The American Red Cross has created this Disaster and Safety Library to assist you in preparing your home, school and workplace in the event of a disaster or emergency. Here you will find fact sheets, preparedness checklists, recovery guides and other helpful information to keep you informed and safe.

People in chemical protective gear responding to chemical emergency

Boy walking across a field that has no grass because of a drought

Red Cross disaster responder at site of earthquake searching for survivors

House under water after a flood

Prevent and recover from the Flu

Types of food that would be dangerous to eat after a power outage

Prepare for and recover from a heatwave

Fireman and policeman at scene of highway emergency

Smoke detector detecting smoke

Palm trees in a hurricane

Destroyed homes after a landslide

Keep your pets safe during a disaster or emergency

Learn more about preventing poisoning

Family in the dark with a lantern during a power outage

Red Cross disaster responder at scene of terrorist attack

Lightening striking a neighborhood

Red Cross emergency response vehicle at tornado disaster area

Red Cross disaster responder holding little girl in arms at tsunami disaster area

Volcano erupting

Three kids at a pool ready for swimming lessons

Red Cross disaster responder at wildfire response

Learn more about preparing for and recovering from a winter storm

Winter Storm


About Chemical Emergencies

Chemicals are a natural and important part of our environment. Even though we often don’t think about it, we use chemicals every day. Chemicals help keep our food fresh and our bodies clean. They help our plants grow and fuel our cars. And chemicals make it possible for us to live longer, healthier lives.

Under certain conditions, chemicals can also be poisonous or have a harmful effect on your health. Some chemicals that are safe, and even helpful in small amounts, can be harmful in larger quantities or under certain conditions.

Chemical accidents do happen, at home and in the community. The American Red Cross wants you to be prepared.

How You May Be Exposed to a Chemical

You may be exposed to a chemical in three ways:

Breathing the chemical
Swallowing contaminated food, water, or medication
Touching the chemical, or coming into contact with clothing or things that have touched the chemical

Remember, you may be exposed to chemicals even though you may not be able to see or smell anything unusual.
Chemical Accidents Can Be Prevented

Chemicals are found everywhere – in our kitchens, medicine cabinets, basements, and garages. In fact, most chemical accidents occur in our own homes. And they can be prevented.

About Drought

A drought is a period of abnormally dry weather that persists long enough to produce a serious hydrologic imbalance, causing, for example, crop damage and shortages in the water supply. The severity of a drought depends on the degree of moisture deficiency, the duration, and the size of the affected area. Drought can be defined four ways:

Meteorological Drought—when an area gets less precipitation than normal. Due to climatic differences, what is considered a drought in one location may not be a drought in another location.
Agricultural Drought—when the amount of moisture in the soil no longer meets the needs of a particular crop.
Hydrological Drought—when the surface and subsurface water supplies are below normal.
Socioeconomic drought —when water supply is unable to meet human and environmental needs can upset the balance between supply and demand.

Water Restrictions

In communities where drought conditions exist, officials may recommend measures to restrict use of water. These recommendations may include such procedures as watering lawns and washing cars on odd or even days of the week, at night, or on weekends. The restrictions may limit hours or prohibit use of water, or require use of hand watering instead of using sprinkler systems that use much more water. You should check with your local authorities or water utility for information on water restrictions that may be imposed for your area.

Conserving water is particularly important when drought strikes, but it’s also a good habit to be in at all times for environmental reasons. Try to do at least one thing each day to conserve water!

More Information

Please contact your local water authority or utility district, or your local emergency management agency for information specific to your community.