How to use in a natural disaster or illness outbreak

In the event of natural disaster or an illness outbreak, your neighbors are likely to be your first responders offering assistance or information. Disaster research shows that well-connected neighbors are more resilient in disaster situations. It’s crucial to communicate and share accurate information with your neighbors in times of crisis. can be a great resource for neighbors to exchange information, hear directly from local agencies, and communicate with each other during a natural disaster or illness outbreak. Use these tips to distribute accurate information and look out for one another. 

  Find & share resources  

First, start a conversation on about collective neighborhood resources. Let your neighbors know what resources you have available to share, and ask what your neighbors have that they can contribute. Most individual households won’t have all the resources they might need in a disaster, but collectively, a neighborhood’s resources can serve everyone. 

Important note: Please check with your local authorities and trusted health official before sharing any supplies in the event of an illness outbreak. Authorities in certain areas have limited physical activity and gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a list of common supplies you may need in a natural disaster: 

  • Radio 
  • Canned food
  • Batteries/chargers
  • Tools/saw/ax
  • Flashlights
  • Fishing line 
  • Large tarps
  • Lanterns
  • Medical supplies 
  • Air mattresses/sleeping bags
  • First aid kits
  • Helmets
  • Bikes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Propane
  • Rope 
  • Water 
  • Baby food/formula
  • Pet food
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Generator

Here is a list of common supplies you may need in an illness outbreak: 

  • Canned food
  • Pet food
  • Water 
  • First aid kits
  • Medical supplies 
  • Prescription medications
  • Toilet paper 
  • Hand soap/sanitizer 
  • Over the counter medicines 
  • Non-perishable foods 

  Share updates & distribute information

Prepare yourself by knowing where to get alerts and information about the natural disaster or illness outbreak. Then, share information with your neighbors through 

Distributing accurate and timely information can reduce the potential for injury  or loss of life and can minimize the overall impact of the disaster or outbreak on your neighborhood.
 Important! It’s crucial to share accurate information in times of crisis. Inaccurate information can spread fear and be harmful. For this reason, we have created a policy on misinformation. If you see information on that you know to be inaccurate, please report it. 

Follow your local agencies on social media. Follow your police, fire, and emergency management departments on Twitter. Share  information from their tweets with your neighbors on 

 Ask for & offer help 

Don’t hesitate to connect with your neighbors if you need supplies or non-medical assistance.

Be proactive about offering help or supplies to your neighbors. If you have any of the supplies listed in the sections above, create a post on to let your neighborhood know. 

Ask your neighbors if they need help. Natural disasters and illness outbreaks don’t impact everyone equally. Some neighbors might need more help than others. Create a post on to ask if anyone needs extra assistance or is in trouble. Reach out to neighbors who are elderly, have multiple children or pets, have a disability, or who live alone.

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