Help people in your community understand the steps they can take before a disaster to reduce their risks, lessen the damage, and recover more quickly.
Page last updated: 04/04/2023
It is easier for people to recover from a disaster if they are better prepared for it. There are low-cost steps they can take to reduce their risk, lessen disaster-related damage, and equip themselves for a quicker and less stressful recovery. This preparation includes steps to preserve copies of the documents they may need after a disaster for insurance claims, aid applications, child custody disputes, or other legal issues.
This quick guide and checklist summarize the essential documentation needed following a disaster.
The Ready Campaign is a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement.
Becoming “Red Cross Ready” for an emergency means following our simple steps in advance to ensure you can weather a crisis safely and comfortably. Being prepared may not prevent a disaster, but it will give you the confidence to meet the challenge.
Legal aid organizations can help educate people in the community about these steps. Here are some tips on providing and distributing information and motivating residents to prepare:
It also can be helpful to understand the types of short- and long-term legal issues that commonly arise after a disaster. Residents can become more aware of the types of issues they can get help with through the legal process, and legal aid organizations and other groups can better prepare for the type of assistance people may need in the weeks and months after a disaster.
Disaster survivors’ legal assistance needs include those related to: