Disaster Preparedness Resources

By planning for disasters, advocates, preventionists, disaster managers, and their community partners can help prevent sexual violence and ensure that supportive services are available during and after a disaster.   The resources in this section provide information, recommendations, and tools to assist organizations and communities in developing plans for disaster preparedness and recovery.

Resources by the NSVRC
National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2008)

This guide provides an overview of sexual violence in disasters and a range of recommendations for prevention and response before, during, and after a disaster. Available in English and Spanish.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2012 & 2013)

This three-part series of interactive online courses for sexual violence preventionists, victim advocates, and allied professionals discuss the connections among sexual violence, disasters, and oppression (Module 1), and offer recommendations for creating a pre-disaster plan for sexual violence prevention and response (Modules 2 and 3).

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2013)

In this series of four short audio podcasts, a leading researcher on gender-based violence in disasters  discusses research, prevention strategies, community partnerships, and future directions related to sexual violence in disasters.

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For anti-violence organizations
 B.C. Association of Specialized Victim Assistance and Counselling Programs (2001)

This workbook assists women’s service agencies in developing emergency response plans so they can continue to serve survivors of gender-based violence in a disaster. It presents a series of planning tasks and includes checklists and templates to assist in the planning process.

Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence

This guide for women’s community organizations discusses the core tasks of creating and implementing a tailor-made emergency plan. The guide includes planning templates, facilitator notes, and additional reading and resources.

 Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (2011)

This issue of Manager’s Viewpoint includes information to assist managers of sexual assault programs with emergency preparedness and recovery planning. It includes the perspectives of experienced program managers and an expert on gender-based violence in disasters, as well as planning tools and resources.

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For non-profits and small businesses
San Francisco Community Agencies Responding to Disaster (CARD) (2007)

This planning guide includes guidelines and tips, questions to consider, and templates to assist community-based organizations in creating basic disaster preparedness plans.

Non-profit Coordinating Committee of New York  

The Non-profit Coordinating Committee of New York (NPCCNY) offers guidelines on the points an organization needs to think about to prepare its own disaster recovery plan.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) provides guidelines for small business and service organizations about developing an Emergency Action Plan for employee safety in an emergency.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health & Emergency Network Los Angeles

This planning template identifies key resources and procedures to ensure that non-profit organizations can continue to operate in the event of a disaster. It includes information about risk assessment, critical assets and operations, and other important considerations.

U.S. Small Business Administration

This disaster preparedness project of the U.S. Small Business Administration provides information, training opportunities, planning templates, and other resources to assist small businesses in creating disaster recovery plans. 

American Red Cross

This free service from the American Red Cross provides tools, resources, and information to help businesses, schools, and organizations evaluate and improve their disaster preparedness.


This guide teaches non-profit organizations and public libraries how protect and recover their IT (information-technology) systems in the event of a disaster. 

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For communities
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (2003)

This report provides colleges and universities with basic information and practical suggestions for becoming more disaster-resistant, based on the experiences of six institutions of higher education. 

National Council on Disability (2009)

This report is designed to assist all levels of government in establishing evidence-based policies, programs, and practices to improve emergency planning and management efforts related to people with disabilities.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response website is CDC’s primary source of information and resources for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. It includes detailed information about specific hazards and preparedness recommendations for all types of emergencies.

National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities

A clearinghouse of resources for improving preparedness, building resilience, and eliminating disparities for culturally diverse communities across all phases of an emergency.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (2005)

This resource guides local leaders in small, rural, and surburban communities through the emergency management planning process. It presents strategies and tools for addressing 13 essential components of community-based emergency management planning.

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