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Natural Disasters

Basic Information

Always call 911 if you are in immediate danger and need emergency help.

Reduce or avoid risks to health and the environment due to natural disasters - at home, community or school, or your business. There is common safety, planning and prevention information for many disaster types. The various pages on this site are intended to repeat or highlight critical information by event type.

Planning - Preparing for natural disasters can greatly reduce the risks to health and the environment. Hurricanes or floods can contaminate drinking water sources. Forest fires or volcanoes harm air quality. Tornados or earthquakes, by damaging factories or storage facilities, can release contaminants where people live or into the environment.

  • Individuals and homeowners can plan ahead to protect health for themselves and family members.
  • Communities, schools, and businesses can plan ahead to reduce risks and possible costs of storm-related spills or cleanup.

Recovery - Understanding risks will help speed recovery efforts and help keep problems from becoming worse. Improper use of portable generators or heating devices can release deadly carbon monoxide to indoor air. Ice-melting agents used improperly can pollute waterways. Large amounts of debris can present serious disposal problems for state and local communities. Owners or operators of damaged facilities may be responsible for reporting spills.

  • Individuals and homeowners can learn more about what, and what not, to do to protect health of themselves and family.
  • Communities, schools, and businesses can learn more about address large-scale risks and be aware of any legal requirements they may have under applicable regulations.


Other EPA emergency response programs

Report online a spill or possible violation of environmental law or regulations. You can also call 800-424-8802.

EPA's Emergency Management program works with other federal, state, or local agencies, and industry to prevent or respond to accidents, spills, and cleanups. About chemical emergencies.

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