Disaster Preparedness Resources

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year. Use this page as a resource to help you be prepared. 

The importance of preparing ourselves for disaster is universal. Emergencies can happen anywhere - at home or at work - and everyone must take action to prepare for emergencies in case something unexpected happens. However, the truth is there's no one-size-fits-all solution to being prepared so we've created an information repository that contains different resources and tools to help you respond to and effectively cope with emergencies and their consequences.Be prepared, have a kit, make a plan and always stay informed.

  • Do You Know the Hazards That Face Your Community?

    Do You Know the Hazards That Face Your Community?

    In Texas, there are many hazards that affect people daily.  Based on historical data, the top 5 in order are:

    1. Severe Coastal Flooding
    2. Hurricanes/Tropical Storms/Depressions
    3. Drought
    4. Hail
    5. Riverine Flooding

    Since 2013, the Texas Geographic Society has been producing a hazard risk assessment for the state of Texas. It includes information on historical and future risks associated with a variety of natural hazards in Texas. It is being published along with 254 County-based reports: one for each of the 254 Texas counties. Taken together, these 255 reports are the CHAMPS’18 Reports. These reports have been released in open MS-Word and MS-Excel formats. All of the content is copy-able, editable and easily usable in whatever way you would like to use it.

    The research needed to create these reports comes from a combined effort between the Texas Divison of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the State Hazard Mitigation Team (SHMT). These reports are reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and used in the preparation of the State of Texas 2018 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update.  

     Also, be sure to check out ADT's Interactive Disaster Map to learn more about natural disasters affecting your county to help you better prepare. With your safety in mind, this interactive map allows you to explore the history of natural disasters in any part of the country. Simply input your ZIP code and you'll see the likelihood of every type of storm or natural disaster ranging from hurricanes and earthquakes to wildfires and tornadoes.

  • Preparedness Planning and Supplies

    Preparedness Planning and Supplies

    A key way to cope with a disaster is to have a plan. Because your family may not be together when a disaster strikes, it's important to create a plan together in advance and practice it frequently. It might sound difficult or time-consuming, but its actually very easy if you break it into steps.

    Step 1:  Build an emergency supply kit for your home and automobile

    Step 2:  Plan effectively for you and your family in case of an emergency.  Once you have a plan, practice it frequently and adjust as needed

    Step 3:  Know important information to stay safe

    • Review the hazards that can affect your community and tailor your planning for those hazards.
    • Identify how you will become informed during events, whether through local radio, TV, Texas Emergency Alert System, or online resources.
      • Remember that electricity and mobile connections might be limited so prepare with an NOAA weather radio.
      • Call 2-1-1 not 9-1-1 for individuals who need assistance and evacuation help during a disaster.
      • If you're not sure what the difference is between a weather watch vs. a warning, read this great article by WeatherWorks.
    Miscellaneous Disaster Preparedness Information

    Miscellaneous Disaster Supply and Services Information

  • Disaster Community Partners

    Disaster Community Partners

    The effects of natural and manmade disasters have become more frequent, far-reaching, and widespread. As a result, preserving the safety, security, and prosperity for all Texans is becoming more challenging. Our traditional approach relies heavily on the government, however, today’s changing reality is affecting the capabilities of all levels of government.

    Here at Keep Texas Beautiful, we are proud to work with many impactful organizations across the state and nation. We feel partnerships contribute to our reach and opportunities to make a difference. The importance of strong partners across diverse organizations are critical during disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Every disaster start and ends in a community and successes come from community support and the relationships created before and immediately after the disaster.

    Disaster Response and Relief

    • Adventist Community Services volunteers assist individuals, families and communities through expertise in donations management through multi-agency warehouses, feeding, chain saw teams, debris cleanup and mucking out, temporary roofing, spontaneous volunteer reception centers and in-home repair as part of long term recovery.
    • Austin Disaster Relief Network is comprised of over 185 greater Austin churches and thousands of trained volunteers that offer relief following crisis through a variety of support services such as emergency housing and transportation, emotional and physical care and connecting individuals with vital resources.
    • Catholic Charities disaster response teams mobilize quickly and effectively to aid those experiencing or recovering from disasters. Their work begins with direct relief efforts to meet immediate needs and continues, sometimes for many years, with long-term relief efforts that help individuals and families rebuild their lives.
    • Children's Disaster Services provides volunteers specifically trained to respond to traumatized children. They set up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation.
    • Church World Service and their donors, supporters and partners reach families reeling from disaster, accompanying them through every stage of the disaster cycle.
    • Coalition of Disaster Responders is a group of top-shelf, integrity-based first responders capable of handling large scale property losses and recovery efforts. There are currently 20 coalition companies and 6 associate companies with combined resources of up to 15,000 units of portable equipment, 250 units of large equipment and over 600 certified disaster relief technicians.
    • Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event and can take a more active role in preparing their community.
    • OneStar Foundation believes in building a stronger nonprofit sector for a better Texas. Find their list of Disaster Network Partners here.
    • For more than 100 years, H.E.B. has demonstrated its commitment to communities in crisis by donating financial support, emergency supplies, drinking water and food, as well as providing efficient ways for customers to assist those affected by a natural disaster. Find the latest resources on preparedness and information on store closures during hurricane season here.
    • International Orthodox Christian Charities supports communities with clean-up after natural disasters. They also have clean-up buckets available for $20.
    • Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services understands that while each disaster creates its own unique circumstances and special needs, Salvation Army disaster relief efforts focus on seven core areas: disaster training, food service, emotional and spiritual care, emergency communication, disaster social services, donations management and recovery.
    • Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people during immediate response and in rebuilding efforts.
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides communities and responders with behavioral health resources that help them prepare, respond, and recover from disasters.
    • Texas General Land Office is the lead agency for administering over $90 billion in HUD Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) which are a special appropriation from Congress.
    • United Way plays a key role in helping people from all walks of life rebuild. From ensuring our first responders can act swiftly to leading long-term recovery, United Way has the experience, networks and capacity to address even the most devastating events.



  • Preparing and Responding to Underserved Communities

    Preparing and Responding to Underserved Communities

    In emergency preparedness, a major goal is to be able to reach every person in a community. To do this, you must be able to get information to community members quickly. To do that, you need to know which groups are underserved, where the people in these groups live and work, and the best ways they receive information.

    Combining maps of underserved communities with hazard analysis maps can help government and nongovernment organizations create community-based information campaigns ahead of disasters.

    Of equal importance is reaching people who may be hesitant to share personal information due to fears their information will be shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement or other federal agencies. Having a trusted community partner share the right information, such as evacuation routes and available shelters and resources is critical to helping non-English speaking and immigrant communities.

    After defining and locating underserved communities and understanding their hazard risks, the next step is to reach out and discover what type of preparedness information is needed. This is best done through established community groups, translation services, or other unique targeted intervention strategies such as churches or fairs. Outreach should always be done in person in addition to electronic forms of outreach to make sure all members of a population are being reached.

    Community Partners

    • ARISE is a community-based program that works with colonia families to strengthen their communities. Located in four colonias in South Texas, each ARISE center responds to the specific needs of the community: Child Development, Adult Education, Youth Leadership, Cultural Events, Social Justice.
    • bcworkshop is a community design center with a mission to improve the livability and viability of communities.
      • Their Disaster Recovery Guides program helps to get legally-accurate, easy to understand information into five languages. The guides will cover four topic areas: flood insurance, renters’ rights, title clearing, and contractor fraud.
      • The Disaster Recovery Leadership Development program provides Houston residents with the ability to shape the future of Houston by having a say on housing recovery dollars. 
      • Find out more about all their disaster recovery programs here.
    • Community Action Partnerships promises to change peoples lives, improve communities and make Texas a better place to live. They care about the entire community and are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.
    • Gulf Coast Community Services Association combats poverty-related conditions.
    • Harris County Housing and Community Resources provides one-stop-shopping services for rental property, financial assistance and emergency shelter information.
    • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) connects public and private resources with underinvested places and people working to access opportunities.
    • LUPE founded by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta and rooted in the belief that members of the low-income community have the responsibility and the obligation to organize themselves. 
    • For 7 decades, the RAND Corporation has used rigorous, fact-based research and analysis to help individuals, families, and communities be safer and more prosperous.
    • RAPIDO takes a holistic approach that enables communities to recover from disasters within months instead of years.
      • The Disaster Recovery Housing report mixes policy, technical building information and a program comparison report that details post-disaster housing pilot programs and challenges.
    • Texas Appleseed is a public interest justice center that works to change unjust laws and policies that prevent Texans from realizing their full potential. Dedicated work in disaster recovery fair housing.
      • Lessons from Texas is a whitepaper about how natural disasters reveal and highlight systemic inequalities in the communities affected and in the federal, state, and local systems set up to respond and rebuild. 
    • Texas Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides grant funding to state and territories to provide families with financial assistance and related support services. Tracks 85% of low-income families. This information is important to follow-up with these families after a disaster. 
    • Texas Association of Community Action Agencies (TACAA) alphabetical listing by headquarter city.
    • Texas Housers is a low-income housing information service that develops model solutions to Texas' critical housing and community development problems. They serve as a watchdog over government housing programs to maximize dollar allocation to low-income and colonia communities. 



  • Have You Got a Plan to Protect Your Pet During a Disaster or Emergency?

    Have You Got a Plan to Protect Your Pet During a Disaster or Emergency?

    To most pet owners their cat or dog is an integral part of their family. If you take the time to prepare your human family for natural disasters or major accidents, then you should prepare the members of your furry family too. The probability of your pet surviving a catastrophe depends on whether you have a well-defined plan to protect him. It's a great idea to take frequent selfies with your pet to prove ownership if you are separated.

    Evacuating with your pet

    Do not leave your pets behind if you evacuate your home and be sure that while in transit you transport your pets properly. If you are going to an evacuation center then be sure they accommodate pets or seek out an alternate location that is safe for your entire family. Plan ahead and know which evacuations centers accept pets.

    Disaster plans are not just for pets

    If you have other animals in your care, such as livestock, ensure you also have a plan ready.

    Have an emergency kit that includes animal identification, records/documents, important contact numbers and first aid. If you can and it is safe for you to do so, move your animals to a designated safe place.  

    If you have no choice but to leave your livestock behind, leave them enough food and clean water for 72 hours before evacuating. They will need shelter and protection from the elements. 

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources


  • Drought


    Drought is the consequence of a natural reduction in the amount of precipitation expected for a given area or region over an extended period of time, usually a season or more in length. Two-thirds of Texas counties are in an arid or semi-arid climate and are almost always in varying stages of drought. For precipitation, these counties normally depend on large, but infrequent tropical systems that move out of the Gulf of Mexico in late summer and early fall or by springtime Pacific systems that move easterly over these counties.

    According to Dallas News, due to the rainy end of 2018, Texas began 2019 with its highest water supply in more than 25 years - and more than 98 percent drought-free. Less than 2% of Texas is experiencing moderate drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

    2019 has been a great reprieve but it's good to keep in mind the history of drought in Texas as illustrated in the exhibit below which shows the percent of the state that was under various intensities of drought from January 1, 2010, to April 1, 2016.  

    • From November 2010 to June 2015, more than half of the state was in some level of drought;

    • From April 2011 to February 2012, 100% of the state was in some level of drought; and

    • In October-November 2011, approximately 90% of the state was in Exceptional Drought (D4 – the highest level).















    Many different entities and organizations are responsible for drought preparedness and planning in Texas. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) was signed into law in 2006. The Western Governor's Association described the need for NIDIS as a drought early warning system and is a benchmark for research and planning resources.

    For Texas: National Integrated Drought Information System



  • Extreme Weather

    Extreme Weather

    Extreme Heat

    All of Texas is vulnerable to extreme heat but most particular in West Texas and in large metropolitan areas, such as Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston since they have an abundance of concrete which absorbs and then radiates solar energy. This effect is known as urban heat island and can be dangerous to those without functioning air conditioners.

    The map below shows the number of 100 degree-days recorded in 2011 nationally. Virtually all of Texas is highlighted as receiving at least 25 100 degree days, more than half the state had at least 55 and a significant area had more than 70 100 degree-days that year.  

     100 degree day

    Source:  https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/report-findings/extreme-weather

    Though extreme heat is the least costly of all weather-related hazards in terms of property and crop losses, it is expected to replace riverine flooding as the most deadly, killing more than 100 people over the 5-year forecast period according to the Texas Geographic Society.  

    Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning. Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat. Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources

    National Weather Service




    According to the Insurance Journal, Texas has a hail problem!! They advise that if you live in hail-prone areas you should have your roof inspected for hail vulnerability; determine the age of your roof and consider and upgrade, if needed; install wind shutters; remove cars and furniture from open areas before an event; and read your homeowners policies to understand what is covered and what is not.

    In April 2016, a hailstorm in San Antonio caused between 1.36 and 2 Billion dollars of damage. It was the most expensive hailstorm on record in Texas.  

    According to the Department of Public Safety, all regions have suffered from losses. Hailstorms were the third most costly weather-related hazard in the 21 year base period statewide. In four of six regions, hailstorms did more property damage than any other weather-related hazard.

    In Region 1, 54% of property losses were from hailstorms;

    In Region 4, 66% of property losses were from hailstorms;

    In Region 5, 47% of property losses were from hailstorms; and

    In Region 6, 48% of property losses were from hailstorms.

    With an average cost of roughly $500 million a year and regular occurrences in all regions, hailstorms have been a constant and persistent hazard in Texas.

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources



    Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. 

    According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas ranks among the top states for lightning fatalities each year. Lightning can occur up to 10 miles away from a storm and may be conducted through a number of surfaces including the ground. A direct strike is not necessary for severe injury or death to occur. Individuals in the general vicinity of a strike may experience minor to significant side effects from a strike, such as brain or cardiac damage. Always seek immediate shelter when storms approach. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources

    American Red Cross

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    National Weather Service


    Texas Department of Public Safety

    Winter Storms

    severe storms

    Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds.

    In the panhandle, extreme cold means days below zero Fahrenheit. In the Rio Grande Valley, it means temperatures below freezing long enough to damage citrus crops. The passage of a winter cold front with a drastic drop in temperature heralds the arrival of a cold wave, usually referred to as a “blue norther.” The map below shows the expected annual minimum temperatures across Texas. 

    When dealing with the impacts of these temperatures on people, it is important to consider the wind-chill effect. Wind chill is a measure of how cold the wind makes real air temperature feels to the human body.  Since wind can dramatically accelerate heat-loss from the body. For instance, a 30° day with a 30-mph wind would feel just as cold as a calm day with 15° temperatures.


     cold map

    Source: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources 

  • Be Prepared for all Types of Fire

    Be Prepared for all Types of Fire

    Home Fires

    Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources

    American Red Cross

    National Fire Protection Association

    ADT Resources 


    Wildfire is a serious risk throughout the state of Texas. Some regions can be expected to experience wildland fires whenever localized drought conditions are in place. In the semi-arid climate of West Texas, wildland fires are most common in the spring and summer months, but they can occur at any time during the year. The eastern part of the state contains pine plantations where the largest density and most hazardous fuels in the state exists. Fires burning here under drought conditions are extremely hard to contain. They require multiple fire-fighting resources and threaten all homes in its vicinity. The “Hill Country” in Central Texas has the potential for highly damaging wildfires due to a combination of rapid population growth, topography and densely covered, highly volatile, ash-juniper trees.

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources

    American Red Cross

    Ready, Set, Go!

    Texas Department of Public Saftey:

  • Flooding


    Texas has 367 miles of open Gulf shoreline, of which 293 miles are open for public use. The coastline runs from just west of the mouth of the Sabine River in the most southeastern part of the state to Boca Chico, near the mouth of the Rio Grande River in the most southern part of the state. The Texas Gulf Coast consists of a system of barrier islands and peninsulas, which provides protection for numerous bays and inlets from oncoming waves. 


    Average annual precipitation decreases from over 55 inches in Beaumont to less than 10 inches in El Paso. Except for the wetter, eastern portion of the state, evaporation exceeds precipitation for most of Texas, yielding a semi-arid climate that becomes arid in Far West Texas. Relative humidity varies throughout the state, depending on rainfall and evaporation rates, but generally decreases from east to west. Most of the state’s precipitation occurs in rainfall.  

    Texas Average Annual Precipitation

    Riverine Flooding

    Riverine Flood risks are calculated in Hydrologic and Hydraulic (H&H) studies. Hydrologic elements calculate how much water is expected in a given system (either coming into the system from contributing waterways or from precipitation within a catchment area) and hydraulic element calculate how that water can be expected to flow through the system (based on the capacity of different parts of the system to move water through). 

    Though local in their immediate impacts, riverine flooding damages are widely dispersed in Texas and have killed and injured more people than any other weather-related hazard. The number-one cause of deaths from flooding is people driving their cars into water going over roads. Source: 2018 Community Hazard and Mitigation Planning System

    Texas River Basin

    Dam and Levee Failure

    One issue that contributes to the risk of flooding is the potential failure of dams and levees. A dam failure could cause mass fatalities, mass structural damage and/or a potentially cascading event if populated and/or industrial area are located near and downstream of the dam structure.

    The best location for major dams is the lowest portion of the watershed where a narrow channel exists, which can reduce dam construction costs. In Texas, this combination of factors is best met where the drainage off the Llano uplift meets the coastal plains. Indeed, the highest concentration of major reservoirs occurs in this band shown on the map below.

     dam and levee failure

    Riverine Flooding is a persistent and dangerous hazard in Texas. There were 3,870 reports of Riverine Flooding impacts over the 12-year base period (22 times as many as for Hurricane/Tropical Storms/Depressions).  

    Severe Coastal Flooding or Storm Surge

    This type of flooding is caused by hurricane-level tropical storm events. The nature of the damage it produces, and the way to mitigate for it, are more similar to Riverine Flooding than to Hurricane/Tropical Storms/Depressions.  To manage storm surge planning and response in Texas, the Gulf coast is divided into five basins. These basins are used in estimating storm surge likelihood and extent. They are also used as the basic geographic units for preparing hurricane evacuation plans. 

     storm surge basins

     Source:  Derived from the storm surge basin analysis in the NOAA/SLOSH Program

    The map below shows expected inundation areas associated with Hurricane storm surges based on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind intensity category (1 through 5) of the storm. These storm surge footprints are the worst-case storm surge scenarios (Maximum of Maximums = MOM) for each level of storm under perfect storm conditions. The predominance of red near the northern Gulf Coast illustrates the area most at-risk from this hazard. 


    Source: Coastal Flood Loss Atlas (CFLA) v3.01: developed by FEMA Region VI

    Severe Coastal Flooding risk in Texas is extreme. Though localized in coastal regional and periodic in nature, when these events occur, the impacts can be devastating and expensive. The average annual historical dollar losses when calculated over the 12 years that data were collected on this hazard, were $864 million. The statewide forecast annual dollar losses for Severe Coastal Flooding are $1.1 billion. The total forecast dollar losses for the 5-year forecast period are $5.6 billion – the highest for any single weather-related hazard.

    All coastal counties in Texas are equally likely to be hit with coastal flooding. If these events hit the upper Texas Gulf coast, they will inundate larger areas that are the most populated and developed of all the Texas coastal regions. Hits in this area will cause more damage, loss of life and injury.

    Hurricanes and the Severe Coastal Flooding that accompany them are capricious in their timing, strength and locations of impact. Actual losses could be higher or lower due to the capriciousness of the storms that create them. All areas along the coast need to mitigate and otherwise prepare for Severe Coastal Flooding and be ready to deal with the damages they create.

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources

    American Red Cross 


  • Hurricanes


    Hurricanes that impact Texas start when warm tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean warm the air above them to rise into the upper atmosphere where they condensate: producing rain. These areas of relatively low pressure, if they are free from interfering or sheering forces, become self-perpetuating engines drawing in moist hot air from just above the water and driving it up into the atmosphere. Cyclonic (counter-clockwise) circulation quickly begins and rain bans spin-out from spiraling walls of wind that surround a central area of low barometric pressure (the “eye”). Such storms can grow to a thousand miles in diameter and sustain winds near the eye that approach 200 miles an hour.

    The map below shows the number of times Hurricanes/Tropical Storms/Depressions have crossed into Texas counties between 1842 and 2010. Events are counted only if the center of the storm crossed the county boundary. The bottom 20% had zero storm tracks cross them. Harris County (highlighted) is ranked in the Top 20% of compared to other Texas counties. This map illustrates that once Hurricane TS/Ds make landfall, they frequently move inland, sometimes far inland. Counties well away from the coast are not immune from the impacts of Hurricane TS/Ds.


    Source: This map was produced from the International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship dataset collected by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

    Risk Summary

    A review of the historical record shows that damaging Hurricane TS/Ds hit Texas every 1.3 years (an annual average probability of 75%). 

    Hurricanes have been the most expensive natural hazard in Texas. Together with the Severe Coastal Floods that accompanies them, these hazards caused approximately $28 billion in losses over the 21-year base period.

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources

    American Red Cross


    Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Tornadoes


    A tornado is a dark, funnel-shaped cloud containing violently rotating air that develops in climate conditions that, in the United States, are generally unique to the central and southern Plains and the Gulf states. The rotating winds of tornadoes can attain velocities of 300 mph, and its diameter can vary from a few feet to a mile. A tornado generally travels in a northeasterly distance at speeds of 20 to 40 mph and usually covers anywhere between one and more than 100 miles.

    With an average of 139 (1953-2004) tornadoes touching down each year, Texas ranks first in tornado occurrences. Historically, Dallas County has had the highest Tornados impacts of any county in Texas over this base period.

    The probability of tornadoes recurring in Dallas County is high. May is the most active month for tornadoes in Texas, followed by April. Dallas/Fort Worth and the surrounding area is the area that sees the most tornadoes in Texas, and their most active month is May.

    Be Informed and Prepare With These Resources

    American Red Cross 



  • Federal and State Programs and Resources

    Federal and State Programs and Resources


    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance Programs

    FEMA may provide three types of assistance, following natural disasters: Individual Assistance, Public Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    Individual Assistance (IA) is provided by FEMA to individuals and families who have sustained losses due to disasters

    • Homeowners and renters in designated counties who sustained damage to their homes, vehicles and personal property may apply for disaster assistance.
    • Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs, uninsured and underinsured personal property losses, and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster, along with other serious disaster-related expenses.
    • Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps and several other programs.
    Public Assistance (PA) can reimburse the costs for emergency protective measures, debris removal, and infrastructure repairs or replacement needed due to disaster-related damage. 
    • FEMA will provide reimbursement of at least 75 percent of eligible costs, with the state and local governments sharing the remaining 25 percent of costs. Eligible entities include state governments, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations, such as schools and public utility districts.
    • Although funds are awarded to government entities and certain private nonprofits, the Public Assistance program is intended to benefit everyone — neighborhoods, cities, counties and states. Public Assistance dollars help clean up disaster-related debris, repair roads and bridges and put utilities and water systems back in order.

    Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides grants to states and local governments for projects intended to lessen the impact of natural hazards through safer building practices. Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however, a community may apply on their behalf.


    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has played a critical role in the Federal Government’s response to and recovery from national disasters. With its experience and expertise in promoting affordable housing and sustainable community development, HUD has provided valuable guidance and essential funding to state and local governments on long-term disaster recovery. Through its network of Public Housing Authorities, the National Housing Locator, and other national housing resources, HUD has provided interim housing options to bridge the path from sheltering of disaster victims to permanent housing solutions.



    The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters.

    Find out more here


    Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) coordinates the state emergency management program, which is intended to ensure the state and its local governments respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters, and implement plans and programs to help prevent or lessen the impact of emergencies and disasters.

    TDEM implements programs to increase public awareness about threats and hazards, coordinates emergency planning, provides an extensive array of specialized training for emergency responders and local officials, and administers disaster recovery and hazard mitigation programs in the State of Texas.

    *** As of May 2019, the Legislature passed legislation to transfer TDEM to the Texas A&M University System to allow for better coordination.  You can read more here.

     Recovery Resources

    The State of Texas Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) outline the capabilities to provide support, resources, program implementation, and services that are most likely needed to save lives, protect property and the environment, restore essential services and critical infrastructure, and help victims and communities return to normal following domestic incidents.

    1. Transportation
    2. Communication
    3. Public Works and Engineering
    4. Firefighting
    5. Emergency Management
    6. Mass Care
    7. Logistics
    8. Public Health
    9. Search and Rescue
    10. Oil and HAZMAT
    11. Agriculture, Animals and Food Safety
    12. Energy
    13. Public Safety
    14. Recovery
    15. Public Information
    16. Hurricane
    17. Drought
    18. Wildland Fire
    19. Radiological
    20. Terrorism
  • Emergency Management Acronyms

    Emergency Management Acronyms

    For a printable version click here

    ARC - American Red Cross

    ARCCC -  Accident Response Capabilities Coordinating Committee

    ASPEP -  American Society of Professional Emergency Planners

    CAT -  Crisis Action Team

    CBD - Chemical and Biological Defense

    CCC -  Crisis Coordination Center

    CDC -  Centers for Disease Control (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

    CDRG -  Catastrophic Disaster Response Group

    CDRTF - Commander, Disaster Relief Task Force

    CERT - Community Emergency Response Team

    CM -  Crisis manager

    COG -  Continuity of government

    COGEMT -  Continuity of Government Emergency Management Team

    DAC - Disaster Application Center

    DAC - Disaster Assistance Center

    DAE - Disaster Assistance Employee

    DEM - Director of Emergency Management

    DEMT - Director, Emergency Management Team

    DEO - Director of Emergency Operations

    DEPS - Domestic Emergency Planning System

    DERF - Defense Emergency Response Fund

    DEST - Domestic Emergency Support Team

    DEST - Domestic Emergency Search Team

    DMAT - Disaster Medical Assistance Team

    DMORT - Disaster Mortuary Team

    DRTF - Disaster Relief Task Force

    EACT - Emergency Action and Coordination Team

    EAL - Emergency action level

    EARM - Emergency Assessment Resource Manual

    EBS - Emergency Broadcast System

    EC&EG - Exercise Control and Evaluation Group

    ECC - Emergency control center

    ECG - Exercise Control Group

    ECHOS - Emergency Center Historic Operations System

    ED - Exercise Director

    EDC - Emergency Dispatch Center

    EDO - Emergency duty officer

    EEEC - Emergency Exercise Evaluation Criteria

    EEMT - Energy Emergency Management Team

    EENET - Emergency Education Network [FEMA]

    EICC - Emergency Information and Coordination Center [FEMA]

    EM - Emergency management

    EM - Emergency manager

    EMAC - Emergency Management Advisory Committee

    EMC - Emergency Management Center

    EMCC - Emergency Management Coordination Committee

    EMCCS - Emergency Management Coordination Committee Secretariat

    EMG - Emergency Management Guide

    EMI - Emergency Management Institute

    EMI SIG - Emergency Management Issues Special Interest Group (TRADE)

    EMS - Emergency Management System

    EMT - Emergency management team

    EMT - Emergency medical technician

    ENN - Emergency Notification Network

    EOC - Emergency operations center

    EOCN - Emergency Operations Communications Network

    EOD - Explosive ordnance disposal

    EOF - Emergency operations facility

    EOL - End of life

    EOP - Emergency operations plan

    EP - Emergency plan

    EPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency

    EPC - Emergency Press Center

    EPCRA - Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

    EPD - Emergency Planning Districts

    EPG - Exercise Planning Group

    EPI - Emergency Public Information

    EPIP - Emergency Plan Implementing Procedures

    EPLO - Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer

    EPP - Emergency Preparedness Procedures

    EPZ - Emergency planning zone

    ERAA - Emergency Readiness Assurance Appraisal

    ERAP - Emergency Readiness Assurance Plan

    ERC - Emergency Response Center

    ERD - Emergency Response Division

    ERL - Emergency response levels

    ERO - Emergency Response Organization

    ERPG - Emergency Response Planning Guide

    ERPG - Emergency response planning guidelines

    ERT - Emergency Response Team

    ERT-A - Emergency Response Team (Advanced Element)

    ERT-N - National Emergency Response Team

    ERTF - Emergency Radiation Treatment Facility

    ERTS - Emergency Radiation Treatment Staff

    ESC - Emergency Support Center

    ESF - Emergency support function

    ESO - Emergency Support Office

    EST - Emergency support team

    ETS - Emergency Telecommunications Services

    FHA - Fire Hazards Analysis

    FNARS - FEMA’s National Radio System

    FSN - FEMA Switch Network

    HAZMAT - Hazardous materials

    HAZWOPER - Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response

    HHS - United States Department of Health and Human Services

    HHSEOC - HHS Emergency Operations Center

    HMEC - Hazardous Materials Emergency Coordinator

    HMI - Hazardous Material Incident

    HMIX - Hazardous Materials Information Exchange

    HMRT - Hazardous Materials Response Team

    HMRU - Hazardous Materials Response United

    HMTA - Hazardous Materials Transportation Act

    HMTUSA - Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act of 1990

    HUD - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

    IC - Incident Commander

    ICAM - Improved chemical agent monitor

    ICC -Incident Command Center

    ICC- Interstate Commerce Commission

    ICG - Incident Command Group

    ICP - Incident Command Post

    ICPAE - Interagency Committee on Public Affairs in Emergencies

    ICRP - Internal Commission on Radiological Protection

    ICS - Incident Command System

    ICRP - International Commission on Radiological Protection

    ICS - Incident Command System

    IDLH - Immediately dangerous to life and health

    IDLH - Immediately dangerous to life or health

    IEMS - Integrated Emergency Management System

    IRF - Incident Response Force

    IRR - Initial response resources

    IRT - Initial Response Team

    IRZ - Immediate Response Zone

    ITSD - Information Technology Services Directorate

    ITSO - Office of Information Technology Services and Operations

    IWG/CT - Interagency Working Group/Office of Counterterrorism

    JCC - Joint Coordinating Center

    JCS - Joint Chiefs of Staff

    JHEC -J oint Hazard Evaluation Center

    JIC - Joint Information Center

    JMEX - Joint master exercise schedule

    JOC - Joint Operations Center (FBI equivalent to DFO)

    JPIC - Joint Public Information Center

    JTOT - Joint Technical Operations Team

    JSOTF - Joint Special Operations Task Force

    MAA - Mutual Assistance Agreement/Mutual Aid Agreement

    MC - Mobilization Center

    MERC - Mobile Emergency Response Center

    MERP - Mobile Emergency Response Support

    MST - Mountain Standard Time

    NAWAS - National Warning System

    NBC - Nuclear, Biological, Chemical

    NBCCAS - Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Casualty Assessment

    NBCWRS - Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Warning and Reporting System

    NCA - National Command Authority

    NCCEM - National Coordinating Council on Emergency Management (now International Association of Emergency Managers – IAEU)

    NCP - National Contingency Plan

    NCP - National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan

    NCRIC - National Chemical Response and Information Center [CMA]

    NCRP - National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements

    NCS - National Communications System

    NDA - National Defense Area

    NEMA - National Emergency Management Association

    NEMS - National Emergency Management System

    NEMT -National Emergency Management Team

    NERC - North American Electrical Reliability Council

    NETC - National Emergency Training Center

    NFA - National Fire Academy

    NFPA - National Fire Protection Association

    NGA - National Governors Association

    NGO - Non-governmental organization

    NIC - National Instrumental Center

    NIH - National Institutes of Health

    NIOSH - National Institute of Standards and Technology

    NMFS - National Marine Fisheries Service 

    NRC - National Response Center

    NRT - National Response Team

    NS/EP - National Security Emergency Preparedness

    NSA - National Security Area

    NSA - National Security Agency

    NSC - National Security Council

    NSC/DC - National Security Council Deputies Committee

    NSC/PC - National Security Council Principals Committee

    NSC/IWG - National Security Council Interagency Working Group

    NSDD - National Security Decision Directive

    NSEP - National Security and Emergency Preparedness

    NTIS - National Technical Information Service

    NUE - Notification of unusual event

    NCW - National Warning Center

    NWS - National Weather Service

    OC - Operations Center

    OCE - Office of Chief Engineer

    OEA - Office of External Affairs

    OEMT - Operational Emergency Management Team

    OEO - Office of Emergency Operations

    OEP - Office of Emergency Preparedness

    OEP/NDMS -Office of Emergency Preparedness/National Disaster Medical System

    OES - Office of Emergency Services

    OHMTADS -Oil and Hazardous Materials Technical Assistance Data System

    OJT - On-the-job training

    OMB - Office of Management and Budget

    OPA - Office of Policy and Assessments

    OPM - Office of Personnel Management

    OPR - Office of Primary Responsibility

    PA - Public address

    PA - Public Affairs

    PA-1 Director, Office of Public Affairs

    PAO - Public Affairs Officer

    PAT - Public Affairs Team

    PAZ - Protective Action Zone

    PBT - Performance-based Training

    PER - Performance evaluation report

    PHS - Public Health Service

    PIO - Public Information Office/Officer

    PIRG - Public Interest Research Group

    PM - Program Manager

    PPE - Personal Protective Equipment

    PSA - Public Service Announcement

    PSAR - Preliminary safety analysis report

    PSO - Program Senior Official

    PT&E - Preparedness, Training & Exercises

    PT&ED - Preparedness, Training & Exercise Directorate

    RECWG - Regional Emergency Coordinators Working Group

    RER - Reentry recommendation

    ROC - Regional Operations Center

    ROST - Regional Operations Support Team

    RPG - Response Planning Guide

    RRP - Regional Response Plan

    RRT - Regional Response Team (DOE)

    S&H - Safety and Health

    SAE - Site Area Emergency

    SAR - Safety analysis report/review

    SCI - Sensitive compartmented information

    SCO - State coordinating officer

    SD - Standing directives

    SDATE - Special Disaster Assistance Team Employee

    SECOM - Security Communications Control Center

    SER - Safety evaluation report

    SERC - State Emergency Response Commission [SARA of 1986 ]

    SERT - Security Emergency Response Team

    SFO - Senior FEMA official

    SIOC - Strategic Information Operations Center (FBI equivalent to EICC)

    SIR - Security incident report

    SITREP - Situation Report

    SME - Subject matter expert

    SRT - Special Response Team

    TCP - Traffic control point

    TELOS - Test and evaluate local operating systems

    TEMP - Transportation Emergency Management Program

    TEPP- Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program

    TES - Training/Evaluation Standard

    US&R - Urban search and rescue

    USC - United States Code

    USCG - U.S. Coast Guard [DOT}

    USD - Under Secretary of Defense

    USD(P) - Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

    USDA - U.S. Department of Agriculture

    USFA - U.S. Fire Administration [FEMA]

    USFS - U.S. Forest Service

    USFORSCOM - US Army Forces Command

    USGS - U.S. Geological Survey

    USNRC - U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    USPHS - U.S. Public Health

    USPS - U.S. Postal Service

    USQ - Unresolved Safety Question

    VA - Department of Veterans Affairs

    VAMC - Veterans Administration Medical Center

    VHA - Veterans Health Administration

    WINDS - Weather Information and Display System

    ZULU - Greenwich Mean Time (also see GMT)