Preparing for disasters, terrorist threats, or communicable disease outbreaks is an important part of public health nursing. Visit the website and . Review the steps for being prepared for a disaster or pandemic. Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2016). . Retrieved from . Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2016). . Retrieved from . APA Format REQUIRED REFERENCES: Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2015). (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier. Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2016). . Retrieved from .


Being prepared for disasters, terrorist threats, or communicable disease outbreaks is crucial to ensure the effective response and management of public health emergencies. Public health nurses play a significant role in disaster preparedness by providing essential health services and support to individuals, communities, and organizations. This paper will examine the steps involved in being prepared for a disaster or pandemic as outlined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Overview of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, responsible for coordinating and responding to disasters that occur within the United States and that overwhelm the resources of local and state authorities. FEMA’s mission is to help citizens and first responders prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.

Steps for Disaster and Pandemic Preparedness

FEMA provides a comprehensive framework for disaster and pandemic preparedness that involves several important steps. These steps are crucial in ensuring that communities, organizations, and individuals are ready to effectively respond to a crisis situation. The following sections will discuss each step in detail.

Step 1: Make a Plan

The first step in disaster and pandemic preparedness is to create a plan that outlines the necessary actions and protocols to be followed during a crisis. This plan should include details related to evacuation routes, communication strategies, emergency contact information, and a list of essential supplies. It is important to involve all relevant stakeholders, including community members, healthcare providers, and local authorities in the development of the plan to ensure its comprehensiveness and effectiveness.

Step 2: Build an Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit is essential to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families during a disaster or pandemic. The kit should contain essential items such as non-perishable food, water, medications, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, and important documents. It is recommended to have enough supplies to sustain individuals for at least three days.

Step 3: Stay Informed

Staying informed about the latest updates and developments during a crisis is vital for making well-informed decisions. FEMA recommends keeping a battery-powered radio or a portable television to access news and weather updates. Additionally, signing up for emergency alerts and notifications through local authorities or FEMA’s Emergency Alert System is crucial to receive timely information about evacuation orders, road closures, and other important announcements.

Step 4: Get Involved

Community involvement is a key aspect of disaster preparedness. FEMA emphasizes the importance of fostering partnerships and collaborations with local organizations, community leaders, and emergency management agencies. Participating in community exercises, trainings, and drills can enhance preparedness and improve the coordination among different entities during a crisis.

Step 5: Prepare for Specific Needs

Individuals with specific needs, such as those with disabilities, older adults, and children, require additional assistance and support during a crisis. It is important to include planning considerations for these vulnerable populations in the preparedness efforts. This may involve creating specific protocols, identifying accessible shelters and transportation options, and ensuring access to necessary resources and services.

Step 6: Practice and Review the Plan

Regular practice and review of the preparedness plan are necessary to ensure its effectiveness. Conducting drills and exercises can help identify potential gaps and areas for improvement. It is important to involve all stakeholders in these practice sessions to enhance their understanding of the plan and their ability to implement it effectively during an actual crisis.


Disaster and pandemic preparedness is a critical component of public health nursing. FEMA provides a comprehensive framework that includes steps such as creating a plan, building an emergency kit, staying informed, getting involved in the community, preparing for specific needs, and practicing and reviewing the plan. By following these steps, public health nurses can play a vital role in ensuring effective response and management of crises, thereby protecting the health and well-being of individuals and communities.