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Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response – Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response.

Novel Coronavirus Resources
Collection of COVID-19-related websites and documents prepared by the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE), including technical assistance responses, infectious disease resources, and topic collections.
Date: 06/2020
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Presents an overview of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak (COVID-19) and shares the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Provides information for healthcare facilities and providers, health departments, communities, and other specific audiences. Includes free communication resources for distribution.
Date: 06/2020
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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2020 National Emergency Medical Services Assessment
Describes emergency medical services (EMS), EMS emergency preparedness, and 911 systems at the state and national levels, using data from a survey completed by representatives of 54 states and U.S. territories. Features statistics in categories including EMS organizations, response and patient care, workforce health and safety, disaster preparedness, and funding, including funding provided by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Association of State EMS Officials
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Rural Health and COVID-19
Information to help hospital and health system emergency planners and state and local public health emergency planners understand the challenges rural communities face related to COVID-19. Addresses issues facing healthcare facilities and those related to at-risk residents. Includes proposed solutions and mitigation steps.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
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COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season
Provides information and guidance for emergency managers on how FEMA plans to adapt hurricane response and recovery operations related to COVID-19. Includes checklists and resources to help emergency managers adapt their response and recovery plans.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Federal Emergency Management Agency
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Federal Emergency Management Agency: Training
Information and resources for the training of first responders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Features information for emergency managers, tribal representatives, and volunteer agencies.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Federal Emergency Management Agency
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Public Health Foundation: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Training
A list of COVID-19 training opportunities available through the TRAIN Learning Network. Includes training options for public health, healthcare, and emergency preparedness professionals addressing COVID-19, crisis and emergency risk communication, infection control, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Date: 05/2020
Type: Tutorial/Training
Sponsoring organization: Public Health Foundation
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COVID-19 Safety Training
Health and safety resources for workers who may be at risk of exposure to COVID-19. Training resources will continue to be updated as the situation evolves.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
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EDEN: Current Situation: COVID-19
Resources to help extension educators address COVID-19 concerns in their communities. Includes courses, publications, videos, and more.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Extension Disaster Education Network
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FEMA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
Information and resources on how FEMA is assisting state, local, tribal, and territorial governments related to the Nationwide Emergency Declaration for COVID-19. Includes best practices section where communities can share their experiences and learn from others.
Additional links: Coronavirus Emergency Management Best Practices
Date: 05/2020
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Federal Emergency Management Agency
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Project N95: The National COVID-19 Medical Equipment Clearinghouse
Clearinghouse to help healthcare providers and facilities request needed personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, surgical masks, isolation gowns, and ventilators. A request form is available, and the expectation is that PPE will be available in the coming weeks and will be distributed where it is most urgently needed.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Website
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State COVID-19 Response Resources
A list of state government pages focused on response to COVID-19, with information on state guidance, resources for healthcare providers in the state, and state monitoring.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Directory
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Urban and Rural Differences in Coronavirus Pandemic Preparedness
Analysis including interactive maps that allow users to find estimates of hospital bed capacity by area, and to adjust estimates based on the age of the population. Features statistics including hospital beds and ICU beds per 10,000 population, percentage of non-elderly adults with chronic conditions, and percentage of adults age 65 and over, with breakdowns by metro and nonmetro areas.
Author(s): Kendal Orgera, Daniel McDermott, Matthew Rae, et al.
Date: 04/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Kaiser Family Foundation
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Ethical and Legal Challenges During the COVID‐19 Pandemic – Are We Thinking About Rural Hospitals?
Discusses the legal framework and ethical decisions hospitals are faced with during the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights emergency preparedness planning for rural hospitals with limited workforce and resources.
Author(s): Love Patel, Amy Elliott, Erik Storlie, et al.
Citation: Journal of Rural Health
Date: 04/2020
Type: Document
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Planning Resources by Setting: Hospitals and Healthcare Systems
Details the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's emergency preparedness and response resources for hospitals. Features tools, reports, and guidance for hospitals during an environmental or public health emergency.
Date: 04/2020
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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RCAP Planning for Pandemics Toolkit
Toolkit designed by the Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) to help small water systems prepare for an epidemic. Includes flyers on COVID-19 and sanitation, and a continuity of operations plan template that can be used to prepare for a pandemic.
Date: 04/2020
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Rural Community Assistance Partnership
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The Emergency Preparedness Research Evaluation & Practice (EPREP) Program Toolkits
A list of evidence-based resources and tools created for public health and healthcare professionals to use in their planning and response efforts. Includes sections on healthcare preparedness, preparedness evaluation, models for planning and training, emergency risk communication, and long-term care facilities. Includes toolkits relevant to the COVID-19 response.
Date: 04/2020
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
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Virtually Perfect? Telemedicine for Covid-19
Perspective article that discusses the role telehealth could play in responding to COVID-19. Discusses telemedicine approaches related to surge control and triage, patient isolation, eICU, community paramedicine, and more.
Author(s): Judd E. Hollander, Brendan G. Carr
Citation: New England Journal of Medicine
Date: 04/2020
Type: Document
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Information for First Responders on Maintaining Operational Capabilities During a Pandemic
Provides resources to help first responders plan for the impacts of a severe pandemic. Offers ways to adjust operations to maintain readiness, planning tools for local leaders, and reference sheets with discipline-specific action steps.
Date: 03/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Fire Administration
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The Exchange Feature Issue: Preparing for and Responding to Wildfires and Planned Outages
Newsletter issue focusing on lessons learned by medical facilities and communities in Colorado and California during the wildfires of 2017 and 2019. Covers information useful for rural hospital emergency managers and administration, including mass sheltering, hospital evacuation, managing stress and compassion fatigue among workers, and community recovery.
Citation: Issue 10
Date: 03/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
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COVID-19 Healthcare Planning Checklist
Resource to help state, local, tribal, and territorial governments prepare for and respond to COVID-19. Identifies specific activities jurisdictions can undertake, including activities addressing safety and infection control, EMS, and hospital and healthcare delivery.
Date: 03/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
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Health Industry Cybersecurity: Management Checklist for Teleworking Surge During the COVID-19 Response
A guide for healthcare enterprise management on how to address important factors related to teleworking during a public emergency. Includes action items related to information technology and cybersecurity, legal and privacy considerations, and communication.
Author(s): Joint Cybersecurity Working Group
Date: 03/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council
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U.S. Virgin Islands Recovery: Additional Actions Could Strengthen FEMA's Key Disaster Recovery Efforts
Examines the status of federal public assistance programs and grant funding for the U.S. Virgin Islands in response to the hurricanes of September 2017. Includes evaluation and recommendations for further action.
Additional links: Full report
Date: 11/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Disaster Response: HHS Should Address Deficiencies Highlighted by Recent Hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
Examines the federal public health and medical services response in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico following the 2017 hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Identifies shortcomings of the response and provides recommendations to improve future response efforts.
Additional links: Full report
Date: 09/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Emergency Preparedness for Rural Communities Policy Paper
Policy position paper focused on emergency preparedness for rural communities. Covers fostering community involvement and a rural culture of readiness, mass casualty incidents, cyber security, communications, workforce barriers, and rural specific considerations.
Author(s): Tara Haskins, David Barney, Bishow Paudel
Date: 07/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
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Hospital-Based Incident Command Systems: Small and Rural Hospitals
Provides slides and additional links from a webinar featuring case studies of how rural, Indian Health Service, and Critical Access Hospitals responded to emergencies and used Incident Command Systems in Tennessee, Nebraska, Texas, South Dakota, Georgia, and Utah. Features training examples and actual situations - shooting incidents, school bus accidents, water contamination, and more - addressing challenges faced and lessons learned.
Date: 03/2019
Type: Presentation Slides
Sponsoring organization: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
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Critical Access Hospital Requirements: CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule
Provides a reference source for Critical Access Hospital (CAH) requirements related to the final rule from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), "Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers." Includes excerpts from the final rule as well as related CMS interpretive guidelines for CAHs. Addresses development of an emergency plan, related policies and procedures, communications, training, and more.
Date: 03/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
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Planning and Partnerships: Coordinating Rural Resources for Emergency Preparedness and Response
Discusses how rural healthcare facilities can prepare for natural and man-made disasters, the need for flexibility, and the importance of learning from others' experiences. Includes examples of rural communities and providers responding to a tornado in Iowa, an earthquake in Alaska, and an armed hostage standoff in South Dakota.
Author(s): Tami Lichtenberg
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 03/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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2019 National Tribal and Rural Training Needs Assessment
Reports findings from a survey of rural and tribal first response organizations to understanding their training needs. Includes information on demographics, core capabilities, training needs, and training information and delivery preferences.
Author(s): Kay Lang, Christopher Murtagh, Richards P. Davis
Date: 2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Center for Best Practices in Law Enforcement, Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium
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Rural and Frontier Healthcare Coalitions: A Preparedness and Response Snapshot
Summarizes interviews with rural and frontier healthcare coalitions from nine states. Describes the characteristics of healthcare coalitions. Covers strengths, barriers, and opportunities for rural and frontier healthcare coalitions.
Author(s): Shannon Davis
Date: 09/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Association of County and City Health Officials
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Picking Up the Pieces: Restoring Rural Housing and Communities After a Disaster
Acts as a guide to inform and identify resources for rural survivors, local organizations, and communities to rebuild housing and communities after a disaster with an emphasis on housing assistance.
Additional links: Special Supplement
Date: 09/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
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School District Crisis Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plans — United States, 2006, 2012, and 2016
Examines crisis preparedness in schools, with data on urban, suburban, town, and rural areas. Includes information on district requirements for school preparedness related to family reunification procedures, pandemic influenza or other infectious disease outbreak response, provisions for special needs or mental health services, and funding for or provision of crisis preparedness training.
Author(s): Judy Kruger, Nancy Brener, Rebecca Leeb, et al.
Citation: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 67(30), 809-814
Date: 08/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Emergency Preparedness and Recovery: A Toolkit for Rural Communities
Provides information and resources to assist a long term recovery group (LTRG) responding to a disaster and implementing recovery plans in a rural community. Addresses the infrastructure and health needs of rural residents in a disaster. Offers considerations for establishing a LTRG in a small and/or rural area and covers topics specific to rural areas, such as organizing volunteers and financial management.
Date: 04/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Planners4Health, Texas Public Health Association
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Tribal Nursing Home Best Practices: Emergency Preparedness
Describes emergency preparedness approaches of 5 tribal nursing homes in Arizona, Washington, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
Date: 12/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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Health and Medical Response to Active Shooter and Bombing Events
Explores key issues and serves as a prompt for responders and planners to consider areas where their communities can address potential gaps. Addresses challenges specific to crisis situations in rural areas.
Author(s): John L. Hick, Dan Hanfling, Bruce Evans, et al.
Date: 06/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Academy of Medicine
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All-Hazards Preparedness for Rural Communities: A Guide to Help Rural Agriculture Communities Prepare for Threats to Their Families, Farms, Animals and Businesses
Guide for individuals, farmers, and businesses in rural agricultural communities preparing for an all-hazards approach for their communities and commodities. Includes preparedness information and plans for families, homes, pets, farms, livestock, crops, and businesses regarding threats, such as biological, man-made, or technological threats.
Author(s): Jessica Platts, Shaine Devoe, Ashley Osborn, Stellena Nelson, Glenda Dvorak
Date: 2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Food Security and Public Health
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Emergency Preparedness Handbook for Tribal Governments
Describes strategies for developing and implementing plans for disaster management on tribal lands. Includes sample emergency plans and a list of federal and tribal online resources for emergency preparedness and response.
Author(s): Jon Mielke, Dick Winchell, Ashley Murphy
Date: 12/2014
Type: Document
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How EMS in Rural Methow Valley, Washington, Coped with a Devastating Wildfire
Describes the emergency medical service (EMS) response in the aftermath of a wildfire, in which patients and providers were cut off from hospitals, 911 coverage, and power. Shows the importance of advanced preparedness and planning by rural EMS agencies.
Author(s): Cindy Button
Citation: JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services), 39(10), 46-9
Date: 10/2014
Type: Document
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Responding to Medical Surge in Rural Communities: Practices for Immediate Bed Availability
Describes strategies and practices that enable local health departments and healthcare organizations serving rural areas to assist their communities during emergencies resulting in medical surge. Explores ways to ensure adequate levels of care for all patients, including telehealth services and integrated information sharing systems.
Date: 09/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Association of County and City Health Officials
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Tips for Disaster Responders: Cultural Awareness When Working in Indian Country Post Disaster
Provides information for disaster response workers to build cultural awareness for supporting Native Americans before, during, and after a traumatic event. Discusses cultural values, types of traumatic events, traditional teachings, and talking circles.
Date: 09/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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Emergency Medical Services Response to Motor Vehicle Crashes in Rural Areas: A Synthesis of Highway Practice
Identifies potential factors that may help reduce the time necessary to provide effective medical care to vehicle crash victims on rural roads. Includes rural statistics and data.
Date: 04/2013
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
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Regional Resilience: Research and Policy Brief
Summarizes research on disaster resiliency. Provides a framework for assessing current policy and practice as it relates to regional resilience. Includes rural areas.
Author(s): Brian Dabson, Colleen M. Heflin, Kathleen K. Miller
Date: 02/2012
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute
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2011 National EMS Assessment
Provides a comprehensive description of emergency medical services (EMS), EMS emergency preparedness, and 911 systems at state and national levels. Chapters 9, 10, 158, and 194 discuss rural EMS, including rural status, rural patient transports, and Critical Access Hospitals.
Author(s): Greg Mears, Beth Armstrong, Antonio R. Fernandez, et al.
Date: 12/2011
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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Urban to Rural Evacuation: Planning for Rural Population Surge
Analyzes the likelihood of urban evacuation to rural areas in disaster or emergency situations and provides recommendations for rural planning and response.
Author(s): Michael Meit, Thomas Briggs, Alene Kennedy
Date: 08/2008
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
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Partnering to Achieve Rural Emergency Preparedness: A Workbook for Healthcare Providers in Rural Communities
Provides a tool to help Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), community health centers, migrant health centers, and hospitals develop effective community emergency preparedness plans. Encourages a collaborative approach with coordination between community leaders and healthcare facilities.
Author(s): Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health
Date: 2007
Type: Document
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Rural Communities and Emergency Preparedness
Discusses rural considerations in emergency preparedness. Covers involvement of State Offices of Rural Health in bioterrorism preparedness. Discusses rural public health and EMS preparedness issues.
Date: 04/2002
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
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The Community Planning Framework for Healthcare Preparedness
A tool for community planners to help improve healthcare preparedness and delivery during a pandemic or other public health emergency. May be used to enhance existing community plans for medical surge or to develop new plans.
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN)
Resources to help Cooperative Extension Services aid citizens affected by disasters. Addresses a wide range of hazards, including natural and man-made disasters
Type: Website
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Rural Disaster Health
A collection of resources highlighting guidance for and lessons learned by healthcare practitioners serving rural and tribal communities. Features categories including Critical Access Hospitals, education and training, tribal health resources, and surge planning from urban to rural areas.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
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FirstNet (First Responder Network Authority)
Provides information on the development of a national high-speed wireless broadband public safety network, supporting the work of first responders, including emergency medical services personnel.
Type: Website
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PubMed Search: Emergency Preparedness and Rural Health
Searches PubMed's collection of journal article citations on the topics of emergency preparedness and response and rural health in the U.S.
Type: Literature Search
Sponsoring organization: U.S. National Library of Medicine
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Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC)
Consists of 14 centers that provide public health preparedness and response training to state, local, and tribal public health authorities.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Emergency Preparedness & Continuity of Operations
Highlights the emergency preparedness programs and initiatives with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Includes information on federal financial assistance in declared emergencies, disaster responses, public assistance, individual assistance, response and recovery, hazard mitigation, and small business loans.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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All Hazards: Resources to Help Rural Communities Prepare for Disasters and Other Hazards
Provides resources to help citizens in rural agricultural communities prepare for and recover from disasters and emergency situations, including dangers related to agrochemicals.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Iowa State University
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Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response
Provides free, online cultural and linguistic competency education designed for emergency medical technicians (EMTs), psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers responding in disaster situations.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health
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WISER: Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders
Assists first responders in hazardous material incidents. Provides information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. National Library of Medicine
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State Offices and Agencies of Emergency Management
Lists contact information for state and territory offices of emergency management.
Type: Directory
Sponsoring organization: Federal Emergency Management Agency
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Disaster Assistance.gov
Serves as the federal site for registration of services for people affected by disasters in federally designated disaster areas. Includes rural housing repair and rental loans.
Type: Website
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Additional resources are available related to this guide. See the full list of resources by topic for:


Last Updated: 6/2/2020