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Disaster Planning & Recovery

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There are many Ask Metafilter and MetaTalk posts that address planning for and recovery from natural disasters. This page attempts to collect and organize the information and discussions.

The Red Cross has information on how to prepare for emergencies, and has information on evacuations, flooding, power outages, wildfires, hurricanes, etc.

The Red Cross also offers Disaster Relief & Recovery Services - if you need immediate assistance, you can contact your local Red Cross chapter.

Related resources:

  • ThereIsHelp (suicide crisis hotlines, mental health support)

AskMe Threads


Hurricane Anti-Anxiety Tips (likely to get slammed by Hurricane Florence. I live alone and am terrified. Help?)

Help me quell my tornado anxieties...or not (What happens to your stuff, what do you do about the immediate moment, etc?)

How to prepare for disaster without going all Doomsday Preppers (food? candles? batteries? whiskey? tiny cat hard hat? I really have no idea)

The things you don't need until you suddenly do (what seldom-used household items leave a person the most screwed if they aren't around when they are required?)

Further reading: It's the end of the world and they know it (links to Doomsday Preppers episodes; from the comments: CDC Zombie Preparedness)

Further reading: Watch out for that last 10%... (How do you survive a disaster?)


just in case reading list (What are the best survivalist's reference books?)

Looking for survival guides (How to build shelters, fires, foraging etc with little or no supplies)

Homesteading and self-sufficiency resources (without the bloodshed) (including storing/preserving food (canning, preserving, pickling, etc) and very high level "off the grid" type things)

Emergency Kits

What would MacGyver pack in his survival kit? (Extra points for creativity, cheapness (in cost, not quality), and simplicity.)

Thunder Dome Goodie Bag (What's your 72 disaster preparedness kit like?)

What to put in a modern day survival kit? (What to put in a modern day emergency kit in the event of Katrina like situation?)

EDC for people who aren't paranoid survivalists (I cannot physically carry more than one decently-sized backpack)

Cool disaster gadgets (Building the best emergency kit -- gadget time!)

Car Emergency Kit 2.0 (can you help me assemble a better car kit that would help me help others more effectively while waiting for CHP/EMTs/etc?)

Open in case of very small emergency. (I'm assembling a bag of useful things that I will keep in the trunk my car. What goes in it? )

Build me an emergency car-kit (What item or knowledge has saved you in a car-related bind?)

How/where to buy/build an outdoor container for emergency supplies? (I'd like to store our family emergency kit somewhere outside)

Where to buy emergency kit items and water rations in Canada? (I'm looking to put together a 72-hour kit.)

Where can I buy a good, pre-made earthquake kit in Vancouver? (a good 72-hour earthquake kit I can stash under my bed?)

SurvivalistFilter: Emergency supplies, and long term fuel/water storage ('keep 24 people warm and happy for two weeks' kit in case of emergency)

Go bag grab bag: SF edition (I'd like to ask the San Francisco version of this question)

I think I would look good in waders. (there are surely other things/tools/resources we probably should buy now to prepare for the next big storm. Can you make any recommendations?)

Hunkering down for a hurricane in the ER in Miami? (He's showing up with water & food & headlamps and...what else?)

Further reading: Communities founded on shared delusion: Prepper Edition (includes bug-out-bag described by Slap*Happy)

Further reading: Every day carry (In preparedness circles, EDC means Everyday Carry, being items one keeps on or near one's person at all times)

Further reading: Build A Kit (

Emergency Notification

Can I get tornando warnings through email or text? (Is there a service that will text or email tornado warnings to me?)

How Can I Get Immediate Notification Via Text of an LA Earthquake? (Is there any way I could arrange for a text message to be sent for every earthquake that hits the LA Basin?)

When the Big One Hits (Best way to store contacts online for a headcount during a natural disaster?)

Is there a VOIP emergency phone broadcast service we can host on our own? (to send a recorded message out to a pre-set list of contacts AND have a message box)

Emergency Plan

This is Our Emergency (How to create a comprehensive and effective emergency plan? (NYC Edition))

should I stay or should I go? (I live in LA - where can I go and get reliable advice?)

Plan for being evacuated for Harvey (How do I optimally prepare my two story house for a mandatory flood evacuation or to be stranded in the house if there's no open road?)

How much rainfall is bad - Hurricane Florence edition (Deciding whether to stay tomorrow or go.) Includes further reading: The Twin-Bucket Emergency Toilet

Further reading: Disaster Preparedness (National Disaster Legal Aid)

Further reading: Make A Plan (


SurvivalistFilter part 3: Homemade MREs (using boil-able/freezable/microwavable plastic pouches, a vacuum sealer, and a pressure cooker)

Batten down the hatches! (What should I put in my emergency food box?)

Further reading: Food (


Buy a whole house generator? (Good planning, or overkill?)

Need power, but first need help (would like to have a generator backup power supply)


Best Emergency Radio? (Looking for an emergency radio with certain features)

have an emergency radio... now what? (How do I best use it during an impending or in-progress emergency situation?)

Can you hear me now? (what are the protocols and technologies that are in place now that are most likely to be used in a crisis)

Ham radio 101, please (Assume I know nothing about equipment or the process of becoming an operator)


Which is better, A or B? (Which of these options is the safest shelter in a tornado situation?)

Quick, Easy and Free Emergency Shelters (Must be inexpensive or free and easy to set up.)

UK emergency/instant shelters at London response site? (the semi-geodesic three-walled pop-up emergency shelters)


Emergency Japanese water bags? (does anybody know where I could get something pretty similar and/or what exactly they are called?)

How Much Seawater Can You Safely Drink? (is there is a ratio of fresh water to sea water that would extend your fresh water supplies)

How should I store water at my house? (I want to store at least 60 gallons of drinking water at my house, for earthquake or other emergency prep)

Further reading: Water (


Medical / Mental Health

Emergency medicine FAQ in multiple languages. (Does anyone know of a handy reference of emergency medicine questions and statements in different languages?)

Help me recover from my recovery (advice sought on diet, fitness, repatriation, etc. after a long hospitalization)

How do I cope with a near death experience? (looking for coping strategies more specific and creative than "go to therapy")

Further reading: ThereIsHelp (includes links to mental health resources and free/low-cost medication and health care)

Housing / Rebuilding

How to Handle Hurricane Irma Repairs - HALP (we don't know what we're doing. We're losing our minds -- help!)

Severe storm damage, what now? (Mitigation team is on the way, but what all should I be aware of, as we start trying to put things back together?)

Flood recovery options sans flood insurance (What all do I need to be concerned with after my house flooded?)

Hurricane Damage and Insurance (The roofing company says we need a new roof (I believe them), the insurance company says we just need to replace shingles)

What should we do since our house burned down with everything we own? (what are Best Practices for dealing with the loss of all our stuff and the house we kept it in?)

Fire in apartment below--rebuilding/insurance questions (This is in NYC, and I have no renter's insurance.)

Aftermath of a fire (Basically, what I am trying to figure out is the logistics involved in the cleaning.)

Help me rebuild my flooded house with an eye towards selling it. (I am overwhelmed by the thought of picking ALL THE THINGS)

Further reading: How water damages a flooded house — and what can be saved (WaPo)

Further reading: FLASH - Publications, Resources & Programs (The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) is a nonprofit offering resources for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters) and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (a nonprofit research organization supported solely by property insurers and reinsurers) via Houses intact after Hurricane Michael were often saved by low-cost reinforcements (WaPo)

Volunteer Opportunities

Help me help them. (A city in my area was hit by a tornado last night. How do I volunteer to help with the aftermath?)

Any recommendations on how to donate labor to disaster recovery? (Lacking money but possessing skills, I'd really like to pitch in)

How do I help actually rebuild Puerto Rico, with my actual hands? (Will this really be helpful? If so, what organization can I volunteer with?)

Further reading: CrowdSource Rescue via Torrents of Water in Towns Across the Carolinas. And a Guy With a Boat. (NYT)

MetaTalk Threads

Extreme weather check-in

California wildfire check-in

Hurricane Michael check-in thread

Hurricane Florence Check in thread


Winter Storm Riley check-in post

SoCal Fire Check-In (December 2017)

Ireland Hurricane Ophelia Check In

California fire check-in

Mexico City earthquake check in thread

Hurricane Maria Check-In Thread

Hurricane Irma Help, Advice and Check In

Burbank (L.A.) wildfire check-in

Hurricane Harvey Check-In Post

Hurricane Matthew

Metafilter Munich Shooting: Check-In

MeFites in Texas, Ecuador, and Japan

Hurricane Patricia status thread

Fifty Tornadoes is too many tornadoes -- midwest MeFites check in!

Hurricane Sandy Rowboat Check-In Thread

Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstorm (Mandatory evacuations are beginning, so I figure a hurricane information/safety/calm-each-other-down thread (like last year) is warranted.)

Hurricane Isaac roll call.

Hurricane Irene

South Korea is flooding.

It's gonna be a stormy year...

It's Gonna Work Out Fine, right?


California mefites, please phone home!


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