Disaster Resources for Florida United Ways

In addition to the important DISASTER LINKS below, United Way of Florida has compiled a small library of UNITED WAY DISASTER PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE RESOURCES, as well as a DISASTER RESOURCES TOOL KIT for Florida United Ways.  Feel free to adapt these examples to your organization’s disaster-related practices and preparedness plans.


Disaster Links

  • National Hurricane Center
  • Florida Division of Emergency Management
    • Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL): 1-800-342-3557 -- Operated by the Florida Division of Emergency Management; the FEIL is a toll-free hotline activated at the time of an emergency to provide an additional resource for those in Florida to receive accurate and up-to-date information regarding an emergency or disaster situation impacting the State of Florida.
    • SERT (State Emergency Response Team) -- Operated by the Florida Division of Emergency Management; The State Emergency Response Team is tasked with providing disaster assistance to the residents of the state of Florida. The SERT is comprised of branches and Emergency Support Functions (ESF). These entities work closely with one another to fulfill mission task and request for direct aid to disaster impact areas.
  • Volunteer Florida
    • Florida Volunteer & Donation Hotline: 1-800-FL-HELP-1 (1-800-354-3571) -- Operated by Volunteer Florida, lead agency for ESF-15.
  • FEMA
  • Florida VOAD and the National VOAD
  • Other Disaster Relief Agencies (list and links)
  • Federal Disaster Benefits & Programs (Click on Disaster Assistance or Relief)


United Way Disaster Preparedness & Response Resources:


Disaster Resources Tool Kit

Acknowledgements:  Comprehensive Emergency Management Associates, LLC (CEMA), created the document upon which the four components below are derived, through a contract with the Michigan Association of United Ways.


This guide has four components:

1.  Personal Preparedness Plan.  Before we can think about preparedness at any other level, we must ensure that each of us individually as well as our family is prepared for an emergency.


2.  Emergency Action Checklist.  Once at work, we must ensure that we have a viable office emergency plan to protect all staff and visitors in the event of a crisis.  A completed copy of this checklist should be readily accessible at a primary entrance/exit to the facility. 

  • IBHS' EZ-PREP® - Severe Weather: Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning Toolkit  (Source: The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) - DisasterSafety.org.  IBHS is an independent, non-profit, scientific research & communications organization supported by the property insurance industry.)

The EZ-PREP toolkit is an emergency preparedness and response planning guide, also for small businesses. One of the most useful features of EZ-PREP is that actions are organized chronologically. If a business has advance warning of an extreme weather event such as a hurricane or a severe storm, this tool walks users through the actions and tasks that should be performed five days before, 72 hours before, 24-48 hours before, during and immediately after the event, and during the recovery process. EZ-PREP is customizable which includes the capability of adding the business’ own specific action items or tasks specific to their business.

o   EZ-PREP PDF Toolkit

o   EZ-PREP Infographic

o   Customizable EZ-PREP Checklist Template

o   EZ-PREP Supply Checklist

3.  Business Continuity Plan.  The first two planning components are about taking care of people.  With those plans in place the next challenge becomes how to get your office back up and operating as quickly as possible, so that we can resume our role of assisting the community.  The activities related to this process are called Business Continuity Planning. 

  • Business Continuity Plan
  • Business Continuity Templates (Source: The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) - DisasterSafety.org.  IBHS is an independent, non-profit, scientific research & communications organization supported by the property insurance industry.)

IBHS’ Business Continuity Toolkit is OFB-EZ®

  • OFB-EZ (Open For Business-EZ) is a free business continuity tool designed to help even the smallest businesses focus on planning for any type of business interruption, so they can quickly re-open and resume operations following a disaster. With its non-technical language and streamlined layout, any business owner can create an easy-to-use recovery plan tailored to the individual business, providing confidence if the worst occurs. Business owners create their own business continuity plan using the program’s eight modules.
  • The OFB-EZ toolkit and fillable forms are available in both pdf and Word formats. Also available is the OFB-EZ Mobile app which was created in partnership with one of IBHS’ member companies, EMC Insurance Companies. The OFB-EZ Mobile app is available free on Google Play, the App Store and the Chrome Web store. The app allows businesses to complete and store their plan on their smartphones, tablets and PCs and the entered plan information is stored on the user’s device(s) only unless they decide to share it with others. And when they do share it, the data is encrypted and locked with a password the user creates during the sharing process. For those users who prefer a full keyboard, they can download the Chrome app to create their plan on a laptop or desktop computer.
  • Download the OFB-EZ Toolkit (PDF)
  • Download the OFB-EZ Toolkit Individual Forms (PDF and Word):
  1. Know Your Risks (PDF /Word Doc)
  2. Know Your Operations (PDF / Word Doc)
  3. Know Your Employees (PDF /Word Doc)
  4. Know Your Customers, Contacts, Suppliers, Vendors (PDF / Word Doc)
  5. Know Your Finances (PDF / Word Doc)
  6. Know Your Information Technology (PDF / Word Doc)
  7. Know When to Test Your Plan (PDF / Word Doc)


4.  United Way and Community Crisis Response.  Once you have taken care of yourself, your family, and your people, and your office is back up and operating, United Way can now plan a role in the recovery phase of the crisis.  This component will help you prepare your United Way to serve as a major resource in assisting your community in its recovery efforts.  The particular role you will plan will depend upon what your United Way, and your community determines is necessary.

  • Sample volunteer reception center plans: