. This can be accomplished through preparation, collaboration and coordinating the response with other public agencies. This section contains information and instructions on procedures for the Emergency Relief program on and off the federal-aid highway system.

Equipment Cache Grants

Washington has seen a dramatic shift in oil transportation recently, both in the types of oil and in the locations where large quantities of oil are transported. These changes affect the risks associated with oil transportation. Many communities don’t have response resources for spills of oil or hazardous materials. To help solve this problem, we provide equipment and training grants to emergency responders. These grants help local communities effectively prepare for and respond to spills.

FEMA’s Public Assistance Grants

The mission of FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program is to provide assistance to State, Tribal and local governments and certain types of Private Nonprofit organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the President.Through the Public Assistance Program, FEMA provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations. The Public Assistance Program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. The Federal share of assistance is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost for emergency measures and permanent restoration. The grantee (usually the state) determines how the non-federal share (up to 25 percent) is split with the subgrantees (eligible applicants). 

Fire Management Assistance Grant Programs

The federally funded Fire Management Assistance Grant Program (FMAGP) provides financial assistance to state, local, and federally recognized tribal governments for the mitigation, management, and control of fires on publicly or privately owned forests or grasslands. 

Flood Plains By Design Grant Program

Flood plains by Design is Ecology’s primary grant program for projects that help communities live better in their floodplain. Floodplains by Design is a partnership of local, state, federal, and private organizations focused on coordinating investment in and strengthening the integrated management of floodplain areas through Washington. 

Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant

US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) provides funding to Washington state for tribal, state, and local governments to sustain and enhance hazardous materials-related emergency preparedness.  The funding is specifically targeted to increase the effectiveness in safely and efficiently handling hazardous materials accidents and incidents and to encourage a comprehensive approach to emergency training and planning by incorporating the unique challenges of responses to transportation situations.

.Emergency Management Performance Grants

The purpose of the EMPG Program is to provide federal grants to states to assist state, local, territorial, and tribal governments in preparing for all hazards. The federal government, through the EMPG Program, provides necessary direction, coordination, and guidance, and provides necessary assistance, as authorized in this title, to support a comprehensive all-hazards emergency preparedness system.

Individual Assistance Program

The Individual Assistance Program (IA) is ais the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program to support individual and business recovery and is authorized through a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration. The IA program has multiple components including cash assistance and crisis counseling, a detailed declaration process and benefits that vary depending on several factors.

SBA Disaster Loan Program

SBA disaster loans are available even without a Presidential Disaster Declaration and are a great tool to provide low-interest loans to individuals, families, businesses and organizations that suffer physical or economic loss due to a disaster or other disruption.

Limited English Proficiency Program

The LEP program supports language accessibility for individuals, families and businesses by working with state and local governments and community organizations to promote preparedness activities in communities around the state.

Disaster Resilience, Recovery and Restoration

Disaster Recovery includes both pre-disaster recovery planning and post-disaster recovery to re-envision and restore a community. Technical assistance and information is available for local governments, special districts, and organizations. 

Summary of Disaster Programs for Farmers, Prepared for Farm Aid by the Farmers’ Legal Action Group

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for individuals, including farmers, who are prevented from working because of a disaster, and is available through your state Employment Security Commission. Learn more in this FEMA Disaster Unemployment Assistance Factsheet.

Rural Advancement Foundation International  (RAFI) developed a series of videos about how to prepare for, deal with, and recover from a disaster. They are most relevant to farmers, but lessons can be applied to others as well. Watch all four videos (including an introduction to the series, “Documenting Disasters,” “Distribution of Labor during a Disaster,” and “Working with Farmers in Disaster Recovery”) here.  Rafi Also provides information on Documenting Disaster Losses.

Crowd Source Rescue is a public-safety grade platform that uses next-generation technology to quickly connect both professional first-responders and vetted volunteers with response, relief, and recovery cases before, during, and immediately after a disaster.

Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency: provides strategies and tactics for community leaders to focus on for economic recovery and preserving jobs, incorporating useful information for convening private and public stakeholders to identify key economic recovery strategies, tips on how to navigate federal resources for response and recovery, and implementation of recovery initiatives.  The toolkit was developed by IEDC with nationwide input and funded in part by grants from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration

The National Disaster Recovery Framework is a guide that enables effective recovery support to disaster-impacted States, Tribes, Territorial and local jurisdictions. It provides a flexible structure that enables disaster recovery managers to operate in a unified and collaborative manner. It also focuses on how best to restore, redevelop and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural and environmental fabric of the community and build a more resilient Nation.

The Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for State Governments enables states to more easily adapt to new post-disaster roles needed to manage new or modified sources of state and federal recovery resources.  Using this guide to develop state capability will not only allow your state or territory to be more effective in recovery, but it will help you better communicate and interface with your federal and local recovery partners

The Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for Local Governments provides tools for public engagement, whole-community recovery, identification of existing recovery resources, and identifying outside partnerships that can help local governments build resilience both pre- and post-disaster.

The Community Recovery Management Toolkit is designed to help communities manage long-term recovery. The toolkit guides you through a 3 step process of Organizing for Recovery, Planning for Recovery, and Managing recovery, while also giving you resources from other recovery support functions.

The Effective Coordination of Recovery Resources for State, Tribal, Territorial and Local Incidents outlines best practices and approaches for states, tribes, and territories to help enable a more effective recovery for local communities after an incident of any size or scale. This guide will better position recovery stakeholders to lead, coordinate and support impacted communities in a more efficient, effective and equitable manner. It is designed to be applied after an incident, either in concert with existing pre-incident recovery plans or to enhance post-incident planning efforts.

Red Cross : After the emergency phase of a response has been completed, the Red Cross helps people recover and address lingering community needs. Working together with community leaders, government and relief agencies, they organize and execute recovery strategies that include:

  • Providing emergency financial assistance in the immediate aftermath of a disaster
  • Distributing financial assistance for households that need extra help in the long-term
  • Providing grants for community-based recovery services

The Farmer’s Legal Action Group provides information on a variety of disaster-related topics, including Disaster Readiness and Recovery: Legal Considerations for Organic Farmers.

Farm Aid connects farmers to direct services, including financial counseling, technical assistance, legal advice and more.

Economic Development Administration: Disaster Recovery Programs have a long history of successfully supporting disaster recovery and resiliency efforts. EDA’s role in disaster recovery is to facilitate the timely and effective delivery of Federal economic development assistance to support long-term community economic recovery planning and project implementation, redevelopment and resiliency. 

Direct Relief’s approach to disasters is to support the immediate needs of victims by working with local partners best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for the long-term recovery.

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