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image of an Americares worker with a box of supplies with the word, "READY" in all caps

1.Expect extremes. 2.Get ready. 3.Protect health.

Disaster preparedness reduces destruction, injury and death, and it makes good economic sense. Getting the health system ready for disasters is a game changer for communities at risk, helping them stay safe and recover faster.  The best response to a disaster is a good plan.  

The Ramos family searches the rubble of their home

Expect Extremes

The severity and frequency of natural and man-made disasters are on the rise as environmental, social and political factors contribute to the surge in complex humanitarian crises. Disasters now directly affect over 200 million people annually. At Americares, we must be ready 365 days a year so we can quickly respond to any global disaster. Last year we responded to 36 different disasters. With our partners around the world and here at home, we prepare for the worst that nature or humans can produce. 

No one can stop hurricanes or droughts or earthquakes, but we know from decades of responding to disasters that we can identify historical vulnerabilities of certain areas like Tornadoes in the South and Central U.S., Typhoons in the PhilippinesFloods in KentuckyHurricanes in the Caribbean, and Earthquakes in Indonesia.

In the case of disease, we  anticipate the conditions that contribute to such outbreaks and work to limit their impact. As the Global Pandemic of COVID extended into a fourth year, our focus on protecting health workers and health facilities here at home and around the world highlighted the critical nature of providing health workers on the front lines of any disaster with the means to stay safe and continue meeting the health needs of their communities. We can mitigate the potential threat to health care services and save more lives by raising the level of local preparedness, making the health system more resilient and capable of caring for survivors during and after an emergency. In the United States, we are helping free clinics around the country build greater resilience in the face of the climate crisis and extreme weather events.

Even in civil conflicts and other man-made disasters such as the War in Ukraine, we can strengthen supply chain capabilities globally and locally and expand partnerships with other disaster and health organizations to be better prepared to meet health needs should a crisis arise. And now with human activity the effects of climate change contributing to the magnitude of natural disasters and the increasing frequency of different types of disasters, disaster preparedness is rapidly becoming a matter of survival.

Planning for a disaster requires dynamic, direct action at the local level – a continuous process that takes place before, during and after a disaster.  And a good plan needs reliable resources.

Relief work

Get Ready

Americares Emergency Response Partners (AERP): These committed corporate partners help provide the reliable funding base necessary for Americares to respond swiftly and effectively to disaster events around the globe – the ones you see in the news and the ones you don’t.  Their commitment combined with the generosity of our individual donors means that our local partners, experienced staff and ER roster have the resources needed to save lives and restore health.

And as we get ready, you should get ready two. Download the following 5 Steps to Ready:

Local Health Centers

Frontline Partners

In the Community

We maintain a global network of 4,000 health partners, including nearly 1,000 local health centers in the US. In historically vulnerable areas, we work closely with these partners to prepare for a disaster with practical training and resource support.  Before a disaster strikes, we also pre-position responders where possible, along with medicines and supplies for local health center partners.

The ER Team

Experienced Staff

On the Ground

Our emergency response experts are equipped and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. This includes staff stationed at our headquarters and around the globe. Our team is small, nimble and skilled. They effectively work with and leverage local partners to support local health care efforts during an emergency.

Expanded Response

Emergency Response Roster

At the Ready

Additionally, we maintain and train a roster of global response professionals whom we can call upon to respond with us over time, bringing local knowledge and language skills from around the world as well as emergency response expertise. Our Emergency Response Roster makes it possible to ramp up quickly when we confront a large-scale disaster.

Emergency team comforting Puerto Rico earthquake survivor in front of her car.

Protect Health

Our work in past disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, has led us to design emergency preparedness programs specific to safety net health facilities in the U.S. and local health centers globally, particularly those serving vulnerable populations. We know from decades of experience what it takes to save lives in the next disaster:

  • maintain an emergency pharmacy full of medicine most in need;
  • prepare the local health care providers with targeted, hands-on training – proven and well practiced in action;
  • and strengthen the local health facility with necessary physical improvements, reliable resources and basic equipment such as generators, fire extinguishers and even simple first aid kits.

The time to save lives is now – before disaster strikes.

  • Have a list of prescriptions you need and at least a 7-day supply on hand along with a 3-day supply of food and water.
  • Carry your health insurance card and primary care doctor’s contact information along with other important contacts.
  • Have back-up power for any medical devices or medicine that needs refrigeration, as well as portable chargers for your mobile devices.
  • And don’t forget a plan for household members with special needs, including your pets.

#GetReadyNow and download your own 5 Steps to Ready.