Disaster Response Resources

This material is based upon work supported by NeighborWorks America AmeriCorps VISTA. Opinions or points of view expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position that is endorsed by, AmeriCorps.

‘East Kentucky Flood,’ an original documentary by the Center for Rural Strategies, is available for streaming at the link below.

Disaster Preparedness

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Benjamin Franklin

The actions taken in the initial minutes of an emergency are critical. The correct response at the correct time will save lives, minimize damage, and assure the continuity of business operations. Having a well established Emergency Action Plan (Business Continuity Plan) is vital to the ongoing success of our collective efforts to serve The People of Appalachia to the best of our ability.

This page aims to assist our Members in all aspects of disaster response, continuity planning, and resource preparedness. Here you will find links, resources, stories, and templates that are freely available for use.

1. Preform Risk Assessment & Business Impact Assessment

The first step to constructing an Emergency Action Plan(EAP) is to conduct a Risk Assessment (RA) and Business Impact Assessment (BIA). Generally, both assessments work in tandem to determine the most likely disasters that threaten the efficacy of your organization. This will help you to see any outstanding areas of focus. This process can be as simple or as complicated as necessary to allocate the most accurate and appropriate information for your organization. Listed below are links to various examples of RA and BIA that are free to use for your own preparedness efforts.

Risk Assessment (RA)

Business Impact Assessment (BIA)

2. Develop Business Continuity Strategies

Following the RA and BIA is the development of continuity strategies. These strategies are a direct result of the information gathered during the previous assessments, and aim to find solutions before, during, and following operational disasters. The primary goals of your continuity strategies are to soften the initial impact by planning ahead, reduce the duration of the disaster as it occurs, and expedite the recovery process. Below is a collection of examples for development of your continuity strategies.


Additional Resources

3. Document Business Continuity Plans

Based on the continuity strategies that have been developed, the Emergency Action Plan (EAP)/Business Continuity Plan (BCP) itself will be organized, constructed, and implemented. Review the continuity strategies, decide on an appropriate template, and begin laying out the reaction and recovery process of all likely disaster events. The continuity plans themselves must clearly and concisely state the immediate and specific steps to be taken during and after a disaster or disruption. Specificity is required for step-by-step processes (such as recovering data or shutting off valves) yet some may require more flexibility (dangerous person or inclement weather). In addition to the disaster plans themselves, you are highly encouraged to include the following:

  • Disaster Response Teams – groups or individuals tasked with specific roles during emergencies or disasters.
  • Contact information for all employees
  • Contact information for all adjacent organizations and individuals (plumbers, electricians, police, attorneys)
  • Floor plans for all locations (noting areas of high importance such as shut off valves, pilot lights, and exits)
  • Roles and responsibilities of management
  • templates for quick and accurate data collection and note taking

Listed below are examples of EAP/BCP for use as a template or idea in constructing your own. Note that although these plans are comprehensive for their respective businesses, your plan may appear vastly different depending on priority, size of your organization, and the number of likely disasters. Remember, the choice of content and how much information to include in the plan is yours. For some businesses this plan may consist of a simple two or three pages, for other organizations the plan may run twenty or more pages in length. The key is to individualize the plan to the needs of your organization, which only you and your team can do.



Trainings and Webinars


At The Office

At Home


Articles & Media

Five tornadoes confirmed in north Alabama and southern Tennessee

03/25/23 – WAFF48

Federal disaster funds approved for East TN counties affected by Dec. 2022 arctic blast

WJHL 03/08/23

Gov. Beshear: $123 Million Available May 1 To Meet Housing Needs Following Natural Disasters

kentucky.gov 05/26/23

Gov. Justice declares State of Emergency for all 55 counties due to severe thunderstorms

WV.gov 02/17/23

New housing development launched for flood survivors in Knott County

WYMT – 04/11/23

Points of Interest

Johns Hopkins University – Worldwide COVID-19 Tracker

US Air Quality Index – National Fire and Smoke Map

HRSA Active Grants Map