This is not a usual blog post for Me2 Solutions – but with the typhoon in the Philippines –  Meredith and I thought it would be a good idea to just list sources of information for disaster preparedness – why re-invent the wheel?  Just Googling disaster preparedness will give you 18.7 million hits.  So, with little fanfare, here are a list of websites with a lot of useful information about disaster preparedness:

Federal sites:  The federal government spends a lot of money on preparedness – not always successfully (remember Katrina?) but there’s lots of good basic information.

Center for Disease Control
Federal Emergency Management Agency

State sites:  Every state has an Office of Emergency Management and you should Google for your particular state’s office although every state office will have similar information.

Washington State Military Department(Where the Emergency Management Department is located is a function of the your state government, but as in the case of Washington, it’s sometimes associated with the state militia, i.e. the National Guard.)

Local sites:  Whether you live in a city or the county, there’s a Office of Emergency Management for your locality.  Again, Google (your locality) Office of Emergency Management. Here’s two examples:

Spokane, Washington
San Fransisco, California (see the updated below)

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs):  NGOs are a enormous resource for disaster preparedness and especially disaster response.  Two examples are:

The American Red Cross (The American Red Cross is the most visible, largest, and likely the best NGO for disaster response – they simply have been doing for so long that they have worked the bugs out of what to do.)
National Center for Disaster Preparedness (This is a great example of a resource that is focused on specific aspects of disaster preparedness. In this case, focusing on children and their needs in a disaster.  If you have special needs, say pets, there are websites which address those particular issues – the ASPCA for example.  Again, Google is your friend in locating the information you need.)

All these sources will tell you that you are basically on your own for the first 72 hours after a disaster strikes – it simply takes that much time for organizations to identify the disaster; get their people, equipment and supplies together; move in and get set up; and finally start serving the victims of the disaster.  But you should also realize that’s a typical amount of time – you may be in a special situation where more time is needed.

We normally don’t deal with natural disasters in our business but we felt that letting you know of the resources available would be helpful.  Besides which, preparing a 72-hour kit is perfect preparation in case you have to flee Godzilla instead of a flood!

On January 6, 2018 I received the following from Joel Stephens <>
Hello Dr. Hutchison,

I noticed you have a link to the 72Hours initiative ( on this page of your site –

This initiative was incorporated into SF72 and the guidance has been moved to The page does automatically redirect but in time that will likely break so I thought you’d want to know so you can update your page now.

Whilst you are making this update, could you take a look at one of our guides which will supplement this information and maybe include a link as well?

Our guide to disaster recovery for businesses supplements the information available on SF72 covering the various aspects of planning, analysis, and execution a business should go through to prepare for emergency situations.

I understand that business continuity in emergencies is a secondary consideration but that being said it’s still important. According to FEMA, 40% of businesses don’t reopen after a disaster.

Our guide can help make sure people’s livelihoods can continue on after the emergency has passed.

A physicist by trade, author by choice, a born teacher, a retired veteran, and an adamant problem solver, Frank has helped the White House, federal agencies, military offices, historical museums, manufacturers, and over 250 technology startups get stuff done, communicate effectively, and find practical solutions that work for them. In his spare time, he makes sawdust and watches Godzilla movies.