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Preparing for disasters

We don't just respond to emergencies; we also prepare for them. Being prepared makes a huge difference in saving lives and protecting people's livelihoods.

It also makes economic sense. For every £1 invested in reducing the risk of disasters, £4 are saved in terms of emergency response and reconstruction.

We have pages and pages of tips to help you and your family be prepared for fires, floods, and almost any other disaster.

We prepare for overseas disasters by giving local people the skills and resources to respond to an emergency, and by ensuring life-saving relief items – such as food, blankets and hygiene sets – are already in place in disaster-prone areas. 

It may not be possible to prevent a disaster altogether, but by working with communities to find solutions we can greatly reduce the negative effects of disasters, saving lives and livelihoods. 

How to prepare for emergencies

Emergency response volunteer and woman

Learn what to do in a flood, fire, terrorist incident, heatwave or other unexpected emergency.

Be prepared for disasters >

Food insecurity

Nursery school boy holds his bowl of porridge in Kenya

Hunger and malnutrition kill more people than tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria combined. Read about our food work.

Read about hunger >

Nepal: preparing for earthquakes

A woman stands at the end of a tunnel

We help people in the Kathmandu valley prepare for disasters.

Our work in Nepal >

Bangladesh: preparing for cyclones

A Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteer warns people of a coming cyclone

We're helping vulnerable communities be prepared in one of the most disaster-prone countries.

Our work in Bangladesh >

Syria: preparing for multiple disasters

Volunteer in Syria plays with kids

Earthquakes, floods and refugee crises – we’re helping the Syria Arab Red Crescent be prepared.

Our work in Syria >

Food security and livelihoods in Zimbabwe

Woman cooking over a fire in her home in Zimbabwe

We are combating hunger by helping families generate their own food and income with agricultural training.

Read about Zimbabwe >

Djibouti: improving water and sanitation

Djibouti suffers very high levels of poverty – but the Red Cross is helping some of its poorest people look forward to a better future

Read about our work in Djibouti >


Disaster Fund

Philippines rescue worker carrying a child

Help the Red Cross prepare for disasters. Your donation will be used in the UK or overseas.

Donate byCredit card

Stories about being prepared

Quick-thinking Nisha used her first aid training when a neaighbour's baby nearly drowned.

After three days of action packed hands-on learning, Kriti Khatri is confident she can help her neighbours and loved ones when an earthquake happens.

Radio listeners can get life-saving information with the twist of a dial, thanks to a Nepalese Red Cross programme that is helping people prepare for earthquakes.

Read about the challenges Rani faces in trying to change cultural attitudes in Bangladesh.

How Noorjahan's own tragedy motivated her to help others.