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After A DisasterAbout the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, with a mission to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

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Contacting Others After a Disaster or Trauma

The most important thing to realize is that you are safe. Now, let others know how you are — and where you are.

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Dial 2-1-1 for Community Help

You've heard about 9-1-1 and 4-1-1, now there's 2-1-1, a number dedicated to connecting people with helpful community services and volunteer opportunities.

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Disaster Assistance Timeline

Here is a timeline breaking down how your local emergency management services, first responders and other organizations will respond after a natural disaster.

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Disaster Relief Financial Assistance Options

Experts we've interviewed say that the severity of a natural disaster affects the time it takes to receive financial assistance.

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Emergency and Disaster Services

Here are links to organizations and resources that provide assistance and information in an emergency or natural disaster.

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Federal Food Safety Guidelines

Has your fridge or freezer turned off and the food is still inside? Apply the golden rule for food safety: "If In Doubt, Throw It Out." Below are general food safety and cleaning tips from the government's food safety guidelines.

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FEMA Common Misconceptions about Disaster Aid

Here are some common misconceptions about FEMA from FEMA.

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FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers

Disaster Recovery Centers are temporary centers set up in a federal disaster area, helping local residents through the federal assistance application process and also offer recovery advice.

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FEMA Questions to Ask

As with an insurance agent, these questions for FEMA officials may confirm what you already know, or may help you understand what processes, timelines and what federal aid is available.

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FEMA Types of Disaster Aid

The following information is from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).

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Filing for Federal Disaster Relief

Federal Disaster Relief is available after the President issues a disaster declaration for your area. Visit FEMA's (Federal Emergency Management Agency) site, to see if a disaster declaration has been made in your area.

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Handling Emotional and Physical Stress After a Disaster

Natural disasters cause emotional and physical stress — and a host of reactions including anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, sadness, anger, fatigue, hopelessness, irrational fears, and nightmares.

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Helping Others Hit by Disaster

Immediately or soon after an emergency or natural disaster, many people want to help. Here are some tips to help you help others. Review these, be safe, be smart.

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How Disasters Are Declared

A major disaster could result from a hurricane, earthquake, flood, tornado or major fire. The event must be clearly more than state or local governments can handle alone.

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How Social Workers Help Disaster Survivors

We interviewed, received advice and gathered ideas from social workers around the country to give you an idea of what social workers do and how they help after a disaster or fire.

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In the News How to Get Disaster Information

Media web sites are good resources for local information, breaking news and weather updates during and after natural disasters. Here are some ways to use the media to your best advantage.

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In the News Reporting on Disasters

After a major disaster — fire, natural disaster or other catastrophe — the media will mostly like arrive on the scene. Here's what to know.

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Items You May Need After a Disaster

Here is a starter list of some things you should buy or look into after a disaster.

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Tax Tips After a Disaster

After a disaster, fire or other major loss, bills and expenses can pile up quickly. Luckily, there are some IRS forms you can complete to receive immediate help and possibly get additional tax relief over the next few years.

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Temporary Housing Data Sheet

Depending upon the damage, you may be staying in your home, a friend's home, a hotel, or a shelter. Should you need temporary housing, here is a brief form for you to write down your temporary housing details.

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Water Quality and Safety Precautions

When it comes to food and water, err on the side of contamination until you know better. (In other words, guilty until proven innocent.)

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Who Will Help You After a Disaster?

After a storm, local and regional authorities — such as police officers, firefighters, ambulance services and state or municipal service workers — may be dispatched to severely affected areas. Here's what to know.

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Be PreparedCreate a Work Evacuation Kit

As Dolly Parton sings, many of us spend Monday-Friday "workin' 9 to 5." And while you may have a disaster plan for your home…what about your office building?

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Creating a Safe Room in Your Home

When the tornado siren sounds or high winds and tropical storms are headed your way, do you know where to take shelter?

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Prepare Your Home for a Natural Disaster

Whether its high winds, flash floods or snowy weather, your home will be your shelter from the storm. Make it a strong shelter! Below are tips from disaster victims, home improvement professionals and FEMA.

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EarthquakeEarthquake — Useful Links and Resources

Be ready when the ground starts to shake!

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FloodsFlash Flooding Preparation and Survival

As pleasant as a rainfall can be, it can quickly turn into a dangerous flooding situation.

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Flood Watches and Warnings

What to know about the terms.

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How to Prepare for Floods

Get ready now before the flood waters rise.

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Mudslides Preparation and Survival

Be prepared for the possibility of a mudslide (debris slides) or landslides, which are typically associated with periods of heavy rainfall or rapid snow melt. Floods can come as a result of a mudslide or landslide.

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Protection Against Mosquitoes

Large amounts of pooled water after a flood or other natural disaster could lead to an increase in mosquito populations. Fortunately, while they are a pest, the majority do not carry communicable diseases.

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When a Flood Watch or Warning Is Issued

Be safe, be smart and follow these tips.

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HurricaneCreate a Hurricane Evacuation Plan

In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, the need to evacuate is decided by local, state and federal government officials and authorities. However, you may want to consider evacuating ahead of time under certain conditions.

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Hurricane Hazards

While the eye of any storm can be devastating, often it's the accompanying hazards that can be more destructive. Do what you can now to learn and prepare for storm surges, high winds, tornadoes and inland flooding.

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TornadoesCreating a Tornado Emergency Plan

Plan now so you and your family will be safe.

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Facts About Tornadoes

Twisters, cyclones, waterspouts, whatever you might know them as – tornadoes are the Earth's most violent storms. Here is a definition of tornadoes plus links to Web sites to learn more.

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Tornadoes — Useful Links and Resources

Useful links about tornadoes and lightning

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When a Tornado Watch or Warning Is Issued

Be safe, be smart. A WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area. A WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area.

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Winter WeatherAvalanche FAQs

Learn the basics about avalanches. For more details go to PBS - NOVA Online and USFS National Avalanche Center.

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Blizzard FAQs

Be ready for blizzards with information from the National Weather Service.

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Blizzards Create a Winter Storm Plan

Get ready for winter with these useful tips.

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Getting Your Family Ready for Winter

When winter hits, sometimes it hits hard! Listen to your local weather forecaster and read through the following tips to keep your family warm in winter weather.

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Hypothermia and Frostbite

Hypothermia (body's temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit) and frostbite (severe reaction to cold exposure that can cause permanent damage) are real dangers in cold weather. Here’s how to avoid both and what to do if they occur.

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Ice Dams Prevention and Removal

Water dripping into your house in the middle of winter could be assign that you've got an ice dam. Here is what you need to know and do, courtesy of the University of Minnesota.

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Thawing Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Here's advice from the Red Cross on what to do to make the water run again.

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When a Winter Storm Watch or Warning Is Issued

Threatening winter weather expected? Be safe, be smart and tune to your local radio or television stations for information and instructions. Then follow these tips.

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Winter Weather Advisories and Warnings

When winter weather approaches, be safe, be smart! Stay alert to weather signs when the following advisories, watches or warnings are issued.

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